If there was any doubt as to how big of a game the Clinton Township Clintondale football team is about to play, just ask head coach David Schindler his thoughts on the Sept. 21 home contest with Clawson High, set for 7 p.m.
“Probably the biggest game around here since 2008,” Schindler said of the team’s magical playoff ride to the Division 4 regional round, and eventual 27-26 loss at home to Croswell-Lexington that year. “I expect that kind of atmosphere. It’s going to be great.”
While staying alive in the postseason may not be on the line, the top spot in the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division certainly will.
Three weeks into the 2012 season, Clintondale and Clawson were each 3-0 overall and 2-0 in Bronze play.
The Dragons faced St. Clair Shores Lakeview (0-3) after press time, while Clawson battled Marine City High (2-1). Both were crossover contests.
“We’re looking forward to it,” Clawson coach Jim Sparks said. “At this point in the season, it’s for the top spot in the Bronze, which is pretty cool.”
Neither team struggled in the first third of its schedule.
Clintondale beat Madison Heights Lamphere, Warren Lincoln and Center Line High by an average score of 42-15.
Clawson beat Harper Woods High, Center Line and New Haven High by an average of 43-7.
“Our schedule has been a little weird this year, where by we were probably favored in the first three, and the next three will be absolute meat grinders,” Sparks said of the Marine City, Clintondale and Week 5 game against St. Clair Shores South Lake (3-0). “It’s going to be tough. This is the first time I’ve faced Clintondale, so it’s going to be fun to prepare for a new team. They aren’t fancy in what they do. They’re going to come right at us with the ball and use their size on defense, so it’s going to be a great test.”
“Right now, we’re getting great play from our offensive line, the backs are hitting the hole, and the defense is getting 11 guys to the ball,” Schindler said when asked about his team’s 3-0 start. The Dragons were 3-0 last season before ending the year 5-4. “The key for us is doing what we’ve been doing so far. If we do that and slow down their offense, we’ll be in the game.”
Clawson has won the only two games between the teams, a 47-0 victory in 1962 and a 50-0 win in 1961.
In other football action
Royal Oak High hosts Hazel Park High at 7 p.m. Sept. 21.
Royal Oak Shrine travels to Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood at 1 p.m. Sept. 22.