After a couple of weeks off, the This Week on MGN blog returns for week 8, and it’s a big week coming up in terms of MGN coverage, and games around the West Michigan area. As the regular season is coming to a close, this week will present arguably the best matchup all year long that we’ve covered live on MGN.
As always, the best way to help get the most in-depth coverage during the week of the Bulldogs and more is through the MGN Football Tailgate Report. This week we broke down the Grandville/EK game, talked w/ Bulldogs HC Eric Stiegel, looked at the current playoff picture, Previewed Grandville/Hudsonville this week, and ranked top teams across the area in our OK-Conf. ‘Power 6’ segment.
Last Week – Grandville 44, East Kentwood 6
Before we look more at this week on MGN, let’s recap last week – The Bulldogs won their 3rd straight running-clock blowout game as they handed EK their 6th loss of the season in a dominant performance on both sides of the ball.
The Bulldogs would roll on offense on the ground as they used a balanced rushing attack to help lead the way – Cade Pilczuk, Domonic Osborn and Ian Sanders all found the endzone twice on the ground, with Sanders sweeping our post game awards passing for 61 yards, rushing for 128 and completing a 94-yard TD run to put the ‘Dawgs sixth score on the board.
Defensively, the Bulldogs didn’t allow a 1st half first-down, while also forcing several turnovers – including Ayden Doren, who came up with 2 INT to go along with DJ Arnold, who picked up an INT of his own on an acrobatic jump ball grab on the goal line.
This Week on MGN – Grandville vs. Hudsonville
This week 6:30pm bring the game we are most excited for going into the matchup all year, it’s all on the line in one of the biggest rivalry matchups of the season in the OK-Red. Coverage starts at 6:30pm – Go to the MGN page (under the affiliates tab) here on MichiganSportsRadio.com, where we will have our enhanced radio broadcast embedded along with a link to the Grandville Athletics YouTube page that will have a video stream of the game with our radio broadcast commentary playing on the stream.
The Eagles come in with everything still to play for – Despite sitting at the same 4-3 record as the Bulldogs, they still have Grandville and Caledonia left on the schedule and need to beat one in order to make the playoffs. While either game are in play for a win, this week has the general consensus as the more winnable game based on the way that Caledonia has played tis year (incl. a win over the Bulldogs). Hudsonville also fits into the same category as the Bulldogs, as the winner this week will move off of the 4-seed in the district by all likelihood and will avoid Rockford in round 1 (even if both teams finish 5-4 in the end).
The Eagles bring one of their more high-flying offenses yet, Jr QB Trey Carr has 19 total TD on the year (14 passing), and has shown some major developments throughout the season honing in his extremely big and talented arm. Dylan Ham, is a speed slot WR with an ability to break mundane plays into big gains that will be the #1 target for the Bulldogs to slow down. Eli VanderVeen also provides one of several big 6’3+ targets that the Eagles also have to throw the ball up to when needed. They Eagles still can and will run the ball, even if they are more balanced to even pass-oriented than before, RB Drew Baine now has 9TD rushing on the season.
The Eagles defense has been remarkably consistent this season, almost exclusively allowing 14-21 points in each of their games. They are athletic all around the field, but also feature good size in their secondary and at LB that will be a big key in shutting down the Bulldogs run game and pass game to their own big TEs.
It’s going to be another week likely without RB/DB Tyson Mann for the Bulldogs, but that hasn’t slowed them down, as they’ve rotated in a powerful unit in the backfield that continues to be led by Cade Pilczuk (17 tot. TDs). Domonic Osborn provides a serious power-punch as he has moved from FB to RB after the Mann injury. Mason Albrecht also has provided a speed/power spark at FB, somewhat reminiscent of Cam Terry in certain bursts breaking off a tackle and accelerating away.
It will be key to keep an eye on the Bulldogs pass game this week, as the Eagles defense will likely stifle the run game more than it has been in past weeks and QB Ian Sanders will be forced to find targets other than Mann down the field – Look to Brayden Gable as a major X-Factor in the pass game.
The Bulldogs defense also has stepped up allowing 1 TD in each of the past three games. The front 7 has provided pressure all over the field with pass rushers like Amaris Bush picking up a sack last week, and they will need to do so again vs. the explosive Eagles attack. The Bulldogs secondary has been equally good in recent weeks, as they have helped entirely shut down the #1 option out wide for Jenison, GH, and EK in this dominant run. Ayden Doren at LB is coming off a 2 INT week, and has continued to develop into a key player all over the field for the Bulldogs defense.
If you want a ton more break down, make sure to check out the tailgate report – and make sure to tune in Friday night at 6:30 – right here on Game Night on Michigan Sports Radio!
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