Friday, August 29, 2008
Hartland opened up their season in top form and didn't waste any time to air it out and find the endzone.
Hartland took the opening kickoff, and under duel threat quarterback Chris Cagle, quickly marched down field. Cagle ran for 35 yards on two carries on the opening drive, before tossing a 9 yard strike to sophomore Matt Poches on a slant route for the early 7-0 lead.
After a quick 3-and-out by the Eagle defense, Cagle went back to work. A pass to Vonn Jones put Hartland back in the red zone and Cagle ended the drive with a 16 yard dash up the middle. Hartland then took a commanding 21-0 lead with 3:35 to go in the first quarter after Cagle hooked up with Jones for a 14 yard TD pass. Jones made a spectacular play by making the catch and keeping his toes inbounds. The drive was set up by a 40 yard pass completion to the 6-4 Poches.
Give Churchill credit because they refused to throw in the towel. The Chargers responded with a big play of their own when Jeff Ricketts snuck past the Hartland defense for a 30 yard TD strike from Grant Morgan.
Before Livonia could build any momentum or confidence Hartland took the field and scored again with less than a minute ticking off the clock. Cagle went deep to Poches for the 48 yard score. Hartland found paydirt one more time before the half, this time Cagle found his big 6-5 tight end, Jon Stevens, in the endzone on a 2nd-and-goal play. The drive was set up by two Jones reverse runs that accumulated 45 yards. The second run came on a fourth down play and Jones was hit in the backfield but was able to shake himself loose and rumble to the two yard line to set up the TD toss giving Hartland a 35-7 lead at the half.
Cagle put the nail in the coffin with 7:38 to go in the third quarter on a 10 yard TD pass to Poches making the score 41-7. The rest of the second half belonged to the reserves. Both team's second units scored making the final 47-14.
GAME MVP- Chris Cagle, Hartland the senior QB threw 5 TD's and ran for another. In the first half alone Cagle rushed for 100 yards and threw for 200 yards. Now listen here, I don't care what most of the rankings say and all the talk if Cagle was two inches taller. The fact is this kid is a playmaker. Whatever college gets him will be getting a steal.
Matt Poches, Hartland- talk about a coming out party! In his varsity debut the soph. had 8 catches for over 130 receiving yards and 3 TD's.
Vonn Jones, Hartland- Everytime Jones touched the ball he was a block away from breaking loose, whether it was on punt returns, reverse runs, bubble passes, or a normal catch.
Jeff Ricketts, Churchill- the speedy back lined up in the backfield as well as the slot. He can be dangerous in the open field and will have a good season. He also played safety and returned kickoffs.
Check back on the NGS homepage in the upcoming days for a complete photo gallery as well as a full game breakdown and player evaluations.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Grand Blanc is trying to bounce back from a 3-6 season but have a tough week 1 match-up against Lakeland. Lakeland has a talented senior class, most notable QB Blake Heiman. Don't let last seasons record fool you, the Bobcats have the weapons to compete with Lakeland, in sophomore QB Ryan Morley and junior WR Tony Jones.
NGS Pick- Grand Blanc 31-28
9. Battle Creek Central at Jackson Lumen Christi
Lumen Christi returns most of last year's team that came up just short at Ford Field. This year Lumen Christi is the favorite to win division 5 but first they will have to contain Running back Larry Caper, a Michigan State commit.
NGS PICK- Lumen Christi 23-13
8. Lake Orion vs. Rockford at EMU
This game will be a dog fight and will come down to who limits the errors and turnovers. Both teams return rock solid defenses, so don't expect a ton of points which will make every snap crucial. Rockford returns QB Tim McGee, and he should be the difference maker.
NGS PICK- Rockford 17-10
7. Flint Southwestern vs. Midland Dow
The talk of the SVL are Midland and Arthur Hill but both Dow and SWA feel they are also good enough to win the conference race. For that to happen neither team can afford a loss in week 1. Both offenses can air it out which should make for an exciting game.
NGS PICK- Southwestern 28-17
6. Brother Rice at Oak Park
Oak Park has one of the nation's elite in running back Edwin Baker who is as versatile as it gets. Brother Rice will just overwhelm Oak Park by positioning playmakers all over the field. Baker will find paydirt but the B.R. won't make it easy.
NGS PICK- Brother Rice 34-20
5. Rochester Adams at Clarkston
Clarkston has players but they do lack experience and Adams will take early advantage of that with their potent passing game. Adam's QB Adam Waszak isn't anything special but he knows how to win and manage a game.
NGS PICK- Adams 31-10
4. Inkster at Zeeland West
Two teams that have Ford Field potential but two total different styles of play. The key to this game will be if Inkster will be able to get their playmakers in single coverage and spread out West's defense.
NGS PICK- Inkster 35-14
3. Lowell at Davison
This is turning into quite a east/west rivalry for week 1. Davison is hoping that a strong O-line and defense can carry. Only problem is Lowell's defense is just as good and they have a scary offense that can put up points in a hurry.
NGS PICK- Lowell 31-17
2. Detroit King vs. Muskegon at EMU
Both teams had huge ups last year, Muskegon was ranked nationally mid-way through the season; but it was King that won a State Title. A lot of those players were lost to graduation but plenty of talent returns.
NGS PICK- Muskegon 24-21
1. Orchard Lake St. Mary's at East Grand Rapids
You gotta love this week 1 game, you know what happened last year and here they are to open the season. Expect another dog fight and don't be surprised to see another overtime.
NGS PICK- OLSM 20-17
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
(C-A's Nick Hill find daylight against Hartland)
(Hartland's Chris Cagle takes off down field)
(Ogemaw Height's Alex Rose gets rid of a blocker)
**The best match-up was Hartland's offense against Carman-Ainsworth's defense. I thought the C-A speed would give Hartland problems but Cagle found the endzone with his arm and feet.
**I like Carman's offensive line. All five players are huge and can move around. Tre Branch and Ricky Clemens are beast.
**I think Ogemaw Heights is in for a long playoff run. They are experienced, and just seem to play well together.
**On one play Carman had a real hard sack on Brandan's quarterback. The two teams started a scuffle but all was calmed down. Just seemed like two physical teams were having fun, got a little out of control, but then tempers were cooled.
2. Ogemaw Heights pound it, pound it, and then slip the tight end past everyone for the pass. That's what they did extremely well all day against all four teams.
3. Carman-Ainsworth speed all over the field, QB just needs to get comfortable. Looked good at times but also showed some inexperience.
4. Brandon did a solid job with misdirection plays. Timing was just a little off through out the day.
5. Tecumseh fun to watch- they pack it in like a rugby team. All 11 players are jammed into the line and pocket.
1. Carman-Ainsworth I'll still rank them #1 for the day but that has allot to do with talent and speed. Hartland's #1's scored on them a couple times but C-A's defense was the toughest for the day.
2. Ogemaw Heights at first I thought the secondary was too small but them boys can defend. Upfront they plugged the wholes and Alex Rose made a majority of the tackles.
3. Brandon didn't give up many big plays. Teams did score but Brandon didn't make easy.
4. Hartland pass defense is OK but the run defense gave up too many big runs.
5. Tecumseh C-A and Ogemaw ran all over them and Hartland ate them up in the air.
2. Chris Cagle, Hartland, QB- didn't play or show much but was just a step ahead of everyone else on the field. Showed great poise and experience. Sat back and just picked all four teams apart as well as scored on a couple option keepers.
3. Trey Branch, Carman, DE/G- Branch is just too physical for the high school game. 3-year starter at D-end and he's only a junior. Just ate up lineman with multiple moves.
4. Lance Simmons, Carman, RB- he looks like a power back at 6-0/220 but he has that extra gear once he gets past the line. Was just a load to bring down.
5. Vonn Jones, Hartland, WR/C- Jones burnt every corner he matched up against. Just a pure athlete with great hands.
6. Matt Poches, Hartland, WR- the 6-4 sophomore is tough- big time deep threat and proved it with two 40+ yard TD's. Did a great job blocking down field.
7. Adrian Grant, Carman, S- just what you want out of a safety. Covered the whole field and came up fast to make the tackle. deflected three passes that I saw.
8. Eric Noble, Ogemaw Heights, QB- the 6-2 QB knows how to run an offense. Didn't throw that much but completed it almost every time he did throw. Good mobility inside the pocket.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
(The Jacks are on a mission this year!)
PREDICTION: 9-0 You gotta love the mind set of the Jacks right now. They know how talented they are but they also know talent doesn't win games. "The kids understand that we can play with anyone in the state, but they also know if we don't work hard everyday then we will loose." states Coach Townsend.
I look for the Jacks to win out and win at least a share of the SVL. Since the Jacks don't have Midland on the schedule we'll have to wait for the playoffs to find the "true" Valley Champs! I expect a deep run into the playoffs with the Jacks getting past Midland this year.
Demarcio Copes, RB/C- will get a handful of carries to spell Wilson but will rarely leave the field. His versatility allows him to line up at multiple positions. Should be a big playmaker on the defensive side of the ball as well.
Omari Humes, TE/OLB- Humes is Schaaf's security blanket at tight end, 6-4/220 pounds with sure-catch hands. Humes also comes up big at his outside LB position with the speed and power to hawk down the ball.
(above: Davielle Thomas)
(below: Dorian Dawkins)
Below are the top 15 campers (men and women) from Coach Dawkins' Boot Camp. While talent played a factor the top 15 were picked mostly on work ethic and attitude. Players are listed in alphabetical order.
Trey Babers, Saginaw, 2011- Get to know this name! Trey doesn't get much pub but the kid is a player- it's in his genes. The 6-3 combo guard just might end up being a better player than his cousin Day-Day.
Pierre Brackett, Hamady, 2011- Pierre is just a work horse- these are the kind of events where the 6-3 wing just shines! Overall he might have had the best day when it came to drills and game performances.
Dorian Dawkins, Saginaw, 2013- I was really impressed with D.D., he handled every drill like an upperclassmen. During the scrimmages he showed off his ability to be the "go-to-scorer" and a "pass-first-PG".
Porsha Fluker, Hamady, 2011- just another stud from the Lady Hawks program. Great work ethic, no complaining just went about her business. Got it done on both ends of the floor.
Jordan Hare, Saginaw, 2012- (pictured below) Hare stands at 6-5 and could end up being a PG. He is fundamentally sound and has a solid shot from 3-point range. Looked good in the ball drills but will need to improve defensively, but no worries because Dawkins is on top of it. If Hare continues to work he is a star in the making.
Roy Jackson, Hamady, 2010- I don't know how this 6-2 PG slips through all the rankings. Part of it is do to the fact that 2010 is so loaded at the guard position but Jackson's name deserves to be mentioned.
Connor McCane, Rockford, 2011- came in and went right to work. Worked extremely hard in the drills and was impressive in the games. Took care of the ball at the point and scored when needed.
Daquavion McCants-Wilson, K-Zoo Central, 2011- wasn't as ball skilled as some of the other players but was very impressive. Short and stocky PG that plays physical and knows how to get into his opponent's jersey.
Tommie McCune, Saginaw, 2011- I know it was his coach and his school but all day long Tommie carried himself like a leader. Since he was familiar with the drills he helped others learn. McCune just might be ready to be a Trojan leader this season!
Quincie Norman, Detroit, 2013- A player to keep an eye on! Long and active around the basket at 6-3. Struggled at times against the older players but that was to be expected, however he kept on fighting.
Nate Schmidt, A.A. Huron, 2010- big strong body but had a soft touch on his jump shot. Wasn't the fastest camper but understood the importance of defensive position. At 6-3 he played all 5 positions in the games.
AJ Thomas, Heritage, 2010- AJ has really improved his foot speed and it showed in the drills. He was one of the quickest campers in Dawkins' different defensive drills. Thomas has also improved his ability to finish near the basket. Should have a huge junior year!
Davielle Thomas, Heritage, 2010- I was very impressed with this PG's skills, and she works just as hard as she is skilled. Solid with both hands and very quick feet. She was good in the defensive drills.
Diamond Tolliver, Saginaw, 2010- I don't think Diamond understands just how talented she is, I would like to see her take her game to another level. Very tough and can really get to the basket. She has high major potential.
Christian Vaughn, St. Marks, 2012- outlasted all of the other campers in the cross country run and the bleachers. Was also one of the best pure shooters in the shooting drills.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
In 1999 Saginaw was led by a phenomenal passing attack that was highlighted by Charles Rogers. No, there may not be a Rogers on this roster, YET! But there are a handful of exceptionally talented players at the skilled positions. "We are going to be fast, scary fast," states Coach Collins "we are going to utilize our speed and put our kids in position to make plays."
The Trojans bring almost everyone back from last years team and should easily improve on last year's 2-7 record. It is just sick thinking of how much talent the Trojans have at the skilled position but it is unclear of how solid the offensive line and the defense will be. Scoring won't be a problem but the improvement of the defense will dictate how good this team will becomes in 2008.
OFFENSE- the Trojans will start with their veer option but look for their spread offense to be their bread and butter. With so so much speed and such a gifted group of receivers why wouldn't you put 3 or 4 receivers on the field at once.
DEFENSE- Saginaw has implemented a new 3-4 defense and I am unsure of how solid their run defense will be. They bring back both D-ends and the entire linebacker core from last year- so they will have experience. Speed is also the key to the Trojan defense as they will flock to the ball.
PREDICTION: 4-5 Talent alone should have this team flirting with the playoffs but as skilled as the Trojans are on the outside we all know it starts in the trenches. With that being said I give Saginaw 4 wins on talent alone but it will be up to the coaching staff to put together two more wins to get this team into the playoffs.
Unfortunately the Trojans play in the S.V.L. and face a very tough schedule that includes the other two Saginaw schools as well as seeing Mt. Pleasant, both Midlands and Bay City's in the first five weeks of the season. If Coach Collins and staff can keep the team focused after that tough start then they may be able to roll off a handful of wins.
DeAnthony Arnett, WR- will start in the slot as a So. for the Trojans. Above we mentioned this team doesn't have a Charles Rogers yet, and that's because Arnett has the skills and potential to have just as good of a prep career. Arnett joins an already loaded receiving core but expect to see him post some big time numbers with his low 4.4 forty speed.
Ayinde Ashford, QB- Ashford has added 20 pounds of muscle during the off season and now stands at 6-0/200 pounds. He has the toughness and attitude of a true football player and he is the man for the job to lead this offense.
Jimmy Davis, WR/C- Jimmy gets the least amount of pub out of the receivers but he is heavily relied on due to his ability to play physical and get downfield and block. Davis will also play defense and he has the speed to be a lock down defender.
Mike Green, WR- this sure handed receiver was one of the bright spots on last year's 2-7 team. He posted games with double digit catches and multiple 200+ receiving yard games. Green can make any catch and has terrific hands, especially in traffic. He is the leader of this talented receiving core. Expect to see Green put up huge numbers this year!
Greg Hayes, utiltiy- we label Hayes as a utility because he lines up everywhere for the Trojans and he might just be the fastest man on the roster. He plays tailback, lines up in the slot and wide, as well as playing safety, and the featured punt returner.
Dominique Jackson, RB/DE- at 5-10/200 Jackson will be the starting tailback and comes from a family that has found huge success in the Trojan backfield. Jackson is more of a power back that can plow his way through tackles. Jackson will also line up at the defensive end position where he can hold down his edge.
Maurice Warrick, OT/DT- 6-6/265 and will anchor the offensive line. It is still unclear where he will line up at, although he is a natural left tackle he has bounced around at center. Big Mo has the size and foot speed to be a solid tackle in the S.V.L.