Reprinted from an article in The Times Herald written by Paul Costanzo, October 5, 2012
There’s still plenty for the Port Huron Northern football team to play for.
With traditional goals like conference titles and making the playoffs now out of the question, the Huskies have a special motivation for each of the final three games of the season. Tonight’s game against L’Anse Creuse North is homecoming. Week 8 is the Huskies Wounded Warriors game, and Week 9 is against a local team in Marine City. And of course there’s the goal of sending the seniors off on a winning note.
“I think it’s very important,” senior running back and linebacker Tyler Hughes said. “Obviously, for myself, it would make my year if we get to end the season on a winning note.” That starts tonight with the game against L’Anse Creuse North. Kickoff in the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division game is scheduled for 7 at Memorial Stadium. The Huskies enter the game at 1-5 (1-2 in the Blue), while L’Anse Creuse North is 4-2 (2-1).
“They’re a spread team, and their offense is mildly similar to our own,” Northern coach Pat Connell said. “They like to run the ball on a zone scheme. They mix it up, but they’re probably slightly more run than throw. They have some
really good athletes.
“They have some guys that go both ways, but, especially on defense, they really roll bodies in. They play a lot of different kids at linebacker, a few different kids at corner. They’ve been playing fearless, fast football, and it’s been successful for them.”
L’Anse Creuse North is in its first year under new coach Anthony Kiner, who has sparked a quick turnaround after taking over a team that was winless each of the last two seasons, and hasn’t had a winning season since 2007.
“They’ve definitely bought into the new coach’s strategy,” Connell said.
The Huskies will be looking to end a four-game losing streak and will once again turn to sophomore quarterback Alex Merchant, who will be starting his third straight game after senior Blake Goulding went down for the season with a leg injury.
Merchant has thrown the ball well in each of his first two starts, and Connell likes the way his young quarterback is progressing.
“He’s much more confident,” Connell said. “He’s starting to assert himself, asking questions when they give us a different defensive front or coverage, asking what can he do to take advantage of it. “Just the natural maturation of putting the last game behind you.”