Foley ready for pair of games that could shape rest of season

By: Mike Moore | Madison - Park News | Published September 2, 2015

 Foley coach Sean Cobb talks things over with his guys during camp. The Ventures have a pair of tough games coming up against Our Lady of the Lakes and Cranbrook.

Foley coach Sean Cobb talks things over with his guys during camp. The Ventures have a pair of tough games coming up against Our Lady of the Lakes and Cranbrook.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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MADISON HEIGHTS — The summer heat had certainly returned to the practice field in late August.

“It comes right up off the turf,” Madison Heights Bishop Foley coach Sean Cobb said with a laugh Aug. 30.

The temperatures may cool as fall settles in, but the sustained heat for Foley is currently in the form of a three-game stretch that could shape the rest of the 2015 season.

After opening the season with a 45-35 victory at Genesee High, Foley faced Riverview Gabriel Richard in a Week 2 game played after press time, and now has back-to-back contests at home with Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 and then at Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood at 1 p.m. Sept. 19.

“Last year those teams pretty much destroyed us, but we were so young,” Cobb said. “We’re a year bigger, stronger and faster. That really makes a difference.”

Lakes went 9-2 a year ago and beat Foley 63-0. Cranbrook finished 6-4 and rolled past Foley 42-9.

“Lakes is loaded, and Cranbrook is just a tough, tough team,” Cobb said. “But the big difference is the experience. We have a year under our belt, and our goal is to play much differently against these teams this time.”

“Those games were rough last year,” junior and three-year varsity vet Joe Schmidt said. “We’re a much different team now.”

A group of starting underclassmen won the 2014 season opener, but from there on out Foley went 0-8, scoring nine points or less in six of those games.

But Cobb entered this year with 14 returning starters and a renewed sense of confidence and optimism.

And this set of games could go a long way in furthering that.

“If we can have a few good games, that would be huge for this team,” Cobb said. “The main thing we want to do is compete. We want to have some competitive games with some of the best teams on our schedule. Last year left a bad taste in our mouth.”

Both Lakes and Cranbrook have strong quarterback play. The Cranes also have depth at running back.

“Our defense is going to have to be key,” Cobb said. “Our offense was strong (in Week 1), and we hope to keep that trend going.”

“We expect to play as hard as we can to compete against these teams,” junior quarterback Alex Dixon said. “I think we’re using the way the games went last year as fuel for this year.”

The schedule doesn’t exactly get soft for Foley following the Cranbrook game, with dates remaining against Royal Oak Shrine and Clarkston Everest Collegiate, among others, but the grind is the stretch the Ventures find themselves in now.

A collection of games that just may show how far this squad has come since last year.

“The football IQ of this group has improved a lot,” Schmidt said. “We’re looking forward to this challenge.”

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