JACKSON – It’s difficult not to overreact to one week of results when you’ve only got a six-game regular season to sample, especially with such a bizarre offseason leading up to the season opener.
Despite those challenges, there were plenty of promising signs for some area teams, mixed with some concerning habits of a few others, that give us enough evidence to set a standard for the upcoming season. We’ve combed through the results and compared and contrasted all of the Jackson-area high school football teams after the opening week of the season and compiled our first version of the 2020 power rankings.
Here’s the first installment of our Jackson-area prep football power rankings, presented in reverse order.
The Comets held off Michigan Center for a 21-13 win last week to kick off the Cascades Conference slate in impressive fashion. Trent Hocter led the charge for Hanover-Horton with 104 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 23 carries.
Up next: at Addison (1-0)
T9. Springport (1-0)
The Spartans used three first-quarter touchdowns to jump ahead of Concord and hold on for a 32-12 win to open the season last week. Unfortunately, Springport will be out of action until Oct. 2, following a decision by the school to move to virtual learning for two weeks after two students tested positive for the coronavirus over the weekend.
T9. Homer (1-0)
The Trojans got back to their usual business in Week 1, using a stout defensive effort to keep the opposing offense in check for a 13-6 win over Quincy. A little more offensive production would take a little stress off the defense and we might see that this Friday.
Up next: at Union City (0-1)
8. Jonesville (1-0)
The Comets pitched a shutout to open the season and put up some impressive offensive numbers in the process. Senior running back Alec Purdy rushed for 102 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries, while senior quarterback Connor Lauwers was 5-for-7 passing for 84 yards and two touchdowns, as he targeted Luke Dawson (50 yards and one touchdown) and Curtis Knapp (one touchdown reception). Jonesville looks like one of the most complete teams in the Big 8 Conference this fall.
Up next: vs. Edwardsburg (1-0)
T5. Grass Lake (1-0)
Even a last-minute schedule change couldn’t slow down the Warrior offense last week, as Grass Lake rolled through Livonia Clarenceville for a 41-24 road victory. Senior quarterback proved why he was a first-team Dream Team selection last year, throwing for 313 yards and four touchdowns, while senior wideout Josh Sherwood added six receptions for 135 yards and one touchdown.
Up next: vs. East Jackson (0-1)
T5. Hillsdale (1-0)
The Hornets didn’t overpower Hudson in their narrow 28-21 victory to open up Lenawee County Athletic Association play, but they did prove they have plenty of weapons to deploy on offense. Senior tailback Brock Woodard rushed for 108 yards and one touchdown on nine carries, while Blake Schaffner added 71 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries, Brody Young added 51 yards on seven carries and Luke Kornak had five yards and one touchdown on 10 carries.
Up next: vs. Blissfield (1-0)
T5. Lumen Christi (1-0)
The Titans had quite possibly the worst first half of football in their program’s history last Friday when they fell behind 19-0 at Marshall. Lumen Christi showed championship resolve in their 28-point second-half performance, however, and I bet we’ll see a noticeably stronger start to their Week 2 matchup at home against Hastings this week.
Up next: vs. Hastings (0-1)
4. Columbia Central (1-0)
The Golden Eagles picked up arguably the most impressive win of Week 1 when they took down Division 6 state semifinalist Onsted in a 21-7 home win. Senior quarterback Ethan Emerson rushed for 155 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries and was also 8-of-14 passing for 151 yards to fuel the Columbia Central offense.
Up next: at Clinton (1-0)
3. Parma Western (1-0)
The Panthers opened up their season with a 42-20 win over Hastings in Interstate 8 Conference play. Western used an aerial attack led by senior wideout Landon French, who hauled in five receptions for 174 yards and three touchdowns. Junior quarterback Nolan Wheeler was 11-for-16 passing for 232 yards with three touchdowns and one interception and added 49 yards and one touchdown on six carries.
Up next: vs. Battle Creek Pennfield (0-1)
2. Addison (1-0)
The Panthers made a loud statement in Week 1 with their 52-0 dismantling of Manchester to open the Cascades Conference schedule. The defending league champions used a variety of ball carriers to wear down the Flying Dutchmen defense, including Sam Larrowe, Dylan Malinowski, Nathan Rodlund, Noah Springer, Frederick Bills and Nicholas Trumble. It might be early, but Addison seems to have all the pieces in place for another run at a conference championship.
Up next: vs. Hanover-Horton (1-0)
1. Jackson (1-0)
The Vikings rolled past Tecumseh for a 44-20 home win last week thanks to a stellar performance from senior tailback Dorion Riley, who rushed for 321 yards and six touchdowns on 23 carries. Unfortunately, we won’t get a chance to see a Jackson-Chelsea rematch this season in the SEC White, but the Vikings have enough weapons, especially in No. 21, that they could run the table and head into the playoffs with a lot of momentum.
Up next: vs. Monroe (1-0)
MORE JACKSON-AREA HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS COVERAGE
Jackson-area football highlights: Dorion Riley rushes for 321 yards and six touchdowns
Week 1 Jackson-area scoreboard
PHOTOS: Lumen Christi stuns Marshall with second-half rally
Lumen Chrisit survives ugly first half to stun Marshall in 2020 season opener
Jackson-area high school football team previews, capsules for 2020 season
25 Jackson-area football players to watch in 2020