Friday, Aug. 31: West Branch Ogemaw Heights @ Petoskey
This is the Big North Conference opener for both teams, as Petoskey begins defense of its league title. The Northmen have come to be known for a plodding but brutally efficient ,multi-back running game under coach Kerry VanOrman, and their 2012 edition looks no different. In their 21-0 season opening win against Sault Ste. Marie, senior Chase Ledingham ran for 155 yards and two TDs while Kurt Boucher, just a sophomore, had 71 yards and a score of his own. Directing the attack for Petoskey is senior Quinn Ameel, a returnee at QB.
Petoskey’s defense was the real star, though, standing stout to shut out the Sault while holding them to five first downs and under 100 yards of total offense. That can’t be particularly reassuring news to Ogemaw Heights, which lost last season to P-town 56-7. That was Ogemaw’s first-ever Big North game, however, and this should be a more battle-tested unit. Aside from the Petoskey loss, offense wasn’t the problem last year for the Falcons and it could again be a potent unit thanks in no small part to three college prospects — senior running back Brandon Bermac, senior receiver Jerome Hunter and one of the top junior linemen in Michigan, 6-5, 265 Alec Stevens. Ogemaw Heights beat Standish-Sterling last week 38-20. Bermac ran for 156 yards and two TDs and Hunter had 102 receiving yards and a TD.