Stirred, not shaken
It was a week of high school football without any notable upsets but there was still some shifting in both the Big Five and Little Five polls when the third UPSSA poll of the season was released, Tuesday. There were two No. 1 vs. No. 3 matchups in Week 5 as Menominee took on Kingsford and North Central hosted Forest Park. In the end, the two No. 1 teams certainly proved their point. Big Five No. 1 Menominee (5-0) blasted Kingsford 42-13 and Little Five No. 1 Forest Park (5-0) handled North Central 35-8.
With Forest Park’s victory, they remained No. 1, but also earned another first place vote, strengthing their hold atop the poll. Kingsford (4-1) and North Central (4-1) each dropped one spot to No. 4 in their respective polls. But there is still more to be decided.
Week Six features a battle for Little Five supremacy as Forest Park hosts No. 2 North Dickinson (5-0). The Nordics punched their postseason ticket after defeating Bark River-Harris (1-4) 33-8 without talented running back Tim Hruska, who was out with an ankle injury. North Dickinson has an eight-game schedule and became playoff eligible for a state record 23rd consecutive year with their fifth victory of the season.
Marquette (4-1) bounced back nicely in Week 5 with a 63-32 shellacking of Gladstone (0-5). The Redmen received two votes in the poll, which wasn’t enough for a return to ranking, but that could change with a victory over Kingsford on Friday night. The remaining schedule for Marquette is difficult, as the Redmen have the Flivvers, No. 3 Negaunee (5-0) and Menominee on tap, needing one more victory to become playoff eligible.
No. 2 Ishpeming (5-0) took care of business again in Week 5, dismantling Norway on Saturday. The Hematites are a unanimous No. 1 in the Associated Press Division 7 state poll.
Moving up in the Little Five poll was No. 3 St. Ignace. The Saints (4-1) lost a lot of talent after the 2012 season but are proving they still have plenty, as they handled Sault Ste. Marie 29-21 on Friday night.
Eight-Man supremacy will also be on the line in Week 6 as No. 1 Rapid River (5-0) travels to face No. 2 (Cedarville). The game will be played at DeTour. Cedarville routed Rapid River in the last regular season matchup in which a few key Rockets went down with injuries during the game. Rapid River got revenge in the postseason, ousting Cedarville. Both teams have rolled over their opponents this season, setting the stage for what should be a barnburner.