Around the Region

10 games to watch for 2015

Olivet has a chance to be a contender in the MIAA this season, but faces a couple of key matchups.
Olivet athletics photo

Let’s get this thing going already!

All the hype has been great for the start of NCAA Division III football, but it’s time to kick off the regular season. And, if you’re like me, you can’t wait. Checking out the schedules, I’d like to pinpoint some interesting matchups this fall.

Most will have conference championship implications, but not all. Some are just good rivalry games and some could offer surprises along the way throughout the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, North Coast Athletic Conference, Ohio Athletic Conference and Presidents’ Athletic Conference.

If you’re wondering who this is – or even if you’re not – I’ve taken over the Around the Great Lakes column this season. I live in the northern Pittsburgh suburbs and have been following D-III football since the turn of the century. I’ve been contributing to this site for three years and look forward to doing even more.

But, enough about me. Let’s check out some games to watch in the Great Lakes Region this season.

No. 19 St. John Fisher at No. 23 Thomas More on Sept. 5: It’s quite an opening to the Regis Scafe era for the Saints. Scafe, who spent 14 years at John Carroll (1998-2012), took over for Jim Hilvert, who posted a 67-19 record in eight years. In addition, Thomas More’s running game takes on a new look with the graduation of star tailback Domonique Hayden. C.T. Tarrant, who rushed for 745 yards last year, takes on the featured role. The Cardinals return 13 starters from last year’s 9-2 team, so this should be an entertaining matchup.

No. 8 John Carroll at St. Vincent on Sept. 5: A difficult test for St. Vincent, which could be one of the surprise teams in the PAC. John Carroll will feature a new quarterback with the graduation of All-American Mark Myers. The Blue Streaks will be tested on defense, too, with the departure of another All-American in linebacker Kevin Cope. Likewise, the Bearcats will debut a new quarterback. This game is the second for St. Vincent coach Ron Dolciato against his former program. He took over the Bearcats in 2014 after spending 24 years as a John Carroll assistant. Last year, the Blue Steaks rolled, 44-0. St. Vincent expects a better result this time around and hopes to take another step up the PAC ladder this year.

Adrian at No. 7 Wheaton (Ill.) on Sept. 12: This is a big nonconference test for Adrian, which has 10 starters back. It’s the Bulldogs’ second of three battles before beginning MIAA play. Adrian hopes to have its quarterback spot settled and running back Emmanuel Stewart on...

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Columnist

Joe Sager

Joe Sager is a freelance writer based in Pittsburgh. He has written about sports since 1996 for a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites. He first covered D-III football in 2000 with the New Castle (Pa.) News.

2012-14 columnist: Brian Lester
2011 columnist: Dean Jackson
2007-10 columnist: Matt Florjancic

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