Pioneer, Huron and other one-sided rivalries a theme in Week 8 of 'Beat Pete' pick 'em contest
AnnArbor.com file photo
I’m not just trying to butter you up. Along with the amount of contest winners topping triple digits for the second time in three weeks, a record nine people went 11-0 with their picks in Week 7.
Speaking of saving face, that’s exactly the opportunity Lincoln and Pioneer have in the next two weeks. Though both lost heartbreakers last week, but at 4-3 both of their playoff hopes are still very much alive.
Both teams need to take care of business against lesser talented crosstown rivals on Friday night to set up Week 9 win-or-go-home scenarios.
Pioneer heads to winless Huron on Friday and it’s no secret that the Pioneers are the far superior team. If Pioneer plays anywhere close to its best football, Huron simply doesn’t have the talent to keep up.
Pioneer coach Paul Test tries to keep those types of thoughts as far from his players’ minds as possible.
“(Huron) have everything to gain and nothing to lose and we have everything to lose,” Test said. “They have a wide stable of confident receivers and backs, that’s the strength of their team and they can put up some points if we’re not on our game.”
Test doesn’t discount the crosstown rivalry factor perhaps shrinking the talent gap between the sides.
“It’s usually the most emotional game of the year, that’s been my experience,” Test said. “We expect nothing but a dogfight.”
Lincoln, meanwhile, hosts crosstown rival Ypsilanti in its homecoming game and will try to avoid its fourth loss in five weeks.
Lincoln suffered a heartbreaking 26-25 loss to Adrian last week in which the Railsplitters failed to take the lead twice in the final four minutes on a muffed field goal attempt and failed two-point conversion.
Coach Chris Westfall said it was an emotionally draining loss, making its homecoming date with crosstown rival Ypsilanti all the more important.
Lincoln shouldn’t have any trouble against 1-6 Ypsilanti, which would make the Week 9 game versus undefeated Milan for a playoff berth.
“Our kids know a lot of Ypsi kids and its important to them. Are there guys looking to Milan? Sure, but I don’t think it will get in our way on Friday,” Westfall said.
Though Westfall admitted there’s a tendency to look ahead to Milan, he doesn’t think his players are necessarily looking past Ypsilanti.
“We don’t want to take anything for granted and its homecoming. We really want to get one at home,” said Westfall, pointing out that all Lincoln’s wins have been on the road.
These crosstown rivalries aren’t likely to be close, but emotions will be running high, and they lead off this week’s picks:
Beat Pete Winners
People who have “Beat Pete” so far: This week: 119; Overall: 372.
Pete’s overall picks record: 59-17 (.776); Last week: 8-3 (.727).