Hartland football coach Brian Savage is just happy to be playing football, let alone a home game with Brighton to wrap up the regular season.
“It should be a lot of fun, and thankfully the kids get to play it,” he said. “It wasn’t on the schedule (at first), but they were able to redo it.”
The game originally was set to be played in Week 2 of the season before football practice ground to a halt due to coronavirus concerns, but was rescheduled for what would have been the KLAA crossover game for both teams.
The game will be broadcast by The Livingston Post starting at 6:50 p.m. Click here for the link.
The game will be the last regular-season game on Hartland’s grass field, which is set to be replace by artificial turf next summer. Rain is in the forecast, which may or may not put a crimp in both offenses.
“It sounds like it’s going to be very wet for both teams,” Savage said. “We’ll have to find out.”
Both teams are 3-2 this season and are tied with Northville for third place in their playoff division with a 49.20 point average. Northville plays host to Howell (44.4 average) on Friday.
The winners of those games will tie for second in the KLAA West and likely play host to the losers, in some form, in playoff openers next week.
But that’s next week.
Tonight, Brighton and Hartland feature offenses that have evolved through fits and starts during the season. Hartland has looked dominant at times, but also fell into a 21-0 hole early in last week’s game against Canton, a 49-28 loss.
“We need to come out and play four quarters,” Savage said. “That’s been our biggest thing. We’ve done that in some games and a quarter here and a quarter there in others. We need to get all four quarters together, and when we do that, this team has a lot of potential.”
Quarterback Holden D’Arcy runs the show on offense for the Eagles, while John Aurandt does the same for Brighton.
“It’s just another well-coaches Brighton team,” Savage said. “They move kids around the field. (Aurandt) is a speedy kid who can chuck the ball when he needs to. I don’t know, I think they had some time off in Covid to draw up some trick plays and add a little wrinkle we’ve had to prepare for this week.”
Once again, the crowds are limited to 1,000, including the Hartland cheerleaders and band.
“It will be fun to play before crowds bigger than they have been,” Savage said.
fBirghton-Hartland matchups are generally physical, and although the grass field at Hartland drains well, a downpour tonight could lead to two teams slogging it out in the mud.
“You can’t fall asleep with them out there,” Savage said of Brighton, although it could also be said of Hartland’s attack as well. “Our kids should do all right. We hope we can space them out enough and make some things happen for our side.”