2015-09-10 / Sports

Lakers, Norse keep eyes on prize after all-county clash

Frankfort, Grayling up next
By Jay Bushen Of The Enterprise staff


GLEN LAKE quarterback Jared Jackson had his sights set on the pylon during this 21-yard touchdown scamper late in the fourth quarter of the Cherry Bucket game at Suttons Bay last Thursday. Jackson’s first career rushing touchdown would give Glen Lake a 26-14 lead it would not relinquish. GLEN LAKE quarterback Jared Jackson had his sights set on the pylon during this 21-yard touchdown scamper late in the fourth quarter of the Cherry Bucket game at Suttons Bay last Thursday. Jackson’s first career rushing touchdown would give Glen Lake a 26-14 lead it would not relinquish. Zach Smith and his Suttons Bay teammates plan to practice selective amnesia this week after a 26-14 loss in the Cherry Bucket game and an 0-2 start to the season.

The Norse will have to regroup in a hurry as they travel to Frankfort (1-1) Friday night for their first conference test of the 2015 campaign.

“We just need to come back next week and forget this happened,” Smith said after amassing 13 stops, 2.5 tackles for loss and a half-sack against Glen Lake.

The 5-foot-11, 260-pound senior captain and third-year starter at middle linebacker said the Norsemen are ready to turn things around in the coming weeks — but there’s still a long way to go in all three phases of the game.


SUTTONS BAY middle linebacker Zach Smith has been unblockable through two games. The senior captain has made 35 total tackles thus far. SUTTONS BAY middle linebacker Zach Smith has been unblockable through two games. The senior captain has made 35 total tackles thus far. Defensive woes have uncharacteristically plagued the Norse through two weeks. Suttons Bay has surrendered 64 points, more than half of what the 2014 team gave up in the regular season (121 points). It’s not all on the defense, however.

All three units gave up at least one touchdown against Glen Lake last week.

The Norse offense has also struggled with only 14 points so far this season.

First-year head coach Alex Kohler isn’t playing the blame game.

“We’ve got to tackle better, block harder, be more physical and be in better shape,” Kohler said when asked how he plans to prepare for Frankfort.

Frankfort will likely enter Friday night’s contest seeking revenge after losing a close game to the Norse last year, 29-20.

The Panthers, who powered past Mesick in a 37-6 rout last week, boast a 32-11 head-to-head record against the Norse since 1950.

The Panthers also own a 39-17-1 edge over Glen Lake in that span, but history didn’t repeat itself in week one when the Lakers outlasted Frankfort, 10-6.

Glen Lake (2-0) had plenty to work on this week despite its undefeated start, namely correcting mental mistakes that have let opponents hang around late in games.

Last week, the Lakers took 11 penalties for 118 yards. Those types of mistakes could be costly against Class B Grayling (1-1) at home on Friday.

“Grayling’s a good football team,” said coach Jerry Angers. “It’s another team we beat last year. They’re going to come after us.”

Angers added, “They want to reestablish themselves in the league. They’ve got a really good linebacker, their quarterback’s good and (coach Tim Sanchez) does a great job coaching that no-huddle offense so we’ve got our hands full, that’s for sure.”

Angers said he’s been pleased with the quick starts against Frankfort and Suttons Bay, but he wants to see his team put the pedal to the metal, close games out and avoid mental lapses no matter the circumstance.

“The problem is, in a high school football game, if you allow a team to start believing in themselves, they’re going to answer,” he said.

Fortunately for the Glen Lake faithful, the Lakers seem to have found an answer at quarterback.

Jared Jackson, a junior, has played well in his first two varsity starts.

He’s completed 10-of-19 attempts for 178 yards and a touchdown — with no interceptions — and showed off his legs in the win over Suttons Bay.

Jackson rushed for a game-high 65 yards on 11 carries against the Norse (5.6 average), adding a game-sealing touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.

“Jared’s going to be a leader,” Angers said. “As soon as he starts taking over that huddle things are going to be good for us.”

The Lakers will likely need the offense to fire on all cylinders Friday against the Vikings, a program with an 87-38 (.696) record since 2003.

Grayling has just one losing season in that span, and Glen Lake is partially to blame.

The Lakers slipped by the Vikings, 15-8, in the first meeting between the two schools in week three last year.

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