Football Preview: Improved Huron hopes to derail Pioneer’s playoff hopes

The Pioneer football team has one goal the rest of the way this season – the playoffs. And to get there they have to win six games with three already in the win column and four left on the schedule.

Looking at the schedule, it’s safe to assume that the Pioneers are going to have to beat a very good Bedford team to get to six wins.

We can assume they won’t beat Saline. The Hornets have not lost an SEC game since 2013 when they lost to Bedford twice – once in the regular season and again in the playoffs. Saline (winners of four straight since losing their opener to undefeated Chippewa Valley) last lost to Pioneer in 2012 by a score of 7-6.

Let’s also assume that Pioneer will beat Ypsilanti in the final game of the season. The Grizzlies were 0-4 before beating Tecumseh last week.

That leaves Bedford. The Kicking Mules have won four in a row and face Saline on Friday in what should be a good game and decide the SEC White Division.  

It also leaves Huron on Friday. And when it comes to city rivals, assuming is, well, you know the expression. Pioneer should win. They probably will win. But nothing has really come easy for the Pioneers and Huron has shown some significant growth under first-year coach Antaiwn Mack.

The game also is at Huron and the students will be in the crowd and loud for this matchup. The River Rats are not going to make things easy on the visitors and if they can get a few players back and avoid the big mistakes, they could just hang around in this one.

The key for Huron will be stopping Pioneer’s potent offense. Led by outstanding quarterback Conor Easthope, the Pioneers can move the ball and put points on the board. They have scored 64 points in their last two games and once they get on a roll, they are very tough to stop.

Meanwhile, the River Rats have allowed 51, 52 and 42 points in their last three games. They need to shore up the defense or this could be over in a hurry.

One thing is for certain, Pioneer Coach Bill Bellers and his excellent staff are not looking ahead to Bedford. They are totally focused on the River Rats because when it comes to Pioneer vs. Huron, one never assumes – because, well, you know why.