Wildcats hope to end skid vs. Chiefs

The Alpena football team has fought hard against some tough teams this year, but has only come away with one win. However, the Wildcats (1-4) held their own against a tough Traverse City West squad last week, falling only 36-22.

Their game tonight against Cheboygan (4-1) could be the perfect chance for them to pick up a win and turn some heads.

Cheboygan has been turning some heads this year already, beating a stunned Petoskey squad 9-6 last week. This was the first time they had beaten Petoskey since 2007.

Senior fullback Nik Bevier had a lot to do with that win. He picked up 114 yards for his team and scored their touchdown to pick up the win.

“We know they’re going to run the ball alot, they’re strong up front and just pound it down or throat, or at least try to,” Alpena quarterback Tyler Pintar said.

They’re also going to have to watch out for some tough defensive lineman, such as Jameson Knolton and Colt Hudak. They are big players that know how to stuff up running lanes.

Receivers are going to have to watch out for linebackers like Trenton Jarman, DJ Sayers and Nate Stempsky, who helped shut down Petoskey’s offense.

However, Alpena wide receiver Kaleb Smith believes the Alpena spread could make the difference.

“I don’t think they can handle our spread. We’ll be running outside for passes, running a lot of jet passes, a lot of fake jets and play action this week,” Smith said.

Cheboygan coach Jack Coon is not taking Alpena lightly. He is particularly impressed by the physical size of the team, as he recently told the Cheboygan Daily Tribune.

“They’re just always enormous. There’s no difference this year than from years in the past. They’re always a team that seems to look like they have the talent, and they have some good coaching down there,” Coon said.

He was particularly impressed by Pintar and Ferguson.

“(Tyler) Pintar is a fine athlete that can deliver the ball at any spot on the field, but the one who impresses me the most is Jordan Ferguson,” Coon said. “He is just a load. If he breaks that line of scrimmage, he has also got the speed to go the distance from 60 to 70 yards out,” Coon told The Tribune.

Alpena will try to maximize its pass efficiency to throw off the run focused Cheboygan defense. Coach Mel Skillman’s spread offense relies on the spreading players around the field and on the arm of Pintar.

“We’re just gonna try to spread them out and get the play down the field and get things working. I think they’re a run stopping defense and they won’t even know what’s coming,” Pintar said.

Eric Benac can be reached via email at ebenac@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.