One area team put a stranglehold on their conference with a victory in week six. Another local team has an opporunity this week to keep a powerhouse down and become playoff eligible.
8-Man No. 1 Rapid River (6-0) faced arguably their stiffest test of the season Friday night when it played No. 2 Cedarvile (5-1) at DeTour. It wasn't close. Jake Pearson rushed for over 300 yards and six touchdowns as the Rockets torched the Trojans 48-25. 2012 state runner-up Bellaire remains looming on the schedule, but the Rockets established themselves as clear favorites from this point on.
Little Five No. 4 North Central took care of business at home against Newberry (2-4) Friday night with a 28-12 victory, but this week a tougher test awaits as the Jets (5-1) are set to land at No. 3 North Dickinson. The Nordics (5-1) suffered their first loss of the season Friday night when No. 1 Forest Park dominated them in a 43-20 victory. The Nordics are still banged up and missing tailback Tim Hruska, but they still have plenty of weapons. A victory would make North Central playoff eligible for the third time in the last four years.
Elsewhere, No. 4 Marquette (5-1) re-entered the Big Five poll after a 24-0 victory over the suddenly skidding Kingsford Flivvers (4-2) and making their first appearance in the poll this season was No. 5 Lake Linden-Hubbell (4-2). The Lakes defeated Hancock 24-6 and earned a ranking over fellow 4-2 teams Gogebic and Pickford. In Gogebic's case, the Lakes won the head-to-head matchup this season.
This week a showdown is on top as No. 2 Ishpeming (6-0) hosts No. 3 Negaunee (6-0). No. 1 Menominee (6-0) and No. 5 West Iron County (6-0) are the U.P.'s remaining undefeated teams, along with Forest Park (6-0), which was a unanimous No. 1 for the first time.
No. 1 Menominee (3) (6-0)23
No. 2 Ishpeming (2) (6-0)22
No. 3 Negaunee (6-0)14
No. 4 Marquette (5-1) 9
No. 5 West Iron County (6-0) 7
No. 1 Forest Park (5) (6-0)25
No. 2 St. Ignace (5-1) 19
No. 3 North Dickinson (5-1)15
No. 4 North Central (5-1) 11
No. 5 LL-Hubbell (4-2)5
No. 1 Rapid River (5) (6-0) 25
No. 2 Cedarville (5-1) 20
First-place votes follow team name. Voting conducted by five-member panel for the U.P. Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.