The typical motivators for a high school football team at the end of a season aren’t there for Port Huron. But that doesn’t mean the Big Reds aren’t motivated.
“Football – to guys who love football – football is the motivation,” Port Huron coach Ryan Mullins said. “And really, our focus has been that it’s for the seniors. It’s their last two games, and we’ve got some very committed seniors, so our young guys are there to support them and make these last two games the best that they can be for the seniors.”
Port Huron (1-3, 2-5) has two games remaining this season, starting with a Macomb Area Conference White Division clash against Utica (1-3, 3-4) at 7 p.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium.
It won’t have conference title ramifications, and it won’t be part of a playoff resume, both of which are rare for the Big Reds under Mullins. Closing the season strong is still a major goal for the team.
“I just want to leave everything on the field,” junior quarterback DeAngielo Sanderson Jr. said. “Just go out there, and what happens, happens. I just leave everything on the field. It’s definitely (a chance to) build momentum. You can always start off where you left off.
“But this year, we also want to end off on a good note. End 2-0. That’s what our goal is.”
It helps that the final two games are homecoming and the cross-town rivalry against Port Huron Northern. Friday’s game will be just the third for the Big Reds in Memorial Stadium this season, as they had an odd scheduling quirk in which their fourth home game was the Northern game, and five of their first seven were on the road.
“It’s nice knowing that we’re here for two weeks,” Mullins said. “It has been a lot of road games, so we’re happy to be back. Our last home game (a win against Roseville) we felt like we had a good crowd, and it was a good environment, so we’re looking forward to that again.”
On the field, the Big Reds will be looking to contain Utica running back Kumehnnu Gwilly, who Mullins called one of the best backs in the state.
“He’s a good athlete, a big, strong guy,” Mullins said. “It’s going to be a challenge for us defensively. We’re going to have to stop him. He’s a threat to take it all the way every time he touches it, and he’s going to get the ball a lot.
“He’s a strong, strong player. And you have to account for him on every play.”
Contact Paul Costanzo at (810) 989-6251 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @PaulCostanzo.
Utica at Port Huron
Port Huron Northern at Sterling Heights
Tower at Marine City
St. Clair at Marysville
Algonac at Richmond
Almont at Croswell-Lexington
Armada at Capac
Yale at Imlay City
Memphis at Sandusky
Marlette at Harbor Beach
Brown City at Ubly
Deckerville at Peck
North Huron at C-PS
Dearborn Star at Mooney