Armada Athletics

Armada High School

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Armada Athletics

Armada High School

Armada Athletics

Armada High School

Game Summaries & Headlines.

Headline

1 month ago

Armada Football Ready For the Playoffs

Playoff-bound Armada will ‘bounce back’ after three losses, coach says

Coach Kyle Rowley talks with quarterback George Hebb during a non-league game against Flint Kearsley at Richmond on Friday. The Tigers play Richmond in a Division 5 playoff game this week. (GEORGE POHLY -- MediaNews Group)

Coach Kyle Rowley talks with quarterback George Hebb during a non-league game against Flint Kearsley at Richmond on Friday. The Tigers play Richmond in a Division 5 playoff game this week. (GEORGE POHLY — MediaNews Group)

By  | gpohly@medianewsgroup.com | Macomb Daily

PUBLISHED:  | UPDATED: 

This has been anything but a ho-hum football campaign for Armada.

A regular season that began with the Tigers shutting out four opponents while building a 6-0 record ended Friday with a third consecutive loss in a non-conference game played on their rival’s field.

Now it’s time for the playoffs, a place the Tigers haven’t visited often, and coach Kyle Rowley’s team will meet its rival as the higher seed at a neutral site because Armada’s grass field is unplayable.

“It doesn’t matter,” Rowley said after his team fell to 6-3 with a 35-27 loss to Flint Kearsley at Richmond. “Just give me a field with numbers and stripes and we’ll go play.

 

“I’m proud of these kids. Six and three is a (great) season for being year two with this team and this staff. I’m proud of ‘em and I love ‘em. We’re excited. Let’s go.”

Vincent Fodale of Armada carries the ball against Flint Kearsley. (GEORGE POHLY — MediaNews Group)

Armada plays Richmond (4-5) at Oxford at 7 p.m. Friday in a Division 5 district semifinal. It’ll be only the fourth playoff game since 2000 for the Tigers.

Rowley went to Armada after a stint at Hazel Park. He put together a staff that included his father, former Oxford coach Bud Rowley, and made his debut in the pandemic-delayed 2020 season with a victory over Richmond, which had won nine straight against the Tigers.

Rowley’s 2021 team blanked Clawson and Algonac in Weeks 1 and 2, knocked off North Branch and Richmond to get to 4-0, and then didn’t allow a point against Yale and Imlay City to give Armada four shutouts in a season for the first time since 1986.

The ‘86 team, coached by the late Ed Wuestenberg, an icon in the northern Macomb County town, was Armada’s first playoff qualifier.

 

The Tigers went 8-2 that season, a mark that proved difficult to approach again.

This season is only Armada’s fourth with six or more victories since 1986 and, not counting last year when every team was allowed into the playoffs because of the pandemic, it’s only the third time since ‘86 that the Tigers have played their way into the postseason.

“It’s a group of kids who came together, and they believe in what we’re doing,” Kyle Rowley said. “They’re coachable. They are just phenomenal to be around.

“Practice is fun every single day. There’s never a dull moment. We don’t have big numbers, we roll 27 wherever we go, and I’ll take them every day of the week.”

Almont stopped Armada’s winning streak with a 14-7 victory in Week 7, and the Tigers lost to Blue Water Area Conference champion Croswell-Lexington 30-14 in Week 8.

Cros-Lex is a Division 4 team, and Kearsley is in Division 3. Almont (Division 6), Cros-Lex and Kearsley are all headed to the playoffs.

“We played three great teams in a row,” Rowley said. “We’ve got to take the positives and fix the negatives. Who cares about the loss?

“Zero and zero starts now. We could be 9-0 and it wouldn’t matter. Everybody is zero and zero now.”

Rowley said the Tigers have the right frame of mind to get back to winning.

“They’ll bounce back just fine,” he said. “It’s not like we’re getting blown out.

“We’re tough. Mentally, physically and emotionally, we’re just a tough football team. They take after me and the old man. They’ve got a little of us in them.”

Armada was one of 19 county teams that qualified for the playoffs. In other Division 5 games involving county teams, South Lake plays at Marine City and Lutheran North hosts Dundee.

Coach Kyle Rowley led Armada to a 6-3 record and the Division 5 playoffs. The Tigers play Richmond in a district semifinal at Oxford. (GEORGE POHLY — MediaNews Group)


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