By Mike Moore (file photo from 2015 season above)
Michigan Center — It’s an 0-1 hole right now, and if the Michigan Center football team wants to avoid doubling down on that, the defense is going to have to show up, and in a big way.
“It’s on us to improve and make things better,” Center Defensive Coordinator Matt Desmarais said Thursday morning.
The Cardinals have their second home game in as many weeks tonight, a 7 p.m. conference opener with Hanover-Horton.
“That’s a very good team,” Desmarais said. “They run an offense we struggled to stop last week.”
Center opened the year with 48-14 loss to Climax-Scotts last week, putting a team that went 4-5 a year ago in a precarious situation of trying to avoid an 0-2 start for the third season in a row.
“Hanover has some skilled guys in the backfield, some shifty guys,” Desmarais said. “They also have a good line we’re going to have to contend with.”
The lopsided loss was surprising considering Center held a 14-12 lead at halftime.
The offense was plagued by turnovers in the second half, though, and the defense wasn’t able to hold firm while dealing with a short field more often than not.
“We came out in the first half and did a great job,” Desmarais said. “We led 14-12 at halitme and were very pleased. Then the second half, a few things went bad. We didn’t overcome the adversity like we’re trying to. The goal is now to get better a little bit every week.”
Desmarais said the key for the defense finding success against Hanover is playing as a unit.
“There will be ball fakes and play action and all that,” Desmarais said.
And while he wouldn’t say a Week 2 game is must win, or that the team is playing desperate, both teams face the daunting task of resurrecting an 0-2 season after a loss tonight.
“Not starting 0-2 is huge. The conference is wide open, and you can’t fall behind the eight-ball,” Desmarais said. “We have to come to play. We have to find a way to get things rolling. … The guys are looking forward to it. This was a tough week of practice. We busted our butts. The kids responded. Now it’s about going out and performing all the little things and see what happens.”
Mike Moore is a play-by-play commentator and Sports Writer for JTV Sports. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s also the author of ‘Love, Defined; A Dedication to the Love, Sacrifice, and Magic of Motherhood.’
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