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WISE GUY: Early rivalry games feel out of place

The Wise Guy likes a great high school football match-up as much as anyone.

But some match-ups deserve to be played later than Week 2 of the season.

Take Lincoln at Center Line, for example.

The Abes and Panthers have played for the Brown Jug for more than 60 years.

In most of those years, the teams met in October or November.

Not in 2014.

Lincoln visits the arch-rival Panthers at noon Saturday in a Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division game.

On Friday, Dakota plays at Chippewa Valley, and Eisenhower is at Stevenson in MAC Red Division ďrivalryĒ games.

The Wise Guy isnít happy about it.

Heís not the only one.

ďI think the league made a mistake, and I think every coach believes the same thing, that rivalry week should be (Week) 7 or 8,Ē Dakota coach Mike Giannone said.

ďThere should be build-up. Kids are just getting into school.Ē

Stevenson versus Eisenhower was for many years THE game in the MAC Red.

The Titans and Eagles remain intense rivals, but this year they meet in both teamsí division opener.

Thatís not Macomb County football.

The leaves havenít turned.

The season hasnít taken on any kind of form.

There isnít the accustomed anticipation.

Games like Lincoln-Center Line, Dakota-Chippewa Valley and Eisenhower-Stevenson used to be worth waiting for.

They still are.

Hereís a look at the Week 2 games involving county teams:



THURSDAY, SEPT. 4



OWENDALE-GAGETOWN AT MERRITT: The Merritt Mustangs play Owen-Gage in their first Mid-Michigan 8-Man Football League game of the season. Josh Hood had five sacks last week as the Mustangs opened the season with a non-league win over Heston. PREDICTION: Owen-Gage by 8.



FRIDAY, SEPT. 5



ANCHOR BAY at PORT HURON: The Tars are 5-5 against the Big Reds since 1997. PREDICTION: Port Huron by 5.



ARMADA at CROSWELL-LEXINGTON: Greg Stark ran for 118 yards last week in the Tigersí win over Clawson. New Tigers coach Todd Stumpís team gets its first test of the Blue Water Area Conference schedule. PREDICTION: Cros-Lex by 8.



DAKOTA at CHIPPEWA VALLEY: The Cougarsí regular- and post-season victories last year gave Dakota 15 wins in a row over the Big Reds. PREDICTION: Dakota by 2.



EISENHOWER at STEVENSON: Stevensonís victory last year gave the teams a split in their last eight meetings. PREDICTION: Eisenhower by 4.



LAKE SHORE at SOUTH LAKE: Lake Shore tries to start the season 2-0. South Lake has won four in a row over the Shorians, following a four-game series winning streak by Lake Shore. PREDICTION: Lake Shore by 2.



LONDON (ONTARIO) CLARKE ROAD at DE LA SALLE: The Pilots opened the season against a team from out of state; this week they play their first home game at Wayne State against a team from outside the country. Josh Wilk had 11 tackles and Ryan Smith nine in the Pilotsí Week 1 victory over Toledo Catholic Central. PREDICTION: De La Salle by 13.



WARREN-MOTT at LíANSE CREUSE NORTH: The Marauders and LC North met every year from 1997 through 2008 as members of the MAC Blue and White divisions. They renew the rivalry in both teamsí MAC Red opener. PREDICTION: Warren-Mott by 3.



YALE at RICHMOND: Richmond is 8-4 against Yale, including one playoff game, since both schools joined the Blue Water Area Conference. PREDICTION: Richmond by 5.



Also, Clintondale by 7 over visiting East Detroit; Fraser by 5 over visiting Cousino; Madison by 6 over visiting Fitzgerald; Ford by 2 over host Utica; Lakeview by 4 over host LíAnse Creuse; Cass City by 3 over visiting Memphis; Mount Clemens by 2 over visiting New Haven; Romeo by 2 over host Grosse Pointe South; Grosse Pointe North by 4 over host Roseville; Warren Woods-Tower by 5 over visiting Sterling Heights, and Michigan Collegiate by 8 over Summit (at Bishop Foley).



SATURDAY, SEPT. 6



LINCOLN at CENTER LINE: Lincoln has won five of the last six meetings. PREDICTION: Lincoln by 1.



STAR INTERNATIONAL at PARKWAY CHRISTIAN: Jackson Allenís 65-yard interception return for a touchdown helped Parkway Christian beat Hamtramck in Week 1. PREDICTION: Parkway Christian by 4.



Also, Our Lady of the Lakes by 6 over visiting Lutheran North.



Last week: 18-9 (.667).



Season: 18-9 (.667).

Last Updated: 9/3/2014 6:16:46 PM EST

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