Titans fighting through cancellations, offensive woes

Photo by Larry Caruso

Hank Minckiewicz

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for the Anderson football team. After beating Dearborn Edsel Ford 20-14 in its delayed season-opener on Sept. 18, the Titans entered a three-game stretch that saw them outscored 125-7.

Then, to add insult to injury, Covid-19 stepped in, infecting some Wyandotte Roosevelt team members and forcing cancellation of the Anderson-Wyandotte game on Oct. 16. It was the second game of the season lost for Roosevelt, which also had to cancel a game against Allen Park the week earlier.

The Titans tried but were unable to arrange a replacement varsity game, but they did manage to put together a junior varsity game against Dearborn Divine Child, which they won.

Over the past few years, Anderson has been forced to bring numerous underclassmen up to the varsity squad leaving the jayvee chronically undermanned.

Varsity coach Mitch Dobek said getting a win over a “name” school was a real boost for the jayvee squad and the program overall.  

Dobek said his team played well in its opening night victory, but that thing got dicely after that.

The Titans played Bay City Western in their second game and got crushed 55-7.

“We were overmatched,” Dobek said. “That was probably the most physical team we’ve seen play.”

The next week, the Titans saw another powerhouse in Woodhaven. The Warriors were undefeated league champs last year and are 4-1 this season and they rolled over the Titans by a 35-0 count.

“They just had more talent and were more athletic than us,” said Dobek.

That brought about the fourth week of the season and by far the most disappointing loss, according to the Southgate coach.

“I thought we would have shown a little more fight against Trenton,” he said. “We are at that point where when we fall behind, you see heads drop. 

“We think we’re ready and then something seems to happen. We don’t make mistakes in practice, but we get into games and suddenly it’s a different story.”

Despite the setbacks, Dobek said he has been pleased with the play of most of his players and singled out several, including senior two-way linemen Ian Norscia and Dominique Dixon.

“Those guys really play their butts off,” Dobek said. “They work hard, they practice hard and they play hard.”

Dobek said junior Charlie Mickell and sophomore Ryan MacDonell have also picked up their games and made an impression.

Dobek also said that freshman quarterback Chase Barbosa has performed well under trying circumstances.

“There have been some growing pains,” said Dobek. “But for a freshman quarterback, he’s done well. He’s a competitor and a silent kind of a leader and I think he’s won over the older guys.” 

The Titans capped the regular season on Oct. 24 against Allen Park, a team that has had a Covid-related cancellation of its own. That game was played after the Star’s deadline.

After that are the Michigan High School Athletic Association state playoffs the weekend of Oct. 30-31.

Anderson is in a district with Carlson, Trenton, Allen Park, Riverview, Huron, River Rouge and Melvindale. Dobek said there may be some changes pending upsets, but right now it appears the Titans will face a first-round rematch with Allen Park.

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