Mason County Central’s football team will return to action when it hosts North Muskegon for a game at 7 p.m., Friday, at Spartan Community Field in Scottville.
The Spartans, while having played just three games on the field, are nursing their share of injuries. Central coach Scott Briggs said two players will be out with injuries, and the program had some quarantines because of COVID-19, too.
“They’re all back,” Briggs said of the quarantined players. “It was probably a good thing we didn’t have a game last week.”
Central (1-4) last played on the road in Manistee two weeks ago, falling to the Chippewas, 27-0. The Spartans are next tasked to play the Norsemen (2-5), but their record is deceiving, Briggs said.
“They’re a very good team,” he said. “They’re right in the Oakridge game. They were in the Montague game. They played Muskegon Catholic very tough. They’ve been playing every team tough. They’re a good team.”
Last week, Ravenna defeated North Muskegon, 17-6.
Briggs described North Muskegon as a physical team that will change the look of their offensive alignment quite a bit.
“They have a ton of formations and do a ton of shifting. They try to get you out of position,” Briggs said. “Your kids have to be in the right positions. It’s definitely a challenge for us to combat that variety of looks.”
The Spartans will be looking at how certain groupings of players are lined up before the snap to give Central an idea of what’s to come. It will likely simplify what Central needs to look for out of North Muskegon’s offensem, he said.
Briggs said the Norsemen typically use a 3-4 defense, and the linebackers do a great job of flowing to the football. But he expects North Muskegon to move some of those linebackers up to the line of scrimmage against Central’s single-wing offense.
“They’re very aggressive and very active defensively,” he said. “We’ll try to keep them off-balance with counters, power (runs) and passes. We’ve got to keep them guessing.”
Briggs said North Muskegon will bring in seven previous weeks of experience of playing for the traditional eighth week of the nine-week season. Central, though, has only played three previous games this year.
“We’re still catching up,” he said. “We just want to play and play football. I think we’ll have a good showing for it. We’re anxious for it.”
Briggs also was looking forward to the final home game for his players in front of the Spartans’ faithful, too.
“We’ll make the most of the opportunity that we have and understand that we only have a couple more games,” he said.