SEVEN weeks of the regular season remain, but it's going to be tough to find a bigger or better game than the Week 3 matchup of Howland and Warren G. Harding on Friday night at Mollenkopf Stadium.
The consensus was that the rebuilding Raiders would have a bit of a tough time matching up with junior tailback De'Veon Smith and the Tigers. Even some ardent Harding supporters didn't seem optimistic.
But Tribune Chronicle sportswriter Mike McLain was right when he predicted the Raiders would be in the game and might have a chance to avenge last season's 25-22 loss at Howland.
The Raiders fell behind 9-0 in the first half, but rallied and led 15-9 midway through the fourth quarter. But after a nearly 90-minute weather delay, Smith and the Tigers produced a late touchdown and PAT kick that gave Howland a 16-15 victory.
The Raiders have to be disappointed, but there is no time to lament. Harding (1-2) visits East Cleveland Shaw on Friday night. Shaw (1-1) is coming off a 35-24 loss to Cleveland Heights.
ON A ROLL: Brookfield coach Randy Clark talked about returning the Warriors to prominence during the summer. He felt this was potentially the best group he has had.
It looks like Clark was right. Brookfield is 3-0 for the first time since 2007 after a 40-14 rout of Jefferson on Friday night. Quarterback Jeremy Quinlan rushed for 210 yards and running back Ryan Mosora added 190 as Brookfield racked up 466 yards on the ground against Jefferson.
The Warriors host Campbell Memorial (3-0) on Friday in one of the best Week 4 matchups. Brookfield has a chance to go 4-0 for the first time since 1994, when the Warriors went 10-2 and last made the playoffs.
SEEING RED (DRAGONS): Some coaches have been known to use our Fearless Forecast as a motivational tool. I've seen it taped to bulletin boards inside various locker rooms.
But some people seem to take the weekly predictions way too seriously. At Bo Rein Stadium on Friday night, Salem had just defeated Niles, 7-3, and Tribune Chronicle correspondent Steve Ruman and a colleague were making their way across the field to interview Quakers coach Mike Kopachy.
Along the way, two Red Dragons assistant coaches took time away from their duties to berate Steve and shout obscenities at him because he had the gall to pick Salem to win.
Memo to those guys: Steve was right. The Quakers won the game.
Clearly, they were taking their frustrations out on a convenient target in the heat of the moment. But these are adults who have been entrusted with the responsibility of helping Niles coach Brad Yeager guide the Red Dragons' players. Shouldn't they have more important things to do after a game?
Setting a better example for those players and acting their ages would be a good place for these renegade types to start.
Yeager, to his credit, is always professional in his dealings with media types. Why can't others do that?