2017-10-26 / Sports

Angers, Lakers underdogs at Boyne City

Path back to state finals goes through Ramblers, Glads
By Jay Bushen
Sports Editor

Glen Lake supporters hoping to hear their hometown team recognized on the MHSAA selection show Sunday night were sorely disappointed.

The 2016 state finalist was an afterthought.

Jerry Angers wasn’t surprised.

“We’re always counted out,” said Angers, the 2016 Division 6 Coach of the Year. “People don’t see us as a good program, but we have some great kids and a good coaching staff — and we’ve had some success in the playoffs.”

NMFL Leaders champion Glen Lake enters its pre-district clash at NMFL Legends champ Boyne City as the underdog in what appears to be the toughest district in Division 6.

The four teams — Boyne City (9-0), Calumet (6-3), Glen Lake (6-2) and Traverse City St. Francis (8-1) — amassed 287.556 playoff points, the most among eight Division 6 districts.

Three of the four teams were ranked in the final AP Poll. Boyne City checked in as one of two fifth-ranked teams in Division 5. The Lakers were tied at No. 9 in Division 6. The Gladiators, who won 35-9 at Glen Lake in Week 2 and lost 19-13 at Boyne City in Week 9, were No. 2 in Division 7.

Glen Lake middle linebacker Max Guilbeau, a senior, isn’t offended by his team’s underdog status.

“That happened last year, too, and everyone knows where we went last year,” Guilbeau said. “We just take it with a grain of salt and roll with it.”

The Lakers will roll into Boyne City on Friday with a chip on their shoulder — and one of the most explosive offenses in Division 6.

Cade Peterson, Nick Apsey and the offensive line have been as good as advertised thus far on a team that is scoring more than 42 points per game.

Peterson has completed 84-of-126 throws for 1,213 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions to go with 645 rushing yards and seven scores on 89 carries. Apsey, a two-way starter and a special teams dynamo, has toted the rock 45 times for 406 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also has 349 yards and eight touchdowns on 16 receptions.

Both seniors have been dishing out punishment in the open field since Week 1 — most often with lowered shoulders and ruthless stiff arms — but they’ll be put to the test Friday against one of the top defenses in the state.

Led by senior linebacker Jacob Ager and a band of ball-hawking defenders, Boyne City surrendered fewer than 10 points per game in the regular season.

“They have a tough defense with a strong linebacker — and a high-powered offense,” Guilbeau said of the Ramblers, who are putting up 31.6 points per game thus far.

Boyne City boasts a big, athletic offensive line and talent at about every position, Angers said. Special teams and turnovers could be the difference.

“Hopefully we’ll have a huge crowd,” Angers said. “I think we will. We have one of the best followings in the state and hopefully we’ll be traveling for the next five weeks.”

Friday’s matchup will be the fifth meeting in the all-time series, which stands at 2-2. Boyne City won the two most recent contests — 48-21 in 2015 and 50-0 in 2014.

The first-ever meeting between the schools took place in the first round of the 2012 playoffs. Both teams were 8-1 but Glen Lake, as Angers was quick to point out, was deemed the underdog.

And the underdog won 28-16.

Shutout streak hits 13 quarters

Glen Lake capped its regular season with a bang — and a third consecutive shutout — with a 56-0 victory over visiting Evart on Friday.

The Wildcats entered the game needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, but a first-quarter injury to star quarterback Carter Pritchard and six Glen Lake touchdowns put the game out of reach by halftime.

“The kids are doing some great things with team defense,” Angers said.

Apsey led the Lakers offensively with 85 yards and three touchdowns on just five carries. Guilbeau added 70 yards and two scores on six carries.

“All credit goes to the linemen,” Guilbeau said.

Hudl stats show the Lakers had a huge advantage in total yards: 354-34.

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