Macomb L’Anse Creuse North junior quarterback Justin Szumanski runs downfield during an Aug. 15 scrimmage. The Crusaders are looking to bounce back from a 1-8 finish last season.

Macomb L’Anse Creuse North junior quarterback Justin Szumanski runs downfield during an Aug. 15 scrimmage. The Crusaders are looking to bounce back from a 1-8 finish last season.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Football Preview: L'Anse Creuse North

2017 Record: 1-8

By: C & G Sports Staff | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published July 25, 2018

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Team name: Macomb L’Anse Creuse North

Last season’s record: 1-8

League: Macomb Area
Conference White Division

Returning starters: 10

First game: 7 p.m. Aug. 23 vs. Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse

 

Offensive keys

LCN only posted 14.7 points per game last season, which was the lowest output for the program since 2011. While only three starters return on the side of the ball — all on the offensive line — coach Anthony Kiner said there is plenty to be excited about.

“Our skill guys are definitely young, but they have a lot of talent,” Kiner said. “They just need to bulk up a little bit. In some of our 7-on-7 games, we’ve been impressing some other teams. Opposing coaches tell me we’re really good.”

Kiner said junior tailback Mike Miles will be the focal point.

“(Miles) will be our feature. He’s going to be really good,” Kiner said. “He’s shown a ton so far. We’re really excited about him.”

The signal-caller is undecided, with juniors Justin Szumanski and Antonio Lafata fighting to be under center.

“It’s a good battle. Both are doing really well and you never know how it could play out,” Kiner remarked.

 

Defensive keys

The Crusaders surrendered nearly 35 points per contest in 2017. In total, seven starters return to the unit.

“We have a very good linebacking corps,” Kiner said. “This is probably the best we’ve ever had here.”

Kiner singled out two linebackers in Miles and junior Connor Miscovich.

“Those guys can fill gaps and make tackles,” Kiner said. “We also have talent on our D-line. They’re young, but can move guys around.”

 

Coach’s outlook

“We definitely are looking to bounce back, but the White is no joke,” Kiner said of the league. “We’re playing Grosse Pointe North and South and those could both be Red (Division) teams. (Warren) Mott comes down and we also face (Utica Eisenhower) and (Macomb) Dakota in non-conference, which is no small task. There’s no wiggle room for us, and this year any of the six teams can win the White. But, we believe we can be that team.”

— Timothy Pontzer


2018 SCHEDULE

vs. Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse (1-8) — 7 p.m. Aug. 23

The Crusaders mustered its only win against the similarly named rival last season. Overall, LCN leads the series with its most common opponent 28-15.  

vs. Warren Mott (5-5) — 7 p.m. Aug. 30

Mott’s third-most common opponent, this series resumes for the first time since 2015. The Marauders have won 13 times in the matchup while LCN has only earned three victories, the last coming in 2007.

at Grosse Pointe North (6-3) — 7 p.m. Sept. 7

GPN is gunning for a seventh straight winning season. This will be the first clash between the two since 2013. The Norsemen lead the series 11-2.

vs. Utica Ford II (2-7) — 7 p.m. Sept. 14

The Falcons hold an 8-1 advantage in this series. However, the last two battles have been close with the 2017 game finishing 20-16 in favor of Ford and the 2016 affair being 44-38 win for the Crusaders.

at Warren Cousino (3-6) — 7 p.m. Sept. 21

This will be the first meeting since 2013. Cousino leads the series 11-5.

at Utica Eisenhower (11-1) — 7 p.m. Sept. 28

LCN has only made the playoffs four times since the program’s creation in 1975. The last came in 2016 when Ike won 41-28 in the pre-district round. Overall, Eisenhower is 8-1 in the series. 

vs. Grosse Pointe South (5-5) — 7 p.m. Oct. 5

GPS has enjoyed a winning season in 10 of the past 11 campaigns. The series sees South hold a 26-4 advantage.

vs. Utica High (5-5) — 7 p.m. Oct. 12

Last year, the Chieftains made the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Utica narrowly leads the series 7-6, earning a 42-28 victory in Week 7 last season.

at Macomb Dakota — (7-4), 7 p.m. Oct. 19

The Cougars are 13-1 against its neighbor. LCN’s only win in this series came during Dakota’s first year as a varsity program in 1996.

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