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Clinton Township

October 10, 2012

Big Reds look to bounce back vs. Dakota

Chippewa Valley football falls to Stevenson, rival Cougars up next

By Jon Malavolti
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Chippewa Valley’s Stefan Claiborne (21) runs with the ball during a game earlier this season. Following a recent loss to Stevenson, the Big Reds hope to bounce back against Dakota with a playoff berth on the line this week.

CLINTON TOWNSHIP – Few things can pick a team back up after a deflating loss than a game against a rival.

And that’s exactly what the Big Reds are preparing to do following a 24-7 loss to Utica Stevenson Oct. 5.

The Big Reds were looking to lock up a playoff berth on homecoming night and to remain in the hunt for the Macomb Area Conference Red Division title. Instead, they were forced to settle for a loss, falling to 5-2 on the season and 2-2 in the division.

And everybody knows what’s next.

Dakota is coming to town.

The Big Reds and Cougars will square off at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 at Chippewa. Dakota is 6-1 overall, having locked up its ninth straight berth into the postseason with a 47-0 win over Utica Ford II last week. The Cougars also improved to 4-0 in the MAC Red, meaning they’ve locked up at least a share of the division title. A win over Chippewa would give it to them outright.

So, as Dakota looks to gain from its momentum, including improving its playoff seeding and locking up the MAC Red crown outright, Chippewa hopes to play the spoiler and end a three-year postseason absence. Six wins automatically qualify teams that play nine-game schedules, like Dakota and Chippewa, for the playoffs.

“They’re our archrival, so if we’re not excited to play them, we’re in trouble,” Chippewa coach Scott Merchant said after the loss to Stevenson.

The Cougars have beaten the Big Reds 10 straight times, including a 24-14 decision last year.

Following the game against Dakota, Chippewa will travel to play Port Huron (5-2 overall, 4-0 MAC White) at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 in the regular-season finale.

“We knew we had three tough games left,” the coach continued. “It’s not going to be any easier next week or the week after that. Port Huron is a good football team. We’ve got our work cut out for us. We’re going to have to play a lot better to win.

“That’s why we’ll have to go back to the drawing board and try to get things corrected.”

For more details from the Chippewa against Stevenson game, check out our website at www.candgnews.com/Sports.

 

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jon Malavolti at jmalavolti@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1040. Twitter Follow Jon on Twitter.