Another Friday, another column about high school football in the Great Lakes State! I noticed some leaves changing color on my way down I-75 last weekend. It’s only going to accelerate. Just like football season has started to accelerate. October is here and by the end of the month, we will be stepping into the Great Lake that is the 2013 MHSAA Football Playoffs. Let’s get right into it!
Flint Powers Catholic (3-2) at Davison (2-3) (Friday October 4, 7pm)
These two teams are undefeated in league play. All their losses have come at the hands of non-league opponents. Flint Powers a small school (517 students) playing in a league of bigger enrollment schools (Davison has just under 1,700.) They can hold their own, thanks in part to Coach Bob Buckle. Last week, they beat up Flint Southwestern 44-14. Quarterback Riley Start completed 12 of his 13 passes for 87 yards and two scores. Charlie Buckley grabbed five of those passes for 42 yards and both touchdown receptions. Trent Grimes rushed 15 times for 157 yards and three touchdowns. Both teams have three league games left in the Saginaw Valley League South Division including this game against each other. The winner will be in the driver’s seat for the league championship.
Davison also had a monster game last week. They beat Flint Northwestern 50-6. They scored six rushing touchdowns by five different players. In the second quarter, the Cardinals exploded for 35 points. Leading the rushing attack was Jacob Davis, who ran 13 times for 118 yards and two scores. Dalton Root, Garrett Sigourney, Jake Ellis, and Tanner Thomas all scored rushing touchdowns. Root had three receptions for 14 yards to go along with his 59 rushing yards on three carries. Darren Nelson grabbed the only touchdown reception from 25 yards out. Quarterback Brandon Pasco completed six of his 10 passes for 84 yards and a score.
Shelby (5-0) at Muskegon Oakridge (5-0) (Friday October 4, 7pm)
These two teams are fighting for a conference championship. The West Michigan Conference title will be closer after this week with only two conference games left. Last week, they BLASTED Hart with a 61-7 win. Quarterback Andy Fortier completed six of his 13 passes for 102 yards and three touchdowns. Devin Mussell grabbed three of those passes for 67 yards and a score. He also rushed three times for 63 yards and two more scores. Brody Lee grabbed two passes for 26 yards and a score. Tony Guerra ran four times for 54 yards and two scores. Kevin Brink and Dylan Unger led the team in tackles with nine a piece.
Oakridge also won, but their game was a lot closer. They won 31-27 over Ravenna. The Eagles went into halftime with a slim three point lead. The third quarter saw lots of fireworks, as Oakridge scored 21 and Ravenna scored 12. Oakridge was able to hang on for the win after Ravenna scored a fourth quarter touchdown. Quarterback Austin Wright was a major part of the win. He was seven of 16 for 113 yards through the air and rushed 14 times for 291 yards and two scores. Dan Shoop toted the rock 17 times for 149 yards and a score. Jerick Wambaugh caught three passes for 35 yards and Alex Torrenga caught two for 50. This game is going to be a battle. Both want to win that conference title. I don’t believe that Shelby has won the West Michigan Conference since 1977 while Oakridge won it last year.
Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (5-0) at Milan (5-0) (Friday October 4, 7pm)
It was a good game last week. SMCC beat Carleton Airport 27-7. Two of the running backs for the Falcons had 100 yards or more and a third fell five yards short of the century mark. Justin Carrabino rushed for 158 yards and a touchdown. Josh Cznarniowski had 100 yards and two scores. John Lako had 95 yards and a score while also making 10 tackles on defense. David Howey led his team with 11 tackles. St. Mary Catholic Central is tied with Milan in the conference with four wins each. The winner has a good chance to win the conference…as long as they continue to take care of business.
Milan is humming along this season. They beat Grosse Ile 40-6 last week. To do that, they scored on their first four possessions. Quarterback Robert Kanitz had two passing touchdowns. Running back Nick Scully gained 114 yards on the ground and scored once. Trace Lindeman rushed for 105 and scored as well. Max Blackburn led the defense with 11 tackles. Milan is about double the enrollment of SMCC. Both of these teams have their sights set on the Huron League championship banner. After Friday night, only one team will still be standing.
Felch North Dickinson (5-0) at Crystal Falls Forest Park (5-0) (Friday October 4, 6:30pm)
The Nordics of Felch North Dickinson might be the first team in the playoffs. That is because this season they are only playing eight games (Most teams play all nine weeks.) MSHAA states that if you only play eight games, you are in after five wins, instead of the usual six. Last week, they broke a state record for most consecutive playoff appearances. The last time they missed it was back in 1990. It wasn’t going to be easy though; star running back Tim Hruska hurt his ankle the week prior. Matt Schultz did his best to make up for it. Schultz rushed for 143 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. The Nordic offense scored and the defense kept Bark River-Harris out of the end zone, forcing them to pass far more than they wanted to. This week, it’s going to be an epic battle of two small school powerhouses.
Crystal Falls Forest Park has been down the past few seasons. That doesn’t mean they haven’t been successful. On the contrary. They made the playoffs last season, but were bounced in round one. The Trojans are accustomed to playing at Ford Field for a state championship. Last week, they beat Powers North Central by the score of 35-8. The game was an extremely physical, according to Coach Bill Santilli. It was a two person rushing attack for CFFP. Austin Snell rushed 13 times for 124 yards and a score while also grabbing a 55 yard touchdown reception from quarterback Jeff Johnson. Lee Graff ran 20 times for 141 yards and two scores. QB Johnson completed one of his seven passes for 55 yards and a score.
High School Spartans
Jayru Campbell – Detroit Cass Tech – He had two touchdown passes on three completions. They absolutely destroyed Detroit Central Collegiate Academy by the score of 76-0 so Campbell didn’t play much.
Deon Drake – Detroit Cass Tech – I highly doubt that Mr. Drake played a ton in this game.
Matt Sokol – Rochester Adams – He didn’t start out great. Sokol only completed one of his seven passes. On the last drive before the half, he completed all three of his passes, including a 27 yard touchdown pass. Sokol also ran 19 times for 129 yards and a touchdown. Coach Tony Patritto had only praise for his quarterback after the game, “He did so much right for us tonight. He threw the ball better than he has all year. He made some huge plays on fourth downs. I have faith in him, and he used his size, strength, and heart to will us to victory tonight.” Mick McCabe wrote an article about him that I am happy to pass along. Pay close attention to the last quote from Sokol at the end. http://lms.usatodayhss.com/detroit/articles/item/1284-rochester-adams-matt-sokol-whatever-is-best-for-the-guys
Jalen Watts-Jackson – Orchard Lake St Mary’s – Didn’t see any stats, but OLSM lost a heartbreaker to Warren De La Salle 7-0.
David Beedle – Clarkston – The Wolves beat Rochester Hills Stoney Creek 42-7, handing Stoney Creek their first loss of the season.
Nick Padla – Berrien Springs – The Shamrocks won their second game of the season, defeating South Haven 26-0.