IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WJMN) – Week 5 of the high school football season is upon us and we’re excited to announce our next ‘Game of the Week’.
We will be heading to Dickinson County this Friday where the Iron Mountain Mountaineers (3-1) will host the (3-1) Bark River-Harris Broncos.
“Coach Stenberg has done a great job over there for a number of years,” said Robin Marttila, the head coach for Iron Mountain. “If you make the playoffs more years than not you’re doing something right. They’re a good football team that we’re going to have to contend with on Friday night.”
“This is the game on our schedule that we’re looking forward to all year and the one that really measures what kind of team we are,” said Al Stenberg, the head coach for Bark River-Harris. “We’ve never beaten Iron Mountain in our school’s history. Every time we play Iron Mountain, it’s an historic game.”
Both teams have been hard at work preparing for one another. Marttila says there’s no secret to what the Broncos are going to try to do.
“Bark River is going to want to run the football,” said Marttila. “They have a big offensive line, they’re in the big double-tight, double-wide offense, coach Stenberg has been doing that for a number of years. They’re going to want to run the fullback, they’ll want to run the halfback on the jet, they run the trap very well, the jet-sweep very well and their offense line play has been really good for a number of years. So, we have to contend with that.”
“Our keys to victory will be controlling the line of scrimmage,” said Stenberg. “We’ve had a fair deal of success running the ball against them in the past but their big play ability and speed on the edges and athletic ability has really decided games. We’re a little bit faster this year and I think we’re a little more comparable in speed.”
Both coaches say limiting mistakes will be key to winning the game.
“We have to care of the football,” said Marttila. “That’s priority number one on the offensive side of the ball. We’ve put in a few new wrinkles just like coach Stenberg has and just like other coaches do on a weekly basis.”
“Our time is going to come one of these years,” said Stenberg. “Is this the year that we get over that hump? They are definitely the precipice of the year for us.”
With both teams entering the contest at 3-1 overall this game could along way in determining playoff positioning.
“We want to play them down the road in the playoffs in division 8 and I’m sure they want the same thing,” said Marttila. “I think it’s going to be a great high school football game because both teams want to win for playoff points and playoff seedings.”
“To be 3-1 and have a shot at Iron Mountain is an honor,” said Stenberg. “I know our kids are excited about being the Game of the Week.”
Kick off for our Game of the Week is set for Friday night at 7:00ET/6:00CT at Mountaineer Stadium.
“I’m hoping the stands are packed and we got a lot of people on the rail around the stadium,” said Marttila. “At the end of the day, we just have to go out and make plays.”
“Yeah, it’s a great place to play a U.P. football game,” said Stenberg. “There is a lot of rich tradition and history there. So, it’s nice to go inside those yellow walls and play a hard fought U.P. football game.”
Tune into Local 3 Sports this Friday night at 10:30ET for our 5th Down. We’ll have full highlights and post game reaction from the winner of the game between Iron Mountain and Bark River Harris.