2019 Football Preview: Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest

2018 Record: 3-6

By: C & G Sports Staff | Rochester Post | Published August 20, 2019


Last season’s record: 3-6
League: Michigan Independent Athletic Conference
Returning starters: N/A
First game: 7 p.m. Aug. 29 at Mount Clemens High

Offensive keys:
The Crusaders scored a total of 144 points last season, which was their lowest number since 2013.

With a returning quarterback in Luke Lanier and a returning running back in Aaron Gunn, the Crusaders will have plenty of experience and optimism to lead them on that side of the ball. Gunn was an All-League first team selection last year.

Making way for Gunn in the backfield is an offensive line anchored by four seniors in Will Cudney, Parker Bowlds, Cam Rubio and Tim Thorsen. Cudney earned a spot on the All-Conference second team last year.

Defensive keys:
Last season, the Crusaders defense surrendered a total of 289 points. Almost half of them came in the first three games of the season before the defense tightened up.

The defense will look to build on that momentum as the 2019 season proceeds.

Coach’s outlook:
With Whitmore Lake High and Livonia Clarenceville coming into the conference, the MIAC now has seven member schools in its football league. Even with the added competition, Lutheran Northwest coach Tim Gonyeau believes his team will be competitive if it can stay healthy.


at Mount Clemens High (1-8) — 7 p.m. Aug. 29
The Battling Bathers have not made the playoffs since 1994 and have not had a winning season since 1997. When the Crusaders played Mount Clemens last season, they scored their highest point total of the season in a 62-34 win.

vs. Clarkston Everest Collegiate (9-2) — 7 p.m. Sept. 6
Since the Mountaineers program was founded in 2013, it has accumulated a 45-18 record. Everest topped Northwest 35-0 in last season’s matchup.

at Auburn Hills Oakland Christian (3-5) — 7 p.m. Sept. 13
Despite being shut out by Oakland Christian last season, Northwest leads the all-time series 8-3.

at Dearborn Heights Star International (1-8) — 7 p.m. Sept. 20
The Falcons historically have struggled against the Crusaders, losing all five of their meetings. Northwest narrowly escaped with a 22-20 win last season.

vs. Southfield Christian (3-6) — 7 p.m. Sept. 27
The Eagles have won six total games over the last two seasons. Their last time beating Northwest came in a 44-8 victory in 2013.

vs. Sterling Heights Parkway Christian (9-1) — 7 p.m. Oct. 4
The Eagles have either made the playoffs or had a winning season in 10 of the past 13 years. In a 61-20 win over the Crusaders last season, Parkway Christian tied its highest point total of the season.

at Livonia Clarenceville (0-9) — 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11
The Trojans and Crusaders last matched up in 2012. Clarenceville won the game 28-7 and leads the all-time series 15-3.

vs. Whitmore Lake High (4-5) — 7 p.m. Oct. 18
The Crusaders and Trojans will come back from a 26-year hiatus when they face off this season. In that matchup nearly three decades ago, Northwest won 13-6 for one of its two wins that season.

at Lutheran Westland (5-4) — 7 p.m. Oct. 24
The Warriors lead the Crusaders 18-15 in the all-time series. When the two teams met last season, Westland scored its highest point total of the season in a 46-6 win.