Football Preview

Eddies pose tough test for Wildcats

THREE RIVERS — Edwardsburg’s football team features one of the most prolific offensive attacks in Southwestern Michigan.
And the Eddies’ defense isn’t too shabby either.
Edwardsburg, the No. 3-ranked team in Division 3, brings its show to Armstrong Field to take on Three Rivers at 7 p.m. Friday at Armstrong Field.
Kevin Bartz’s Eddies have outscored opponents 334-54, including two shutouts. Edwardsburg’s defense is allowing just nine points per game.
Both teams are coming off impressive victories last week. Three Rivers demolished South Haven 54-0 while Edwardsburg handled Plainwell 44-20.
Three Rivers fell to Edwardsburg 38-0 in last year’s game at Leo Hoffman Stadium. The Wildcats are looking forward to this year’s matchup with the Eddies on their home turf.
“Edwardsburg runs the Power-T with two tight ends and three running backs. Their offense is similar to what we saw against Paw Paw. Obviously they (Eddies) are a good football team and are well coached. They have a streak going in the conference that everyone is aware of,” said Three Rivers coach J.J. Wagner. “Our kids are looking forward to the opportunity to play them Friday night.”
While last year’s final score looks lopsided, consider that Three Rivers turned the ball over five times, and Edwardsburg was able to capitalize on those miscues with scores.
“You can’t turn the ball over that many times against anyone, especially against a team that controls the ball and clock like they do,” Wagner said.
With the exception of a 21-7 loss at Dowagiac in week two, Three Rivers has managed to avoid turnovers. In that contest the ‘Cats turned the ball over four times against the Chieftains.
“Hopefully we’ve grown up from that game. You can’t have turnovers or silly penalties and put yourself in long yardage situations. You have to play a smart game,” Wagner said.
Three Rivers is lodged in a tie with Vicksburg for second place in the league standings. The “Cats moved up two spots in this week’s Michigan Associated Press state poll from No. 9 last week to the No. 7 position in this weeks’ rankings.
Three Rivers has lots to play for. A win would move them into a tie with Edwardsburg and Vicksburg, should they beat South Haven, for first place. It would also clinch the ‘Cats a playoff berth, and increase its chances of hosting a first-round game.

Please see Friday's  print or e-edition for full article.

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