Undefeated and No. 2-ranked Mendon (Division 8) travels to Centreville (1-3) tonight for the Bulldogs’ homecoming game. The Hornets won their St. Joseph Valley League opener in impressive style with a 70-0 home victory over Bronson last week. Centreville dropped a 30-6 contest at White Pigeon.
The Bulldogs last beat Mendon in 2006 (14-6) and the Hornets lead the all-time series 50-13-1. Head coach John Schwartz’ teams have shut out the Bulldogs 16 times since taking over in 1989. Over the last four seasons, Mendon has outscored Centreville 229-8.
“They run a lot of play action,” Schwartz said. “We can’t get caught up in that. The quarterback (Zach Teadt) likes to run with the football. It’s always tougher when you’ve got to [defend] him, too.
“Defensively, they bring a lot of people to the board. They blitz and bring people up there. We’ve been working on that this week — picking up stunts. What happens is you get stopped, get stopped and then you break it and they have no one back and you end up scoring. With stunting you have to be selective and be careful because you’re giving up some gaps.”
The Hornets have no new injuries with which to contend. Schwartz did say junior offensive tackle Jaren Green, a 6-foot-2, 220-pounder who was seeing plenty of minutes early in the season, is scheduled to undergo surgery for a torn MCL and ACL. The injury took place at practice several weeks ago when Green was making a cut. He had the MRI on Monday. Junior running back Mitchell Coler had an MRI Wednesday but Schwartz hadn’t received the results late Wednesday evening when he spoke to JoeInsider.com. It is expected that Coler’s knee will also require surgery.
Schwartz is well aware that Centreville purposely scheduled Mendon for homecoming and that the Bulldogs will be amped up.
“They wanted the homecoming to be the Mendon game,” he said. “I think that will fire their kids up and get them ready. I’m sure they’ll come out and play hard. We’re ready for that.”
A lot of emphasis has been on molding junior quarterback Jordan Medich into a major passing threat over the last few weeks. As a result, and with opponents throwing the ball quite a bit, Schwartz feels his defensive backs have gained some valuable experience against the pass in practice. Receivers are getting more opportunities throughout the week as well.
“I think we’re starting to narrow down the receivers and the people we want to throw to,” Schwartz explained. “We’ve definitely got to get Kyle Wiswell more involved in the passing game. Defensively, we’re getting a little better defending that each week. Hunter Stienbarger has improved a lot. We have seen a lot of that and we’re better because of it.”
Junior tackle Logan Slaughter is visiting Toledo Saturday for the Rockets’ game against Western Michigan University.