Reed City ready to face a more confident Newaygo team

REED CITY — Newaygo is probably not going to do anything different this time than when the Lions and Reed City met in week 4. But the result could be different and that is what Coyotes coach Monty Price is trying to tell his team this week. The two teams met in week 4, with both teams undefeated and on top of the Central State Activities Association. But a quick touchdown by Reed City to open the game, followed by a Newaygo turnover that led to another Coyotes’ score paved the way to a 35-7 Reed City victory. That win also led the Coyotes to a perfect 9-0 record and home field advantage when the two teams meet tonight in the second round of the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 5 playoff contest. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The winner faces the winner of the Grand Rapids West Catholic-Muskegon Oakridge contest next week. “We aren’t resting on what we did in week four and we’re trying to convey that to the kids over and over,” Price said. “We can’t allow to have (that win) do anything with this week’s preparation.” The big reason Price doesn’t want his team to think this time around will be easy is because of Newaygo’s circumstances. The Lions hired coach Aaron Bush just days before the start of the season and the coaching staff and players were still figuring out personnel and the system. Ten weeks into the season, those should be ironed out. “They are going to be improved and have more confidence in their system,” Price said. “Their offense is tough to defend. You have to be disciplined in all assignments and if you don’t they will find it and expose it.” Reed City is confident in its system as well. The Coyotes opened the playoffs with a 48-14 victory over Manistee. “I think our chemistry is solid and our confidence is good,” Price said. “We are firing on all cylinders and we’re playing solid in all three phases, but we have to get better bit by bit, week by week.” It would be easy for Price to say all of the traditional things about the keys to gaining a victory, not turning the ball over and winning the battle on the line of scrimmage. Instead, Price said preparation heading into the game will hold the biggest key on who will advance to next week’s regional final. “Obviously, all of the traditional things are going to be key, not turning the ball over, winning the line of scrimmage and great team defense, but the biggest thing is having that sense of urgency,” he said. “The team that works hardest Monday through Thursday will probably be successful on Friday.”