Class C, first round: Bishop Kearney at Pembroke
Bishop Kearney (4-3) at Pembroke (6-1)
1:30 p.m. Saturday
Pembroke got a pretty tough draw in the opening round.
Kearney had the same record last year and played at Oakfield-Alabama, pulling off the upset.
Coach Chip Foster and his Dragons will be preparing for this game like it is the sectional finals, especially knowing the heartbreak of getting knocked out of sectionals in the semifinals and finals of the last two years; with both losses coming to Le Roy.
Kearney is a dangerous team.
There are rumors that the team is dealing with several injuries, including star running back Justin Forte. Forte has 717 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns and could play, even if he's not at 100-percent.
If he doesn't play, the Kings don't have another running back that has had even 10 carries.
So if Forte is banged up, all of the pressure goes on quarterback Jake Meek and the receiving corps. Meet completed 40-of-75 pass attempts this season for 1,002 yards, 10 touchdowns and four interceptions.
His top receiving option is Blair Roberts, who has caught 16 passes for 542 yards and six TDs. Jerome Lewis, Quentin Gause and Mike Robinson are all over 100 yards receiving this season.
Pembroke will look to take an early lead, so there are no worries late in the game.
That is a likely possibility as an explosive offense can so a lot of different things well, all starting at the quarterback position.
David Kleckler is the GR's all-star QB after completing 30-of-56 pass attempts for 651 yards, with 10 touchdowns. He can make passes to Andrew Wright coming out of the backfield or lined up as a wide receiver or can find tight end Ken Babcock down the field.
Wright has caught 13 passes for 340 yards and three touchdowns while Babcock has hauled in 15 passes for 279 yards and five touchdowns.
The run game is also solid with Mike Dibble being the guy that is expected to eat up yardage. The unselfish back has rushed for 522 yards with eight touchdowns and is the quiet player on the field that does all the hard work without the glory.
Wright is the other back and he gets a lot of attention no matter where he is on the field. He has ran the ball for 774 yards and 10 touchdowns and has the ability to break a big play anytime he touches the ball.
Pembroke - ranked 17th in the state - is fairly healthy, but suffered a big blow with OL/DL Josh Hanel getting banged up. With him out of the game, the Dragons couldn't even attempt extra points last week and the squad has probably looked to find a long-snapper to replace him.
A victory could mean another shot at Oakfield-Alabama, which handed the Dragons their only loss of the regular season, 25-24.