Thursday, October 30, 2008

PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Division 1

**Will Campbell looks for one more shot at Southeastern**
**Hartland's Chris Cagle can do it by air or land**
**Aaron Gill helps pace the Lake Orion defense**

BREAKDOWN: While every other Division has a favorite or two to win the State Championship, division 1 leaves everyone scratching their head. Of the 32 teams in Division 1, I give 15 teams a realistic shot of hoisting the trophy.

In Region 1 everyone will look for the Grand Ledge/ Rockford winner to win the Region, but I also like the chances of the Grand Blanc/ Hartland winner.

In Region 2, teams like Canton, Pioneer, and Stevenson are all good but they all depend on the run, and usually that's a good thing, but not when you have to line up across Detroit C.C., who can win a game with pure brute strength.

Region 3 will be fun to watch because it's a playoff between the MAC and OAA, and while the MAC has two time defending champ- Macomb Dakota and the talented S.H. Stevenson, I'm gonna roll with the OAA and Lake Orion! Defense always trumps offense and Lake Orion can play some defense.

Now Region 4, is the tricky Region because everyone likes Fordson. But I'm gonna go with Southeastern to knock off Cass Tech, for a third time, and then shut down that powerful Fordson run game.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH: Nick Kissane, Grand Ledge
most of the Grand Ledge credit goes to the receiving core, especially Ohio State commit James Jackson, I credit Kissane. He has looked good on film and plays with poise while deleivering the ball all over the field.

DEFESIVE PLAYER TO WATCH: Will Gholston, Southeastern
I told you earlier in the week that Gholston is the best player in Michigan and now he's gonna show you why! He'll shut down some real good offenses, and in four weeks allot more people will agree with me.

UNDERCLASSMEN TO WATCH:
Ryan Morley, Grand Blanc is this sophmore ready? I say yes, because he has had Grand Blanc in playoff mode by winning 5 straight just to get in. Justice Hayes (RB) and Matt Poches (WR) are two more good sophomores that will be playing in the same game but Morley will have the ball in his hands every snap!

TOUGHEST DISTRICT:
Region 3- District 1

TOUGHEST ROUND 1 GAME:
Grand Blanc at Hartland, I already got my ticket for this first round match-up. Two great QB's in Chris Cagle (Hartland) and Ryan Morley (GB) plus stud skilled position players in Vonn Jones and Matt Poches for Hartland and Tony Jones and Justice Hayes for GB. I don't even know who is going to win this game but I am sure there will be plenty of points scored!

UPSET BREWING:
West Bloomfield over Livonia Stevenson, W.B. is stingy on defense and they know how to shut down good running backs, so beware Austin White...look what they did to Edwin Baker in a 32-0 win over Oak Park.

SLEEPER TEAM:
Sterling Heights Stevenson, QB Jason Fracassa knows how to find the endzone and he has a mamoth offensive line to protect him.

FINAL 4 PICKS:
Grand Ledge vs. Detroit C.C. and Detroit Southeastern vs. Lake Orion

FINALS PICK:
Southeastern over Grand Ledge

WHY SOUTHEASTERN:
I the last couple of weeks the Jungaleers have made me a believer! They have just too many "special" players to contend with. Each game Edward Thomas has improved and he will only get better as he rolls through the playoffs.

PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Division 2

**Andrew Maxwell looks to start another playoff run with another win over Arthur Hill**
**Anthony Davis is just one of Muskegon's many weapons**

**Josh Sinagoga of DeLaSalle**

BREAKDOWN: this division is flat out loaded with teams worthy of a State Title. While everyone loves Muskegon (so do i), the Big Reds have the toughest road with games against Hudsonville and Lowell before the semi-finals.

In Region 1- SVL Champ, Bay City Western is the favorite but don't dare underestimate Midland, Davison, or even Arthur Hill. In Region 3 it's gonna be a battle between Rochester Adams and Brother Rice right out of the gate, with DeLaSalle waiting next. And as much as people like the MEGA teams, I don't see any of them knocking off Southfield in Region 4.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH: Elan Banks, Muskegon Banks will kill you with arm just as easily as he will with his legs.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH: Ben Hayes, DeLaSalle the Pilots have been great defensively this year, and it starts with Hayes upfront.

UNDERCLASSMEN TO WATCH: Jimmy Pickens, Brother Rice the sophomore safety will have his hands full against Adams but he’s very capable of making a big play or two.

TOUGHEST DISTRICT: Region 2- District 2

TOUGHEST ROUND 1 GAME: Brother Rice at Rochester Adams

UPSET BREWING: #4 seeded Davison over #1 seed Fenton, if you can even consider that an upset.

SLEEPER TEAM: Southfield, could easily be undefeated and the Blue Jays have a ton of athletes that nobody will want to bump heads with.

FINAL 4 PICKS: Muskegon vs. Midland and DeLaSalle vs. Southfield

FINALS PICK: Muskegon over DeLaSalle

WHY MUSKEGON: it's gonna feel like deja vu from two years ago when DeLaSalle nearly pulled off the upset, but this a different Muskegon team that's hungry and out to prove a point for their beloved Coach Annese.

PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Division 3

**Inkster's Alan Freeman**
**Mt. Pleasant could surprise a few folks**


BREAKDOWN: unfinished business- two years ago Inkster lost to Nouvel in the State Championship, last year the Vikings dominated the state but missed the playoffs after having to forfeit the season for using an ineligible player. Now Inkster is as talented as ever and has high major talent all over the field.

On the other side of the bracket sits East Grand Rapids who has been ranked in the top 100 nationally all year, and the two could meet up for one heck of a State Championship Game....but not so fast because there will be plenty of hurdles along the way. Teams like Mason, Lansing Sexton, Mt. Pleasant, St. Joseph, and Chelsea are just and talented, making Division 3 a fun one to keep an eye on.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH: Joe Glendening, East Grand Rapids- as talented as East is, they follow the lead of "Joe the Show". He's won State Titles as a sophomore and junior but can he cap a wonderful high school career with a third?

DEFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH: Dylan Farrington, Adrian
a month ago people had Adrian as the team to beat, can this D-end get his team back on track?

UNDERCLASSMEN TO WATCH: Onija Miller, Sexton
the speedy sophomore back gives Sexton a lighting and thunder punch with Carlous Kelley providing the thunder, making Sexton that much tougher.

TOUGHEST DISTRICT:
Region 3- District 1

TOUGHEST ROUND 1 GAME:
Adrian at Mason

UPSET BREWING:
Ogemaw Heights over Petoskey, O-H looks to avenge a 20-21 loss in week 2.

SLEEPER TEAM:
Mason, the Bulldogs don't rely on superstars and for that reason they get overlooked but Mason is tough and relentless on the line and might just beat up on those so called superstars.

FINAL 4 PICKS: East G.R. vs. St. Joseph and Inkster vs. Warren Fitzgerald

FINALS PICK: East Grand Rapids over Inkster

WHY EAST G.R.: because this is what East does, win State Titles The experience from the last two State Title runs will give East a huge advantage.

PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Division 4

**Joe Boisture has led Goodrich to a perfect 9-0 record**
**O'Neil Swanson heads the Country Day run game**

BREAKDOWN: Marine City is the defending champs but that won’t last for long, they’ll run into Clintondale, who’s seeking revenge from a close week 6 loss. I do like Country Day but they’ll have the toughest road to Ford Field with match-ups against Crockett, Southeastern, and Goodrich lined up. Region 3 is incredibly tough and whomever survives will win a State Championship!

OFFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH: Joe Boisture, Goodrich just how good is the 6-6 signal caller? He’s been exceptional all season long but just how many playoff wins will he be able to deliver as a junior?

DEFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH: Aaron McCord, Crockett the Rockets draw a huge test against Country Day but for Crockett to have success they must get pressure from the 6-3/275 pound Central Michigan commit up the middle.

UNDERCLASSMEN TO WATCH: Josh Harris, Country Day the sophomore QB is very talented but lacks playoffs experience, he’ll have to manage the game without any turnovers, but he does have receiver Benny Fowler to help bail him out.

TOUGHEST DISTRICT: Region 3- District 2

TOUGHEST ROUND 1 GAME: Detroit Crockett at Country Day

UPSET BREWING: Mt. Morris over Yale

SLEEPER TEAM: Goodrich, the Martian offense is dangerous with the arm of Boisture and the running from Jake Bourassa.

FINAL 4 PICKS: Country Day vs. Clintondale and Holland Christian vs. Muskegon Orchard View

FINALS PICK: Country Day over Holland Christian

WHY COUNTRY DAY: the Yellowjackets have too many seniors that still have a sour taste in their mouth from last year’s lost to Marine City. Besides playing with a chip on their shoulder they just have too many weapons on both sides of the ball for opposing teams to contain.

PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Division 5

**Is Lumen Christi capable of returning to Ford Field?**


BREAKDOWN: While I didn't list Standish Sterling's Austin Collier in the players to watch, I do think he gives his team an edge over any Division 5 opponent. Teams like Allendale, Lumen Christi, Hillsdale, Onsted, and any of the Tri-Valley teams have a legitimate shot but they don't have Collier on their roster.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH: Mitchell Gabriele, Hillsdale the senior leads Hillsdale no huddle spread offense and has connected 96 of 151 passes for 1,423 yards.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH: Nick Madden, Ovid-Elsie the linebacker is a four year starter and has seen it all.

UNDERCLASSMEN TO WATCH: Justin Pettenger, Freeland the sophomore is in his second year as the starting safety for the Falcons and he's a big time hitter in the secondary.

TOUGHEST DISTRICT: Region 4- District 2

TOUGHEST ROUND 1 GAME: Hillsdale at Lumen Christi- the two teams finished #4 and #6 respectfully in the A.P.'s Division 5 top 10.

UPSET BREWING: Essexville Garber over Millington- the Dukes fell loss 19-20 to Millington in week 5 after leading most of the game and it cost them the conference title, can you say- REVENGE?

SLEEPER TEAM: Freeland- a team that plays with a ton of heart

FINAL 4 PICKS: Standish-Sterling vs. Freeland and Lumen Christi vs. Allendale

FINALS PICK: Standish-Sterling over Lumen Christi

WHY STANDISH-STERLING: because Austin Collier is really that good! He does everything for his Panthers on both sides of the ball and he will show why he's Bowling Green bound.

PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Division 6

**Murphy Wilson has been huge for Nouvel on both sides of the ball**
**Janero Walker brings Beecher senior leadership**


BREAKDOWN: the biggest question floating around Division 6 this year is: Can anyone prevent Nouvel from a 3-peat, my answer in no! It will be interesting to see who Nouvel plays at Ford Field because there are a number of contenders that could come out of region 3 or region 4.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH: Robert Essex, Carrollton the junior tailback has rushed for 1,600 yards and 19 TD's while averaging close to 25 rushes per game.

DEFFESIVE PLAYER TO WATCH: Josh Fallon, Nouvel the 6-3/209 pound middle linebacker is a throwback type player and his teammates will follow his toughness for 5 more games.

UNDERCLASSMEN TO WATCH: Antwaun Burks, Beecher the freshman quarterback hasn't allowed the speed of the varisty level to rattle him, not lets see how he handles the pressure of the playoffs.

TOUGHEST DISTRICT: Region 2- District 2

TOUGHEST ROUND 1 GAME: Marlette at Carrollton

UPSET BREWING: Calvin Christian over Clare

SLEEPER TEAM: Beecher, they are as well coached and disciplined as any team in the playoffs, plus they have the speed to go with mental toughness.

FINAL 4 PICKS: Iron Mountain vs. Nouvel C.C. and K-Zoo Christian vs. Blissfield

FINALS PICK:
Nouvel C.C. over K-Zoo Christian

WHY NOUVEL: The Panthers finished 9-0 and their schedule was tougher than any other team in Division 6. Coach Boyd will have his team prepared and you just can’t match the experience factor that Nouvel will have over any opponent.

PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Division 7

** #20 Devon Bailey will lead Southfield Christian into the playoffs**


BREAKDOWN: It's no disrespect to any other team in Div. 7 but I just can't see anyone topping Traverse City St. Francis. The Gladiators are as balanced as you can get on both sides of the ball. Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest, comes in at 9-0, and is another favorite to reach Ford Field but they have a tough road ahead of them.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH: Jason Pratt, Merrill the 6-6 gunslinger carried Merrill to the regional finals last year and Pratt has the skill set to pick apart any secondary.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH: Max Bullough, St. Francis the 6-3/215 pound junior LB is already committed to play at Michigan State and he'll show you why!

UNDERCLASSMEN TO WATCH: Charlie Hengesbach, Pewamo-Westphalia the sophomore has helped deliver the school's first conference title in close to a decade by playing both sides of the ball.

TOUGHEST DISTRICT: Region 4- District 2 You know it’s a tough district when I’m predicting the four seed to advance.

TOUGHEST ROUND 1 GAME: Potterville vs. Grass Lake

UPSET BREWING: Merrill over Fife Lake Forest

SLEEPER TEAM: Southfield Christian, the Eagles enter the playoffs as a #4 seed, but trust me they have some very skilled athletes, the can create a big play, making Christian a very dangerous team.

FINAL 4 PICKS: St. Francis vs. Pewamo-Westphalia and Reading vs. Ubly

FINALS PICK: Traverse City St. Francis over Ubly

WHY St. Francis: no other team stands out on paper like St. Francis does in Div. 7. The Gladiators fell short last year at Ford Field and bring nearly everyone back including a nasty linebacker core of Bullough and Grant Robb.

PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Division 8

**Rodney Anderson leads Muskegon C.C. as the Div. 8 favorite**


BREAKDOWN: Division 8 has the pleasure of boasting two defending State Champs in Crystal Falls Forest Park and Mendon, but even with these two experienced teams roaming in Division 8, the clear cut favorite is Muskegon C.C.

While these three schools are the obvious favorite, other teams the can pull off a huge surprise are Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart, Beal City, Frankfort, and Deckerville.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH: Rodney Anderson, Muskegon C.C. I had the opportunity to watch Anderson torch Country Day, for not one, but two 50 yard TD runs in week 3...it'll be tough for any Div. 8 school to contain Anderson.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH: C.J. Nightingale, Mendon
the junior DB has intercepted 7 passes in just 7 games this season.

UNDERCLASSMEN TO WATCH: Josh Sutton, Bay City All-Saints
the 2011 QB takes his 6-3 Cougars into the playoffs while playing Class C schools all season, making All-Saints capable of pulling off an upset or two.

TOUGHEST DISTRICT: Region 3- District 1

TOUGHEST ROUND 1 GAME: Central Lake vs. Manistee C.C.

UPSET BREWING:
Gaylord St. Mary over undefeated Cedarville

SLEEPER TEAM: Mendon, all the talk swirls around Muskegon C.C. but Mendon knocked off the Crusaders 7-6 last year in Div. 7 in route to a state title. The two are set to meet in a regional final.

FINAL 4 PICKS: Muskegon C.C. vs. Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart and Forest Park vs. Frankfort

FINALS PICK: Muskegon C.C. over Crystal Falls Forest Park

WHY Muskegon C.C.: the Crusaders finished the regular season with a perfect 9-0 record and have proven to be battle tested with big wins over Country Day, Allendale, and Wisconsin power- LaCrosse Aquinas. Muskegon C.C.'s line will just physically overwhelm their Division 8 opponents.

Monday, October 27, 2008

WEEK 9: Cass Tech vs. Southeastern

**super freak Will Gholston applies pressure**
**Will Sturges finds open space**
**Dior Mathis makes 1 of his catches**
**Thomas Gordon trying to make a play**
**QB Edward Thomas is the real deal**

Detroit- Cass Tech gets a ton of ink around the state, and deservingly so, with William Campbell, who is ranked with the top of the nation's best regardless of position. Then throw in two Michigan commitments in Teric Jones and Thomas "Flash" Gordon and you have a exceptional nucleus for a high school football team...But i truly believe that it's Southeastern who can boast the most talent out of the two teams, and the Jungaleers have proof of it, not once but twice, as Southeastern topped their conference rival again, and this time more convincingly, with a 36-13 thumping in the PSL Championship Game.

Southeastern scored first on Will Sturges' 14 yard reception from junior quarterback Edward "The Future" Thomas. The two point conversion gave the Jungaleers an 8-0 lead. Cass Tech then took control of the game, although it wouldn't last for long, on a 14 play drive that was capped by a 2-yard run from Jones on 4th-and-goal. On the ensuing kickoff Southeastern fumbled the ball away and the Technicians took over on the Jungaleers 22 yard line. Gordon first connected with Dior Mathis for a 12 yard gain, then finished the short drive with a 7 yard scamper to give Cass Tech a 13-8 lead.

The game took a huge turn late in the first half when Gordon appeared to have picked off Thomas near midfield but the play was taken away due to a personal foul before the pass was thrown. A few plays later Southeastern regained the lead off of a 4 yard run from Donovan Wilson, to allow the Jungaleers to take a 14-13 lead into the half.

What looked like a game that would come down to the final minutes quickly turned into a Jungaleer highlight reel. Thomas found Darryl Pitts for consecutive touchdowns on Southeastern's first two drives of the second half. Pitts' first grab came 9 yards out and the second was a 23 yard strike. Cass couldn't find the endzone in the second half and the Jungaleers tacked on one more score to make the final 36-13.

BREAKDOWN

Southeastern-
it's just sick how much talent this team has, and they mesh incredibly well together. The Jungaleers have two speeds- fast and really fast. There isn't a week link at any position, they have it all- big yet athletic lineman, exceptional speed at every skilled position, and a defense that just flies to the ball.
Southeastern has a ton of confidence in their passing game and went right to it on their first three plays. Unlike most teams, they throw to open the run game and once the run game is open, the opponents mine as well pack it up and call it a day.

Cass Tech-
the first meeting (a 20-12 S.E. win in week 6) could have gone either way but this loss had to embarrassed the Technicians. Cass will get one more shot at S.E. and we all know it's tough to beat a team as talented as Cass three times in one season. I did like Cass' game plan, and that was to also use the pass attack to open up run lanes, but S.E.'s secondary was just to good to pass against.

GAME MVP- Edward Thomas, S.E.-
I guess "The Future" is now! Thomas made a name for himself with a huge performance on the PSL's biggest stage. He completed 8 of 14 passes for 180 yards with four of those completions reaching paydirt. I was very impressed with the accuracy Thomas had on his deliveries, he made perfect throws that allowed his receivers to catch the ball in stride.

Will Gholston, S.E.-
Gholston's the best player in Michigan regardless of class, yeah, I said it! He's a pure freak of an athlete and he can excel at either linebacker or D-end for any high major college. He has phenomenal speed and can get sideline to sideline. I've never seen a player rush a QB then race 20 yards downfield to tackle the receiver. His engine never slows down and he goes 100 miles per hour on every play.

Kyle Bryant, S.E.-
a prototypical lineman at 6-6/280 pounds. he has quick feet and has a solid blend of power and athleticism that allows him to be equally good at run and pass blocking. Bryant is a quiet and well manured kid but once he steps on the field it's a different story.

Darryl Pitts, S.E.-
the DeLaSalle transfer came up big and his second half TD's sealed the win. He matched the Cass secondary with footspeed but his 6-3 frame was just too much for Cass to handle. I hear Wisconsin and Cincinnati are very close to offering while most MAC schools have already offered.

Will Sturges, S.E.-
the playmaker list just doesn't stop for S.E. and Sturges might be the toughest to slow down out of all the S.E. skilled position players. He does a terrific job of finding the opening against opposing secondaries and he made some nice catches in traffic. He finished with 175 all purpose yards to go with a pair of scores.

Will Campbell, Cass-
Campbell had some big plays including 2nd down and 3rd down tackles for loss in the second quarter to keep the Jungaleers out of the endzone when they set up a 1st-and-goal at the 4 yard line.

Dior Mathis, Cass-
Cass made sure they got the speedster the ball early and often. He had four catches in the opening quarter. While his trade mark is still being a lock down corner he looked good catching balls. He had two big catches to set up both of Cass' TD runs.

Teric Jones, Cass-
the Michigan commit has a solid day with 20 carries for 97 yards and a TD but he was held in check for most of the day.

WEEK 9: Detroit CC vs. DeLaSalle

**DeLaSalle's John Martinez tries to make a play**
**Niko Palazeti is tough to bring down**
**DeLaSalle's Jim Martinez brings down George Darany**

Ford Field- You just got to love the conpetitive edge of the Catholic League. Not only do they give you that college atmosphere of playing a conference Championship Game but they go the extra mile to play the game at Ford Field.

The game was a rematch game from week 5 when DeLaSalle edged the Shamrocks with a 12-7 win on C.C.'s homefield. The Shamrocks started the game and looked like a completely different team as they physically owned the line of scrimmage in the first half. The Shamrocks used that advantage to take an early 7-0 lead when Niko Palazeti powered his way pass the goal line in the final minute of the first quarter.

DeLaSalle failed to pick up a first down on their first three possessions which allowed C.C. to get valuable field position. C.C. again cashed in with 5:30 left in the second quarter when Sam Landry found Steve Harding open down field for a 13 yard pass to take a 14-0 lead.

DeLaSalle went to the passing game and nickle and dimed their way down field with short passes that usually found Jim Martinez and John Martinez on the receiving end. The Pilots capped the drive with a 1 yard TD run from quarterback Josh Sinagoga to trim the Shamrock lead to 14-7 right before the half.

The Pilots tied the game a minute into the fourth quarter on a Sinagoga 31 yard TD pass to Tim Zabawa, who was able to sneak pass the C.C. secondary. DeLaSalle then took a 21-14 lead on John Martinez's 8 yard pass reception. With time running out on C.C., the Shamrocks were forced to go to the air but Mark Karam ended any hope of a comeback when he intercepted a pass and returned it 40 yards for a score and a 28-14 DeLaSalle win.

BREAKDOWN

DeLaSalle- you have to give the Pilots credit, when they fell behind 14-0 there was no panic and they stuck to their game plan. Even when the game was tied you started to feel in the atmosphere that DeLaSalle was in control, and C.C. looked like they were playing for overtime.

The Pilots are one of the hardest working teams in the state, they don't have any big time recruits and non of their players really wow you, but they are all tough as nails and you can tell they play for each other. The Pilots are in for a long playoff run and just might play at Ford Field one more time this season.

C.C.- as far as power running goes and moving the ball between the tackles, nobody does it better than the Shamrocks in Michigan, and it's been that way for a real long time. But when C.C. has to go to the air it just spells trouble. Now they'll get you with the play-action but when they get down and have to throw it just isn't their cup of soup.

With that being said, C.C. can beat anyone especially with the weather getting bad, but with a lack of a passing game it's just tough to predict how far they can get in the playoffs.

GAME MVP- Josh Sinagoga, DeLaSalle- the Pilot QB made some tough throws to go with some nice little runs to keep the chains moving. He's done a great job managing games all year and he is a big reason why his team sits at 9-0.

De'Angelo Parris, DeLaSalle- the junior back saw the bulk of the carries, all year long DeLaSalle has used running backs by committee, but it looks like Parris is becoming the man. He only stands 5-8/165 pounds but he's a quick and tough to get ahold of.

Niko Palazeti, C.C.- the junior is no stranger to weight room and has really become a key part to C.C.'s team on both ends of the ball. He is a phenominal lead blocker at fullback and holds it down as a linebacker/D-lineman.

WEEK 9: Arthur Hill at Saginaw High

**Omari Humes runs in from 11 yards out**
**DeAnthony Arnett hauls in a pass**
**Mike Schaaf on the move**
**Mike Green makes 1 of his 5 catches**

Saginaw- Arthur Hill walked away with the win in the state's biggest city rivalry game Saturday afternoon. Arthur Hill used the 21-12 win from an emotionally filled game to secure theirselves a playoff spot and a rematch with Midland, who ended the Jack's season a year ago.

Arthur Hill took the early lead on the game's opening drive behind the running of workhorse Omari Humes. Humes ran the ball six straight times, and on the sixth carry he crossed the goal line from 12 yards out.

Saginaw managed to get on the score board with 27 seconds left until halftime when the Trojans' Ayinde Ashford connected with Mike Green for a 14 yard touchdown on fourth down.

Arthur Hill grabbed the game by it's horns in the third quarter with two solid drives that ended in touchdowns produced by Mike Schaaf. Schaff plowed in from a yard out on the first drive and threw a 6 yard strike to Humes for the second TD to give the Jacks a 21-6 lead. Saginaw capped the game's scoring with two minutes left in the fourth quarter on a 14 yard pass from Ashford to Montrel Frazier.

BREAKDOWN

Arthur Hill- the Jacks have an explosive run game with a rotation that includes Humes, Jerrell Wilson, Demarcio Copes, and sophomore Chandler Young. All four runners bring a different aspect to the field and all four are capable of carrying the load. But the Jacks passing game just doesn't seem to be in sync and they will need to pass the ball against Midland. I'm not sure what it is but Schaaf just doesn't seem comfortable with all of his receivers.

The Jack defense grades out better than the offense because they answered the calling every time it was needed. They did give up a few big plays but they also came up with some big stops. The Jacks are solid at all 11 positions defensively, with a tough linebacker core leading the way.

Saginaw- the Trojans wrap up the season with a disappointing 3-6 record. The talent was there all year and at times it looked like it was coming together but other times it just didn't click. Saginaw has four receivers that have D-1 potential in seniors Jimmy Davis and Mike Green (although they might choose to play basketball at the next level), junior Greg Hayes, and sophomore DeAnthony Arnett. With a core like that Saginaw should have used their deep field threats more but at least Hayes and Arnett will return next year to give it another go.

GAME MVP- Omari Humes, Hill
I still don't know why Humes hasn't received more D-1 offers. As talented as the Hill is, it is Humes who has carried the Jacks all year. I still believe he is more useful as a receiver but he's a very powerful back that just runs people over, so I understand why the coaching staff likes him back there. Humes also chipped in with 11 tackles at outside linebacker. At 6-3/225 Humes can play either tight end or linebacker at the D-1 level.

Dequavion Green, Hill- at times the linebacker also know as "D.Q." gets unnoticed but he has been reliable all year long as an outside LB for the Hill. He does a good job of tackling between the tackles as well as falling back in pass coverage. He also knows how to wrap up and finish tackles.

Jerrell Wilson, Hill- Wilson took over the running duties in the second half, and finished with 54 yards but he still doesn't look 100% yet. He just can't get into that second gear and elude tackles like we're used to seeing him do. Hopefully he can get to 100% before Friday night.

Mike Green, High- led Saginaw with 5 catches for 96 yards and a TD. Green has the ability to play either hoops or football in college and I believe he could excel at both. His football skills are just so raw, he naturally runs crisp routes and he has great hands and can scoop up anything in reach. He knows how to get open and find the end zone.

Greg Hayes, High- at times I don't even think Hayes knows how good he can be with the speed he has, he's just a true playmaker. Saginaw can do a better job of getting Hayes the ball in open space, because his touches were limited against the Hill.

DeAnthony Arnett, High- the former Jack drew double coverage most of the game from his former teammates, but I guess they just knew how dangerous Arnett can be. He was held to 2 catches and 70 yards but only saw two passes thrown his way. I can't wait to watch Arnett next season, because I think he'll put up some huge numbers.

WEEK 9: Heritage at Flint Southwestern

**Curtis Brown brings down a 2-point conversion**
**Cam Stover runs for a TD in the 2nd quarter**
**Adam Leibinger turns up field**
**Dwayne Lewis will return next season for the Knights**

Flint- I took the final Friday night of the regular season to get one last glimpse of some talented athletes that wouldn't be fortunate enough to participate in the playoffs. It was predicted that Heritage would have a rough go of it this season but that fact that Southwestern finished without enough wins to reach the playoffs comes to a surprise to the whole state.

I also didn't expect either team to produce many points in the pouring rain, especially with offenses that have failed to be consistent all year. But Southwestern looked good in their final game...real good! Cameron Stover and Kortez Ross stole the show in the first half by connecting on two touchdown plays. The first came from 25 yards out, and Dwayne Lewis' 2-point conversion run gave the Knights a 8-0 lead.

Heritage responded with a touchdown drive that ended with a TD pass from Connor Rodriguez to Curtis Brown. The two also connected for the 2-point conversion to tie the game early in the first quarter, but Heritage would have trouble keeping pace with Southwestern for four quarters.

Stover found Ross 45 yards downfield, for their second connection, and a 14-8 lead. Stover gave his team a 20-8 halftime lead with a 17 yard scamper. Stover was nearly sacked but he spun out of the tackle and dashed for the left pylon.

The junior QB continued to look impressive in the third quarter with two more touchdowns- a 25 yard pass to DeMarkus Bracy and a 15 yard run. Southwestern took a 32-15 lead into the final quarter and Quan Young's 60 yard sprint to paydirt secured the win for the Knights.

BREAKDOWN

SWA-
no excuses but Southwestern was just too talented this season to finish 3-6. They managed to beat Arthur Hill, a playoff team, and lost to Midland High and Mt. Pleasant by less than a field goal, two teams that finished 8-1. They'll have a tough time replacing Ross, Bracy, and some interior lineman but they will return some talented players in Stover, Lewis, DeParris Gordon (WR), and Dionte Savage (OT/DT).

Heritage-
the Hawks just didn't have the size and strength that they are used to having. Guys like Brown and Rodriguez are solid in what they do but they're not just good enough to carry a team through a tough S.V.L.

GAME MVP- Cameron Stover, SWA-
the junior had a huge performance with 5 touchdowns, 3 throwing and 2 rushing. He finished 15-of-20 for 175 yards. He's faster than I thought he was and has good pocket presence. I was also impressed on how he was able to deliver the ball on target with the rain coming down as hard as it was.

Kortez Ross, SWA-
Tez was the most consistent Knight all season long at receiver and safety. He goes 6-3/180 pounds with a exceptional pair of hands. Ross has put together a pretty impressive highlight film to WOW college coaches with.

DeMarcus Bracy, SWA-
at 6-4/240 Bracy is just a physical specimen. He can play a number of positions ranging from receiver to D-end. He's a great person with a great work ethic so the sky is limit for Bracy at the next level.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

WEEk 9: TOP GAMES

I finished 7-3 on last week's picks and that makes me 52-28 on the season. Well this is it- the final week of the season but there is still allot to be decided, like who will advance into the playoffs, and their are a whole lot of teams sitting on 5 wins. Below are my top 10 games and picks of week 9.

10. Arthur Hill (5-3) at Saginaw (3-5) no, this game isn’t intriguing as when these teams meet on the hardwood but it’s still one of the state’s top rivalries, and both teams want bragging rights. The Hill needs the win to get into the playoffs and the High would love to ruin those playoff hopes. The big question is how healthy Jerrell Wilson is for Arthur Hill, without him the Jacks have slipped a notch.
NGS PICK- Arthur Hill 34-26

9. Southgate Anderson (7-1) at Wyandotte Roosevelt (8-0) it’s no disrespect to Roosevelt but who have they play at 8-0? Not one of their wins is against a team already qualified for the playoffs. Anderson on the other hand has battled all season and their lone loss is to highly rated Fordson.
NGS PICK- Anderson 28-21

8. Lansing Everett (6-2) at Lansing Sexton (6-2) you just don’t know what Sexton team will show up? The team that smacked Holt and Davison or the team that smacked around by Mason. Regardless you know Sexton can put up points but can they stop Reggie Williams?
NGS PICK- Sexton 27-20

7. Brother Rice (5-3) vs. OLSM (4-4) I just didn’t expect either of these teams to have this many looses this season, believe me these teams are better than their records indicate but it always comes down to what’s on paper. St. Mary’s snuck past a hobbled Brother Rice team in week 5 but the Warriors are healthy now.
NGS PICK- Brother Rice 35-32

6. Holt (5-3) at Davison (5-3) although I do believe that both teams will get into the playoffs, neither wants to finish 5-4 and depend on playoff points. Both teams are very talented but both are also victims of scheduling a ridiculously tough schedule. This is going to be a dog fight and Davison’s sophomore QB Jake Thompson will have to provide some more magic for the Cardinals.
NGS PICK- Davison 27-23

5. Clarkston (6-2) at Lake Orion (7-1) not to brag but I just knew Lake Orion’s defense was going to get the job done against Rochester Adams last week and I’m predicting another big time performance from the Dragons. Freshman QB Sean Charette has been fantastic for Lake Orion. But don’t expect either team to show too much because they might have a rematch next week in round 1 of the playoffs.
NGS PICK- Lake Orion 33-21

4. Detroit Osborn (8-0) vs. Detroit Southwestern (7-1) the PSL division B Championship doesn’t have the star power like the division A game will have, but it should be just as good of a showing. Osborn has a powerful run game with a platoon of backs however Southwestern has only given up more than 6 points once this year…something has to give?
NGS PICK- Osborn 12-8

3. DeLaSalle (8-0) vs. Detroit C.C. (5-2) this is a tough pick especially since I witnessed the first meeting where every snap was crucial. The Ford Field turf will benefit DeLaSalle’s speed and the Pilots will need another spectacular performance from Ben Hayes, whom dominated the C.C. O-line in week 5.
NGS PICK- DeLaSalle 21-17

2. Detroit Cass Tech (7-1) vs. Detroit Southeastern (7-1) everyone in Michigan already knows what defensive head-hunters William Campbell (Cass) and William Gholston (S.E.) bring to the table. So the difference maker in this game comes at the quarterback position, whoever can make the most plays with their arm out of Thomas Gordon (Cass) and Edward Thomas (S.E.) will come out PSL Champs!
NGS PICK- Southeastern 22-20

1. East Grand Rapids (8-0) at Lowell (8-0) it’s finally here, the game that everyone had circled all the back in August! Two of the nation’s best will duke it out for the OK-White crown. Neither team has been truly tested all season so it will be interesting to see how both teams react come the fourth quarter. Can Lowell slow down the East run game led by Joe Glendening? Can East find a way stop the Lowell pass combo of Kyle Nichol and Torsten Boss?
NGS PICK- Lowell 38-35

BIG 50

1. Muskegon, 8-0, beat Rockford 34-6
2. East Grand Rapids, 8-0, beat Greenville 56-16
3. Lowell, 8-0, beat GR Christian 49-13
4. De La Salle, 8-0, beat U of D Jesuit 58-13
5. Grand Ledge, 8-0, beat Holt 48-34
6. Dearborn Fordson, 8-0, beat Southgate Anderson 36-21
7. Lake Orion, 7-1, beat Rochester Adams 34-28
8. Macomb Dakota, 7-1 beat Utica Eisenhower 17-0
9. Detroit Southeastern, 7-1, beat Detroit Ford 36-0
10. St. Joseph, 8-0, beat Mattawan 46-6
11. Inkster, 7-1, beat Romulus 55-15
12. Rockford, 7-1, loss to Muskegon 6-34
13. Mason, 7-1, beat Owosso 55-17
14. Hudsonville, 6-2, beat Grand Haven 30-6
15. Southfield, 7-1, beat Troy 32-18
16. S.H. Stevenson, 7-1, beat Romeo 43-36
17. Bay City Western, 7-1, beat Flint Northern 24-0
18. Midland, 7-1, beat Flint SWA 43-40
19. Detroit C.C., 5-2, beat Devine Child 42-7
20. Detroit Cass Tech, 7-1, beat Detroit Cody 27-14
21. Rochester Adams, 7-1, loss to Lake Orion 28-34
22. Muskegon C.C., 8-0, beat LaCrosse Aquinas (WI) 20-3
23. Caledonia, 8-0, beat Ottawa Hills 41-14
24. Mt. Pleasant, 7-1, beat Midland Dow 34-13
25. Nouvel C.C., 8-0, beat Bay City John Glenn 44-7
26. Marine City, 8-0, beat St. Clair 35-14
27. Muskegon Oakridge, 8-0, beat Mason Central 63-13
28. Brother Rice, 5-3, beat Powers 33-7
29. Howell, 7-1, beat Lakeland 28-26
30. G.R. Kenowa Hills, 7-1, beat Holland 43-14
31. Wyandotte Roosevelt, 8-0, beat Taylor Truman 23-20
32. Clarkston, 6-2, beat F.H. Harrison 28-20
33. Lansing Everett, 6-2, beat Jackson 28-27
34. Stevensville Lakeshore, 7-1, beat Niles 35-21
35. Allendale, 7-1, beat Wyoming Kelloggsville 48-7
36. Southgate Anderson, 7-1, loss to Dearborn Fordson 21-36
37. Canton, 7-1, beat Novi 38-21
38. Traverse City St. Francis, 7-1, beat Grayling 43-28
39. Portage Central, 7-1, loss to B.C. Central 27-28
40. Lansing Sexton, 6-2, beat Waverly 42-12
41. Romeo, 6-2, loss to S.H. Stevenson 36-43
42. Adrian, 6-2, beat Saline 24-21
43. Davison, 5-3, beat OLSM 22-20
44. Country Day, 6-2, beat Old Redford 42-6
45. Goodrich, 8-0, beat Pinconning 38-21
46. Dearborn, 6-2, beat Monroe 14-13
47. Detroit Cody, 7-1, loss to Cass Tech 14-27
48. Holland Christian, 8-0, beat Zeeland East 46-23
49. Hartland, 6-2, beat Waterford Mott 30-12
50. Detroit Osborn, 8-0, beat Detroit Douglass 41-24

Monday, October 20, 2008

WEEK 8: Cass Tech vs. Cody

** William Campbell hunts down Cody's Brandon Hall****Cass Tech's Teric Jones**
**Cody's Damon Johnson makes an acrobatic catch**
**Cass Tech's Thomas Gordon**

Detroit- 6-1 Cass Tech entered the game supposedly as the "underdog" as they faced the higher seeded Cody Comets, who came in a perfect 7-0 to Saturday's Detroit PSL division A semifinal at Detroit Northwestern. But it's Cass Tech who features all of the high major D-1 recruits and they played like it!

Teric Jones and Thomas Gordon put on a show in the first half as the University of Michigan commits took turns putting together clips for a highlight reel to give their Technicians a 21-0 halftime lead in front of a standing room only crowd.

First, Gordon faked a handoff to Jones and then sprinted 50 yards on the game's opening drive for a 6-0 lead. Next it was Jones turn, as he dashed to paydirt from 61 yards out. Jones picked up a huge block from teammate Dior Mathis, that made the run possible. An extra point made the score 13-0 with 6:20 to play in the second quarter. Jones reached paydirt again, from 6 yards out, to make the score 21-0 at the half.

While Cass was running up and down the field; Cody couldn't generate any kind of offensive flow, Cody prefers to move the ball with the arm of QB Brandon Hall but Hall spent most of the day on his back thanks to William Campbell who spent most of his time in the Comet backfield.

In the thrid quarter Cass secured the win with a goal line stand to keep Cody of the endzone. Cass took over on downs and on the second play Gordon sprinted for a 96 yard TD run and a 27-0 lead.

Cody's offense got rolling but it was just too little too late as Hall tossed two TD completions, a 15 yarder to Damon Johnson and 25 yarder to Larue Boudreaux.

BREAKDOWN

Cass Tech- the Technicians are playing solid football right now, and no better time to be functioning on all cylinders. The D-Line fueled the defense as the got constant pressure from all four lineman, not just Campbell. That pressure allowed the secondary and linebackers to just fly all over the field. Cass Tech has just so many weapons besides the "big 3" but you got to love the team first attitude with all egos put aside.

Cody- the Comets were killed by the big play and just overwhelmed by the speed of Cass Tech. Open field tackling killed Cody in the first half however they did manage to tough up in the second half and hold Cass to only one TD.

GAME MVP- Teric Jones, Cass Tech Jones finished with 161 yards and two TDs and constantly picked up chunks of 20 yards. He is just sick in the open field with great cut back ability and field vision.

Thomas Gordon, Cass Tech- Gordon could have also been MVP with his 146 rushing yards and two TDs. His play at safety was limited to long passing downs but you can't fault the coaching staff because Gordon is still favoring a hamstring injury and you can afford to loose your QB.

William Campbell, Cass Tech- just a pure beast and physical presence on the line. Speed, strength, technique- he has the whole package but more importantly he is a true team leader. Campbell is constantly firing up his teammates and slapping hands. He had a pair of sacks but put Hall on his back atleast 6 times.

Dior Mathis, Cass Tech- like Jones did last year, Mathis, a junior, will have to wait his turn to become the offensive focal point. He still gets plenty of attention at corner with offers from Michigan, Tennessee, Miami (Fl.), Oregon, and Iowa already in his back pocket.

Daniel Easterly, Cass Tech-
gets unnoticed at times but this 6-3 outside linebacker is player! He knocked a Cody Rb out of the game, made another big hit on special teams, then added a interception.

Brandon Hall, Cody- the 6-4 QB has a nice soft touch to his release. I like the way he scans the field and made some tough throws, only problem was he rarely had time to throw but he stayed in the pocket and took his hits.

Damon Johnson, Cody- at 6-5 he gives Hall a big target at tight end. Johnson has good hands and made some tough catches in traffic. No doubt that he can play at the next level.

WEEK 8: Detroit Osborn vs. Detroit Douglass

**Osborn's Mike Jones**
**Canes' Donte Edwards fights for yards**
**Osborn's Deonte Cherry scores one of his 2 TD's**
**Levander Jackson tries to shake off a Cane defender**

Detroit-
It was all Osborn in the Detroit PSL Division B semi-final game Saturday afternoon at Detroit Northwestern High School. Osborn overwhelmed Fredrick-Douglass as the Knights coasted to a 41-24 win to advance to Saturday's PSL Division B Championship Game against Southwestern at Renaissance High School.

Osborn struck first off of a 75 yard touchdown screen pass to fullback Deonte Cherry who ran over one defender and plowed his way down field for a 6-0 lead. The Hurricanes then fumbled the ball away on their second play from scrimmage to put the Knights right back in business. Davetom Odom's 21 yard reception along with a Knight 2-point conversion run gave Osborn a 14-0 lead with 5:47 to play in the first.

Fredrick-Douglass was able to answer back with consecutive 1-yard touchdown runs from QB Donte Edwards. The first touchdown was set up by a 25 yard run by Edwards on 4th-and-1 from Osborn's 30 yard line. The Canes 2-point attempt to tie the game was unsuccessful when Edwards tripped over his center's foot making the score 14-12 with 4:42 left in the half.

Osborn's Levander Jackson took the heart out of Douglas just 16 seconds later when he broke loose for a 55 yard run to take 20-12 lead that the Knights would take into the half. Jackson made his biggest play of the game with 9:15 in the third when he ran off tackle for a 90 yard scamper and a 28-12 lead.

Osborn tacked on two more scores to put the game away with a 6 yard run from Cherry and a 19 yard TD pass from Mike Jones to Estervanico Dickerson. Douglass continued to fight and added two more TDs to the scoreboard in the fourth quarter on 34 and 22 yard grabs from Demarco Johnson.

BREAKDOWN

Osborn-
Even though it was Jackson who put up the big numbers, the Knights have 4 or 5 backs that can hurt you, and they'll need a full team effort next week in the Championship against Detroit Southwestern who has only given up an average of 4.7 points per game including 4 shutouts. Osborn's coaches do a good job with their team, the kids play hard and are well disciplined. No matter what the score was the coaches continued to teach.

Douglass-
the Canes have some sick athletes particularly Edwards and JaCory Green who both split time at QB and tailback. They just had a few mental mistakes that Osborn made them pay for and turned them into big TD runs.

GAME MVP-
Levander Jackson, Osborn- only 12 touches but produced 174 yards and a pair of long TD runs. Was able to find an opening and instantly turned on the burners. His back to back TD runs broke the game open for Osborn.

Deonte Cherry, Osborn-
the fullback is a beast! He has great speed and blocking technique. He gets after the linebackers and stays with his blocks. The coaches rewarded him with a few touches and he even produces as a runner with two TDs of his own.

Donte Edwards, Douglass-
the QB has a nice blend of power and speed. He wasn't afraid to lower a shoulder and run over a defender. I like the way his coaches used him because they lined him up in different positions to contribute.

WEEK 8: Carrollton vs. St. Charles

**Carrollton's Robert Essex**
**St. Charles' Marshall Davenport**
**Carrollton's Zach Palmreuter**
St. Charles- The story line was simple but still a classic. Both teams came in with 8-0 records and the winner would head home with the TVC-West crown. To add to the drama filled game, Carrollton is having their best year is school history by qualifying for the playoffs for the first time ever. Both teams are also led by first year head coaches in Greg Wasmer for the Cavs and Brady Lake for St. Charles.

The Cavs walked into Bulldog Stadium and threw the first punch by taking a 7-0 lead on the game's first possession. Carrollton picked up 34 yards on fullback J.J. Perry's run up the gut while tailback Robert Essex capped the drive with a 5 yard burst.

St. Charles tied the game up with 8:23 left in the second quarter on Marshall Davenport's 18 yard run. St. Charles runs the wing-T, an offense that uses four backs and not a true quarterback under center. So the Cavs defensive game plan was to stack the box with 5 linebackers, trying not to get fooled with the constant ball fakes. St. Charles adjusted by going to the air to loosen up the Cav's defense. The reward for the Bulldogs was a 73 yard touchdown from Dugan Roosa to Davenport, on a simple slant route, to give St. Charles a 14-7 lead.

St. Charles had one more possession before the half and had first shot coming out of the half but both times the Bulldogs left points on the field. St. Charles drove 60 yards but with time running out in the second quarter the Bulldogs attempted a 38 yard field goal that fell short. In the third quarter the Bulldogs again drove 60 yards but stalled inside the 10 yard line but the chip shot field goal was blocked by Carrollton's Calvin Jackson.

Carrollton took over from there! Facing a 4th-and-4 near midfield, the Cavs gambled and threw a screen pass to Essex for a 15 yard gain. Three minutes later quarterback Zach Palmreuter dove into the endzone from a yard out. Justin Elliot's extra point tied the game at 14-14 with 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

St. Charles started to drive again and looked like they were heading right towards paydirt but the Bulldogs coughed up the ball on their own 40 yard line, giving the Cavs a short field. Essex used a handful of rushes to take the ball inside the 5 yard line and Palmreuter finished the drive with a bootleg run to give the Cavs a 21-14 lead with 4:10 to play.

St. Charles had one more shot and made the game real interesting as they advanced the ball inside the redzone with less than a 30 seconds to play. While facing a fourth down, the Bulldogs pass fell incomplete but a pass interference penalty gave St. Charles a first down. Carrollton made three more penalties in the closing seconds to put St. Charles one yard away from tieing the score but with no time left on the clock the Bulldogs were stuffed.

BREAKDOWN

Carrollton- allot of the success that the Cavs have received this year is going to Robert Essex, and deservingly so! But the Cavs O-line has to be credited as well. I was very surprised to see how the Cavs just manhandled St. Charles in the trenches. They physically controlled the line and gave Essex plenty of running room between the tackles.

St. Charles- the Bulldogs left plenty of points on the field and they were driving with ease until they fumbled the ball after a 10 yard pick up late in the fourth quarter. Good news for the Bulldogs is that it looks like they will get a rematch against Carrollton in the first round of the playoffs.

GAME MVP- Robert Essex, Carrollton- Essex ran 30 times for 156 yards and a TD. An average day at the office for the junior speedster who is creeping up on 2,000 rushing yards. While Essex is smaller and has break away speed he does most of his damage between the tackles. Essex also lines up at corner for the Cavs.

Marshall Davenport, St. Charles- the running back, receiver, and safety could be very successful at the D-2 level. He stands about 6-2 with good strength and speed. He scored both of St. Charles TD's.

Friday, October 17, 2008

WEEK 8: Top 10 Games

Last week was a better week for picks as I finished up 6-4, making me 45-25 on the season. Below are my picks and listings of the top 10 games for week 8.

10. Carrollton (7-0) at St. Charles (7-0) St. Charles is the last hurdle for Carrollton to get by in this dream season. It’s no secret in Mid-Michigan that Carrollton is led by feature back Robert Essex but Essex must find a way to get past those big hogs that St. Charles has.
NGS PICK- St. Charles 27-20

9. Farmington Hills Harrison (4-3) at #38 Clarkston (5-2) Harrison has only missed the playoffs twice since 1992 and its looks like this season will be the third but a win over Clarkston could give the Hawks hope going into week 9 against Stoney Creek (3-4). However Clarkston has a balanced offensive attack that will give the Hawks more then they can handle.
NGS PICK- Clarkston 42-27

8. #49 Troy (5-2) at #12 Southfield (6-1) Troy needs just one more win to qualify for the playoffs, they’ll get it but it just won’t be against Southfield. Southfield can move the ball anyway possible with Eddie Beal and even though Troy has a strong defense, that’s led by Will Schwarz, the Colts will come up short.
NGS PICK- Southfield 31-21

7. #46 OLSM (4-3) at Davison (4-3) with so many teams getting to 6 wins this year it will tough for any 5-4 team to make the playoffs so I don’t have to stress how important this game is. This game is filled with playmakers and could have plenty of fireworks. This game will come down to whoever wins the turnover battle.
NGS PICK- OLSM 32-30

6. #32 Romeo (6-1) at #17 Sterling Heights Stevenson (6-1) these are two solid and well coached teams that have a legit chance to get to Ford Field. Romeo is led by Ben Brown who has carried the run load while Stevenson looks for QB Jason Fracassa to lead the way. I’m going with Romeo but it’ll be a tight one.
NGS PICK- Romeo 27-24

5. #25 Detroit Cass Tech (6-1) vs. #30 Detroit Cody (7-0) yes, Cass Tech has all the high major recruits but there just seems to be something special about Cody this year. This game will be a defensive battle and as tough as the D-lines are, running room won’t come easy although I think Thomas Gordon has enough magic in him to get Cass Tech into next weeks PSL Championship game.
NGS PICK- Cass Tech 13-7

4. #41 Holt (5-2) at #7 Grand Ledge (7-0) Holt needs a win to get a share of the CAAC-Blue and that seems possible since the Rams are now playing their best football but Grand Ledge has just taken care of business week in and week out, nothing fancy just getting the “W”. This game could possibly come down to a field goal on the final play.
NGS PICK- Grand Ledge 23-21

3. #14 Southgate Anderson (7-0) at #8 Dearborn Fordson (7-0) Anderson has posted a 7-0 record behind the arm of QB Kyle Wentzel, who is one of the better yet underrated QB's in the state. But Fordson is just loaded with players at every position, especially now since junior receiver Baquer Sayed has emerged.
NGS PICK- Fordson 28-17

2. #9 Lake Orion (6-1) at #6 Rochester Adams (7-0) I think this will be the week Adams meets the loss column. Lake Orion has one of the top defenses in the state, if not the best. Don’t get me wrong, Adams is good but they just haven’t seen a team as physically tough as Lake Orion is. Adams’ QB Andrew Waszak will get thrown out of his comfort level which might lead to turnovers.
NGS PICK- Lake Orion 23-17

1. #2 Muskegon (7-0) at #4 Rockford (7-0) as competitive as the OK-Red is, it sees as if we all knew it would come down to this game. Rockford will focus on limiting the Big Red run attack but Muskegon and QB Elan Banks have proven that throwing the ball isn’t a problem. The key will be if Rockford can control the clock, behind a mammoth offensive line, and keep that explosive Muskegon offense off the field.
NGS PICK- Muskegon 34-28

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

NGS: BIG 50

1. East Grand Rapids, 7-0, beat G.R. Christian 35-7
2. Muskegon, 7-0, beat East Kentwood 42-0
3. Lowell, 7-0, beat Creston 35-0
4. Rockford, 7-0, beat West Ottawa 37-29
5. De La Salle, 7-0, beat Bishop Watterson (OH) 17-13
6. Rochester Adams, 7-0, beat F.H. Harrison 32-14
7. Grand Ledge, 7-0, beat Lansing Eastern 28-12
8. Dearborn Fordson, 7-0, beat Dearborn 24-14
9. Lake Orion, 6-1, beat Royal Oak 55-0
10. Macomb Dakota, 6-1 beat Utica Ford 35-0
11. Inkster, 6-1, beat Melvindale 34-14
12. Southfield, 6-1, beat Birmingham Groves 23-12
13. Mason, 6-1, beat Lansing Sexton 48-8
14. Southgate Anderson, 7-0, beat Taylor Truman 42-6
15. Hudsonville, 5-2, beat Grandville 50-33
16. Bay City Western, 6-1, beat Arthur Hill 28-7
17. S.H. Stevenson, 6-1, beat Chippewa Valley 49-21
18. St. Joseph, 7-0, beat Benton Harbor 45-0
19. Detroit Southeastern, 6-1, beat King 36-0
20. Midland, 6-1, beat Flint Central 45-7
21. Portage Central, 7-0, beat Portage Northern 28-7
22. Mt. Pleasant, 6-1, beat Flint Southwestern 44-42
23. Chelsea, 6-1, beat Ann Arbor Pioneer 35-27
24. Detroit C.C., 4-2, beat Notre Dame Prep 42-0
25. Detroit Cass Tech, 6-1, beat Detroit Chadsey 21-14
26. Muskegon C.C., 7-0, beat Thomas More (WI) 48-20
27. Nouvel C.C., 7-0, beat Muskegon Heights 32-14
28. Marine City, 7-0, beat East Detroit 41-13
29. Muskegon Oakridge, 7-0, Montague 28-21
30. Detroit Cody, 7-0, beat Detroit Central 15-0
31. Howell, 6-1, beat Brighton 17-14
32. Romeo, 6-1, loss to Utica Eisenhower 14-17
33. Caledonia, 7-0, beat G.R. South Christian 21-7
34. Lakeland, 6-1, beat Waterford Kettering 49-14
35. G.R. Kenowa Hills, 6-1, beat Reeths-Puffer 49-21
36. Wyandotte Roosevelt, 7-0, beat Lincoln Park 54-7
37. Brother Rice, 4-3, beat U of D Jesuit 49-13
38. Clarkston, 5-2, beat Oak Park 35-0
39. Lansing Everett, 5-2, loss to Holt 34-35
40. Novi, 6-1, beat Northville 14-12
41. Holt, 5-2, beat Lansing Everett 35-34
42. Goodrich, 7-0, beat Otisville-Lakeville 58-0
43. Stevensville Lakeshore, 6-1, beat B.C. Central 28-9
44. Allendale, 6-1, beat Kent City 50-7
45. Traverse City St. Francis, 6-1, beat Harbor Springs 55-0
46. OLSM, 4-3, beat Divine Child 45-7
47. Adrian, 5-2, loss to Ann Arbor Huron 41-42
48. Country Day, 5-2, beat Bloomfield Hills Andover 44-7
49. Troy, 5-2, beat Southfield Lathrup 43-6
50. Canton, 6-1, beat Livonia Churchill 57-43

Monday, October 13, 2008

RECRUITING NOTES: 10-13-08


2011 wing Matt Poches and 2012 combo guard Ray Lee both headed south Saturday to Ohio State to watch the Buckeyes top Purdue 16-3. The two recruits spent the day taking a tour of the Buckeye's facilities then made their way to witness the traditional "Skull Session" and football game.

Other notable recruits that were on Ohio State's campus were Traevon Crater and Paul Honigford. Crater, the younger brother of Anthony "Noopy" Crater, is a wing from the class of 2012 and a former native of Flint, MI.

Honigford is drawing interest from Michigan, Ohio State, and Xavier. The 6-7 forward and his father also confirmed that Michigan State has already offered him. Honigford was up at Michigan State two weeks ago when he received his offer and plans to head back to East Lansing this weekend.

WEEK 7: Grand Blanc vs. Powers

**GB's Tony Jones #1 and Ryan Morley #7**
**Powers Matt Burnor tries to find running room**
**GB's Justice Hayes made plenty of running room**

Flint- Grand Blanc took another step closer to qualifying for the playoffs with a 40-14 beat down over conference rival Flint Powers. The Bobcats started the season by loosing three of their first four games and at the time the playoffs seemed nearly impossible but since then G.B. has rolled up three straight wins and are two more away from the postseason.

The Bobcats played spoiler to Powers on Homecoming Night by racking up 472 yards of total offense. G.B. opened the scoring up with a 26 yard scoring strike from sophomore Ryan Morley to fellow sophomore teammate Justice Hayes. The Bobcats struck again with another Morley touchdown, this time from six yards out to James Dehoff.

Powers responded with a three yard touchdown run from Matt Burnor to cut the Bobcat lead to 14-7. Unfortunately for the Chargers they just didn't have enough fire power to keep pace with the Bobcats and before Powers could build anymore momentum G.B. struck again. Hayes made the play of the game when he broke a tackle in the backfield, then hurdled a pair of would be tacklers, then sprinted 75 yards for a 21-7 lead. The Bobcats tacked on another TD 11 seconds before the halftime when Hayes crossed paydirt on 4th-and-goal from the 3.

It was one of those nights for the Chargers as nothing could go right. After forcing the Bobcats to punt to start the second half, Powers muffed the punt and it was recovered by G.B.'s Gabe Martin. Grand Blanc took advantage of the field position and Hayes ran in his third TD for a 33-7 lead. Powers finally found some offensive success and moved the ball inside the 10 yard line but a fumble was scooped up by Dehoff and he was finally tackled near midfield. A fake receiver screen to Tony Jones left Adam VanHorn wide open for a huge pass play to get the Bobcats inside the redzone. Morley capped G.B.'s final scoring drive with a QB keeper.
BREAKDOWN

Grand Blanc- the Bobcats look like a playoff team and are now just two wins away. The youth has quickly grown up and the Bobcats don't play like a team that is led by underclassmen. The offense has put up points all season long and now the defense is getting the job done.

Powers- turnovers hurt the Chargers and G.B. took advantage of them. Once Powers got down they just didn't have the offensive weapons to rally back. Powers falls to 2-5 and it doesn't get any easier as Brother Rice comes to town next week.

GAME MVP- Ryan Morley, GB the super soph just has it! He has every intangible you look for in a quarterback. He plays calm and no matter what the situation is he's cooler than the other side of the pillow. His early TD passes gave GB the lead and the Bobcats never looked back. Morley finished 14 of 22 for 206 yards and 3 TD passes to go with a rushing TD.

Justice Hayes, GB- another GB sophomore with a ton of potential, like Morley, Hayes is the real deal! He'll run around you or through you. Hayes finished with 153 rushing yards and 3 TDs to go with 3 catches for 86 yards.

Tony Jones, GB- T.J. had a quiet night with only 4 catches for 22 yards but he drew double and triple coverage all night and his Bobcats teammates just stepped up and made Powers pay for it. The numbers don't show it but T.J. played a huge role in the win.

Justin Music, GB-
the 6-4/300 pound lineman tossed around Powers' lineman all night. He also showed off his ability to pick up big blocks 15 yards down field. He's still unsigned but I would suggest that all M.A.C. colleges need to take a serious look.

CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO SEE GRAND BLANC'S DYNAMIC OFFENSE IN ACTION!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

WEEK 7: Saginaw High vs. Flint Northern

**Saginaw's Ayinde Ashford finds running room**
**Saginaw's DeAnthony Arnett**
**Saginaw's Terry Simon's gets into the endzone**
**Saginaw's Javonte Jackson recovers an onside kick**

Flint- Saginaw didn't waste any time to rain on Northern's homecoming as the Trojans turned three first quarter turnovers into touchdowns in route to a 56-8 thumping.

Saginaw opened up the scoring with a 9 yard run from Terry Simmons to go up 6-0 just 30 seconds into the contest. The Trojans followed that up by going into their bag of tricks with an onside kick that was recovered by Javonte Jackson.

The Trojans used their spread offense to open up running lanes for QB Ayinde Ashford and junior running backs Greg Hayes and Simmons. Saginaw made the score 14-0 with Ashford's one yard sneak and Hayes 2-point conversion run.

Flint Northern failed to move the ball on their first possession and punted the ball away, only problem was the punt was block giving Saginaw the ball inside the redzone. Ashford finished the drive with another TD sneak. Saginaw tacked on another first quarter TD, again from Ashford, that was set up by a 25 yard pass to Jimmy Davis.

Northern finally put together a drive to get on the scoreboard when Sean Brandon hit Jerrod Brown for a 10 yard score. But Saginaw struck back with a 47 yard pass from Ashford to Hayes to give the Trojans a 34-8 halftime lead.

The Trojans enforced the mercy rule in the second half with three more TDs. Ashford ran one in from 17 yards, threw another Jauron Howard from 15 yards out, while Hayes capped the scoring with an 11 yard run.

BREAKDOWN

Saginaw- the Trojans managed to get the big win despite playing without receiver Mike Green and back Dominique Jackson, who both sat due to injuries. The win gives Saginaw a 3-4 record as they close the season out with games against city rivals Heritage and Arthur Hill. Saginaw's offense seems to be clicking now, unfortunately there are only two games left but it should carry over to next year as plenty of talent will return.

Northern- the Vikings were extremely small at every position. I could tell that they usually depend on team speed but that just wasn't going to work against Saginaw. Northern also ran a congested offense that kept everyone tight near the line, with a smaller line-up Northern should have spread the field.


GAME MVP- Ayinde Ashford, Saginaw the senior QB wasted no time to get his offense in the endzone. Despite being built like a middle linebacker he has quick feet and a finesse style to his game. He bulldozed his way into the endzone 4 times to go with 2 more passing TDs.


DeAnthony Arnett, Saginaw- the sophomore receiver is one of the top receivers in the class of 2011 nationally. He didn't get many passes thrown to him due to the lopsided score but he did manage to haul in two catches, including one for a 47 yard gain.


Greg Hayes, Saginaw- another Trojan blessed with a ton of speed. Hayes' two touchdown, 47 yard reception and 11 yard run, are just an indication of his playmaking skills. The junior has the skills to play a number of positions at the next level.


Kadeem Carter, Northern- Carter has the body and speed of a safety (5-9/165) but plays middle linebacker due to his toughness and ability to read plays. He does a good job holding it down it the middle and collected 10 tackles.