Manistee looks to cash in on opportunities against Lake City

Manistee’s defense ran into a playmaker in last week’s 34-7 loss to Orchard View. And making plays is exactly what could have made the difference for the Chippewas on the other end.

“When we watched the film, we saw several opportunities,” said Manistee coach Tod Miller. “We did a lot of things correctly, we just need to make sure we put the ball in the end zone.”

Tonight at Chippewa Field, Manistee looks to do just that against Lake City.

“We expect to make those plays this week,” Miller said. “You’ve got to make them count. It’s a full year working for this, and you don’t get those opportunities that often.”

Manistee’s Brandon Wick returns a kickoff during last week’s 34-7 defeat to Orchard View. The Chippewas will look to bounce back tonight against Lake City at Chippewa Field. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

Manistee’s Brandon Wick returns a kickoff during last week’s 34-7 defeat to Orchard View. The Chippewas will look to bounce back tonight against Lake City at Chippewa Field. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

The Chippewas converted on just one of their four trips to the red zone in last Friday’s home opener, and were the victims of big plays busted by Cardinals running back Bobby Clanton, who rushed for four touchdowns on 290 yards.

“Two of the first three big plays the kid had were busted plays, where he didn’t even run at the hole,” Miller said. “It wasn’t like we got ran over by any means — we were actually going to the right places, making the right reads — now we just need to make sure our pursuit angles are correct.”

“(Offensively), aside from the dropped passes and a couple key penalties, we did a lot of things right,” he added. “If we would have made some plays, we could have been right there at the end. We could have scored at the end of the half, we could have scored first in the third quarter. Then it’s a different ball game.”

Manistee (1-1) looks to get back on track against a Trojan team that’s both winless and scoreless in its first two games. Lake City beat the Chippewas 58-6 a season ago, but went through heavy turnover from the departure of last year’s graduating class.

“They’re a team that’s coming off losing a lot key players from last year,” Miller said. “They’ve had 10, 11, 12 wins the last few years and now they’re regrouping and rebuilding. 

“They’ve got a freshman quarterback, and like to throw the football,” he added. “We’ll have to put a lot of pressure on him — force him to make the right choices — but we know they’re trying to put points on the board. They’ve got zero so far, so they’re coming in angry and looking to score a few.”

Meanwhile, when points present themselves to the Chippewas, Miller expects his team to convert.

“We had a good week of practice … I thought we’ve done a lot of things correctly in our response to last week, so I think we learned our lesson,” he said. “We’ve got to make the plays when they’re there.”

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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