Sunday, September 30, 2012

Elite Eight - Making a Statement

8. Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes defense
The Lakers have been quietly dominant through the first six weeks of the season, thanks in large part to their defense, which came up big once again on Saturday afternoon, holding Cranbrook to just six points on the day, while racking up sacks left and right.

7. Richie Wilson - Birmingham Detroit Country Day RB
Wilson didn't flirt with the 200 yard total like he does in most weeks, but what he still left the field on Friday night with an impressive stat line. Along with going over the century mark, the junior running back tallied a total of five touchdowns on Friday night in Country Day's win over Hazel Park.

6. David Houle-Anthony Darkangelo - Novi Detroit Catholic Central RB's
Both Houle and Darkangelo each found their way into the end zone twice for the Shamrocks on Saturday as Catholic Central topped U-D Jesuit in dominating fashion. Darkangelo also tallied 12 tackles on the afternoon on the defensive side of the ball.

5. Sean Scullen - Stoney Creek
Scullen did a little bit of everything on Friday night as he accounted for over 220 yards of total offense and three touchdowns on the ground, and also tallied two interceptions on defense to help lead the Cougars to a narrow win over Troy Athens.

4. Dalton Christie - Lakeland RB
Christie had another big week out of the Lakeland backfield as he rushed for 212 yards in Friday night's win over Walled Lake Central. 105 of Christie's yards came in the second quarter as he scored a pair of touchdowns, including a 65 yarder.

3. Birmingham Seaholm defense
The Maples put together one of the most dominant defensive performances that you will see this season, holding a high-powered Avondale offense to zero points until the midway point of the fourth quarter, holding a 28-2 lead for much of the game.

2. Connor Mohr - Farmington RB
Mohr was once again dominant in the Falcon's run game as he rushed for 247 yards and two touchdowns, while accounting for double digit tackles as well to help lead Farmington to a 41-29 win over Rochester Adams on Friday night.

1. Orchard Lake St. Mary's defense
The Eaglet's defense has now put together back-to-back-to-back dominant performances as St. Mary's outlasted Birmingham Brother Rice on Saturday night. The Eaglets limited the high-powered Warrior offense to just two touchdowns on the night just one week after allowing just one score to Cass Tech. The Eaglets might not have the same "big name" players on defense as they did last year, but this defense is as good as any in the state.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Week 6 Oakland County Football Picks

Last Week's Record: 11-1   Season Record: 55-17

Lakeland at Walled Lake Central
The Vikings are coming off of a blowout loss for the second time this season, and look for Central to bounce back once again with a grind-it-out win behind sophomore quarterback Nick Krumm.
Central 28, Lakeland 24

Rochester Adams at Farmington
Farmington has dealt with their fair share of bumps and bruises so far this year, but look for the Falcons to continue to follow their dominant defense to another big OAA White win.
Farmington 31, Adams 21

Auburn Hills Avondale at Birmingham Seaholm
High powered offense vs. high powered defense. This game is the definition of a matchup of teams that have contrasting styles. The question is, does Avondale have enough fire power to overcome the Seaholm defense? Yes.
Avondale 28, Seaholm 21

Rochester at Lake Orion
Rochester has proven to be a strong contender so far this year, but Lake Orion is on another level this year and is out to make another statement.
Lake Orion 38, Rochester 24

Berkley at Bloomfield Hills Lahser
Lahser is coming off of a tough loss at the hands of Notre Dame Prep, and Berkley is a team that could sneak up on the Knights if they’re not careful. This is a definite trap game for Lahser, but Spencer McCourt and Co. will survive.
Lahser 38, Berkley 31

Oxford at Southfield
The Blue Jays may have turned the corner in the second half of their comeback win over Farmington Hills Harrison, and if that is the case for Southfield, the OAA White better look out.
Southfield 35, Oxford 27

Dearborn Divine Child at Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
Notre Dame Prep took passed what was arguably their toughest test so far this year with flying colors last week with a statement win over Lahser and the Irish are up to 18 straight regular season wins and counting.
ND Prep 38, Divine Child 24

Northville at South Lyon East
This is a chance for the Cougars to prove that they are for real this year and the emergence of Wade Morris and Joe Reilly in the receiving game has South Lyon East thinking playoffs right now.
SLE 42, Northville 38

Birmingham Detroit Country Day at Hazel Park
This game has shootout written all over it, Hazel Park’s backfield trio of Tyner, Campbell and Bynum all went over the 200 yard mark last week while Country Day’s Richie Wilson has hovered around that mark all season long. This should be a fun one.
BDCD 49, Hazel Park 42

Novi Detroit Catholic Central at U-D Jesuit
Catholic Central has slowly, but surely been battling back from a rocky start, and now the duo of Anthony Darkangelo and Dylan Roney are looking to make it three straight for the Shamrocks.
NDCC 35, Jesuit 17

Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood at Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes
WOLL has looked nearly unbeatable so far this year, but the Lakers can’t overlook Danny Mogill and Co. Look for big games from the Laker backfield as they try to slow down a very capable passing attack.
WOLL 24, Cranbrook 14

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s at Birmingham Brother Rice (At Berkley)
This is without a doubt the game of the week, and possibly the game of the year. St. Mary’s topped a Cass Tech squad that had already beaten the Warriors this year, but look for Brian Walker and Shon Powell to lead the way in the run game on Saturday night.
Brother Rice 21, OLSM 17

Monday, September 24, 2012

Oakland County Football Rankings - Rising to the Top

1. Orchard Lake St. Mary's
The Eaglets proved just about everybody wrong on Friday night as they knocked off nationally ranked Cass Tech with a convincing showing from the defense. The St. Mary's defensive squad allowed just six points on the night while the offense continued to feature one of the best rushing attacks.

2. Birmingham Brother Rice
The Brother Rice defense once again proved to be at its best on Saturday as the Warriors held U-D Jesuit to just three points after shutting out the Warred De La Sale offense. With an offense capable of scoring its fair share of points, the Warriors are going to be a tough team to beat in the final four games of the regular season.

3. (Tie) Clarkston
The Wolves just barely survived the upset bid from Stoney Creek on Friday night, but they still remain as one of the most dangerous teams around because of the overpowering run game and the shutdown defense that has limited teams all season long.

3. (Tie) Lake Orion
The Dragons made quite a statement on Friday night as Lake Orion cruised past a previously unbeaten Troy team behind another strong performance from the high-powered offense. But don't overlook the Lake Orion defense, which has continued to quietly shut opposing offenses down so far this season.

4. Oak Park
The Knights keep finding ways to win and have been able to top two of the OAA White's best squads, Southfield and Farmington in recent weeks. With Oak Park showing the ability to overcome test after test so far this season behind an impressive defense and big time performances from running back Malik Washington and Dellonte Johnson.

5. Farmington 
The Falcons have dealt with the injury bug all season long, but Farmington has been able to overcome those injuries and had stayed perfect on the year until last week as the Falcons lost narrowly to Oak Park. But as the Falcons get healthier as the season goes on, there's no doubt that the Falcons will be a serious contender in the OAA White and the playoffs.

6. Novi Detroit Catholic Central
The Shamrocks just barely survived on Sunday against Warren De La Salle, but seem to be slowly bouncing back from the tough losses in weeks two and three and should continue that trend this week against Detroit Jesuit before the showdown with Brother Rice in week seven.

7. Birmingham Detroit Country Day
Just how good is Country Day running back Richie Wilson? The junior continues to impress with his third game in as many weeks where he has nearly gone over the 200 yard mark on around 20 carries. With a strong passing game as well as a dominant defense, the Yellowjackets are looking like serious contenders come playoff time.

8. Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
The Fighting Irish have been dominant so far this season with a defense that has shut teams down all year long and did once again against a dangerous Bloomfield Hills Lahser team. As the season goes on, look for Notre Dame Prep to continue its regular season dominance behind one of the area's best two-way players in Jermaih Johnson.

9. Auburn Hills Avondale
The Yellow Jackets just keep firing on all cylinders this season, as quarterback Spencer Smith and one of the most impressive rushing attacks in the county continue to find the end zone at an impressive rate. Friday's game against a tough Seaholm defense will be a chance for the Avondale offense to show that it's for real.

10. Southfield
The Blue Jays bounced back from a couple of tough losses to Farmington and Oak Park with an impressive come from behind win over Farmington Hills Harrison where Southfield was trailing 17-0 at one point. Don't be surprised if the Blue Jays win their final four games this year.

Honorable Mention (No Order): Troy, Oxford, Rochester, Farmington Hills Harrison, Walled Lake Northern, Walled Lake Western, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes, Royal Oak Shrine, Bloomfield Hills Lahser

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Elite Eight -- Offensive Outbursts

8. Raeshaun Campbell-Gary Tyner-Deonte Bynum – Hazel Park RBs
The Hazel Park running backs just went off on Friday night as the Vikings rushed for over 700 yards on the night as all three players listed above totaled at least 200 yards of total offense in a high scoring win over Royal Oak.

7. Beau Wilhelm – Lakeland defensive back
Wilhelm did his best Charles Woodson impression on Friday night as Wilhelm picked off not one, not two, but three Waterford Mott passes to help lead the Eagles to a 41-20 win over the Corsairs.

6. The Pontiac Notre Dame Prep Defense
The Fighting Irish continued their regular season winning streak behind a strong defensive performance as Notre Dame Prep shut down the high powered Bloomfield Hills Lahser offense in a 35-14 statement win on Friday night.

5. The Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Defense
The Eaglets were able to do something that nobody has been able to do so far this season, which is stop a dangerous Cass Tech offense. The nationally ranked Technicians had no answers for the OLSM defense which held Cass Tech to single digit points on the night in an impressive win.

4. Malik Washington – Oak Park RB
Washington once again went over the century mark in rushing yards on Friday night as the senior running back helped lead Oak Park over OAA White rival Farmington as the Knights stayed perfect on the season. Friday marked the third consecutive week that Washington rushed for over 100 yards.

3. Justin Unger - Royal Oak RB
Unger was simply unstoppable on Friday night as the Royal Oak Running back rushed for nearly 300 yards on only 18 carries as he found the end zone five times on the night in the Raven’s upset bid against Hazel Park.

2. Corey Ester-Zak Arnold-Jacob Miller – Lake Orion RBs
The three-headed monster was nearly unstoppable once again for Lake Orion on Friday night as the trio ran around, past and through the Troy defense in the Dragon’s 38-0 rout of the Colts. The three combined for three scores on Friday night to keep the high powered Lake Orion offense running like a well-oiled machine.

1. Collin O’Donnell – Walled Lake Northern QB
O’Donnell was on his game on Friday night as the senior signal caller accounted for five of the seven Northern Touchdowns and threw two touchdowns in less than 10 seconds. O’Donnell finished the game with over 270 yards through the air and four touchdowns and rushed for 40 yards as well to lead Northern to its first win over Walled Lake Central.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Week 5 Oakland County Football Picks

Last Week's Record: 10-2     Season Record: 44-16

Farmington at Oak Park
The Knights have been one of the county's pleasant surprises as they share a lead for first place in the OAA White division with Farmington, but Oak Park will own first place outright after this week.
Oak Park 24, Farmington 21 in OT

Cass Tech at Orchard Lake St. Mary's
The Technicians are among the nation's elite prep football teams, and while OLSM has shown that they can play with some of the best in the state, Cass Tech is simply on another level and will make it 2-for-2 against the Catholic League this year.
Cass Tech 20, OLSM 14

Walled Lake Central at Walled Lake Northern
Northern's defense proved that it can play with some of the faster offensive units around last week with a win over rival Western, but now the question is, can they stop one of the more powerful offenses? The Knights won't stop the Vikings, but they'll slow them down just enough.
Northern 38, Central 34

Berkley at Auburn Hills Avondale
The Yellow Jackets seem to be getting stronger every week, but Berkley has already shown that it can hang with some of the division's best. Avondale can't afford to look past the Bears.
Avondale 35, Berkley 28

Pontiac at Rochester
Rochester has been picking up some wins very quietly and should be in a good position for a postseason berth after starting the season 4-1 after this week.
Rochester 42, Pontiac 30

Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest at Sterling Heights Parkway Christian
Nathan Drews has been one of the area's best signal callers for a long time now, and Parkway Christian can only hope to slow him down on Friday night. Expect a big game from the Crusaders quarterback.
Lutheran Northwest 35, Parkway Christian 24

Bloomfield Hills Lahser at Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
A big time showdown between two of the are's best unbeaten squads. I can't remember the last time the Fighting Irish have lost during the regular season, and until they get beaten in the regular season, I'm not picking against them.
NDP 28, Lahser 21

Southfield at Farmington Hills Harrison
This game will come down to who is more in need of a win in week five, and that happens to be Southfield.
Southfield 28, Harrison 24

Troy at Lake Orion
The Dragon offense has been on another level this season, but Troy's offense hasn't been far behind with the Cherry brothers. Lake Orion needs to be sure not to look past a dangerous Troy team.
Lake Orion 35, Troy 32 in OT

Birmingham Brother Rice vs. U-D Jesuit at Ferndale
There's just no stopping the Brother Rice offense this season. Too much in the run game and a much improved aerial attack has the Warriors looking unstoppable.
Brother Rice 35, Jesuit 18

Royal Oak Shrine at Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood
Shrine should get off to a much better start this week than the Knights did last week and cruise to a win.
Shrine 31, Cranbrook 21

Warren De La Salle at Novi Detroit Catholic Central
With or without star quarterback Shane Morris, the Pilots will have their hands full playing a motivated Catholic Central squad on Sunday.
NDCC 35, DLS 21

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Finding Answers

Early on in the 2012 football season, there were obvious questions about several Oakland County teams, but so far, many of those teams have had plenty of answers for those questions in recent weeks. If you have questions about a certain Oakland County team in any sport that you would like to pass along for a future "mailbag" post, feel free to leave a comment or send an email at

Can the Birmingham Brother Rice passing game keep up with its rushing attack?
Everyone knew that the Warriors had one of the state’s best rushing attacks heading into the season, but there were some questions concerning the aerial attack. But quarterback Cheyne Lacanaria and and receivers Josh Flye and Corey Lacanaria have given the Warriors another element to pair with the run game and if the Warriors can continue to be dangerous on the ground and through the air, Brother Rice will be in the driver's ’eat for another Division 2 state title.

How will the Walled Lake Northern defense respond after a rough start to the season?
There were plenty of questions concerning the Northern defense after the first two weeks of the season where the Knights surrendered 100 points. But during the past two weeks, the Knights have simply shut opposing offenses down, including a high powered Walled Lake Western offense last week. There is still plenty of proving to do for the Knights as we head into the second half of the season, but if the defense continues to improve and play well, Northern is a serious contender in the KLAA North.

How Will Walled Lake Central replace the duo of Zac Leimbach and K.J. Schultz?
The Vikings had one of the best high school duo's in recent memory with Leimbach and Schultz, and with them moving on to college, there were questions as to who would replace them. Well, the Vikings have once again found a dynamic duo with quarterback Nick Krumm and running back Zach Goor who have helped lead Central to a 3-1 start this year. Central has a very young squad this year, but with these sophomore's leading the way, the future looks very bright once again.

How good will the Auburn Hills Avondale offense be without Mitch Robinson?
There were many questions entering the season as to how the Yellow Jackets would replace graduated quarterback Mitch Robinson, but the Avondale offense hasn’t missed a beat with new starter Spencer Smith and running backs Michael Johnson and Josh Holloman along with receiver Erik Stubbs. If the Avondale offense can continue this impressive pace, the Yellow Jackets will once again be big time players in the OAA Blue race.

Would this be the year for Oak Park to prove itself?
The answer is simple: Yes. The Knights have looked as good as anyone so far and have found ways to win all year long behind its offense with running back Malik Washington and quarterback Dellonte Johnson while the defense has been able to slow down some of the best offensive units so far this year. Coach Carter and Co. have made a statement so far this year, and it’s that they are for real.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Oakland County Football Rankings - Back On Top

1. Birmingham Brother Rice
The Warriors have reutrned to the top spot after another impressive win in week four and shutting down the Shane Morris-led Warren De La Salle offense on Saturday. Pair that dominant defense with one of the most balanced offenses in the state, and the Warriors look like they're in the drivers seat to repeat as state champions.

2. Clarkston
The Wolves have been as good as anyone with some stellar defense and an impressive rushing attack, and now Clarkston quarterback D.J. Zezula looks like he is improving every single week. Don't forget about the Clarkston defense, which has shut down some of the area's best offenses so far this year.

3. (Tie) Farmington
The Falcons continue to get the job done in a number of different ways even after running into some injury issues in recent weeks. Last week senior Connor Mohr shouldered the load for Farmington on both sides of the ball as he recorded 15 tackles on defense and scored three touchdowns, including the game winner in overtime.

3. (Tie) Oak Park
Friday's game against Southfield was THE big test for the Knights so far this season and they passed with flying colors. Oak Park stayed perfect on the season with a 4-0 record after the defense shut down an explosive Blue Jay offense.

3. (Tie) Lake Orion
The Dragons offense has been electric so far this year, as they have put up some big time points in three games this year, but don't overlook the Lake Orion defense which has been equally as good at keeping opponents off of the scoreboard so far this year.

4. Orchard Lake St. Mary's
The Eaglets have looked almost perfect since losing their season opener and have made a statement in a pair of their recent wins. This might be the best offense St. Mary's has had since the Rob Bolden-Allen Robinson-Earnest Thomas days. This team can flat out score.

5. Farmington Hills Harrison
The Hawks bounced back from a tough loss at the hands of Oxford, but look for even more out of Harrison in the coming weeks with the dominant defense featuring Jake Slobin and Eddie Huckelby.

6. Bloomfield Hills Lahser
The Knights are firing on all cylinders on offense and have just too many weapons for most teams to be able to handle. If you plan on beating Lahser at some point this season, it's going to take a lot of points to do so.

7. Birmingham Detroit Country Day
The most exciting team in Oakland County could easily be 4-0, but currently sit at 3-1. With running back Richie Wilson and quarterback Tyler Weigers, opposing teams have just struggled to slow the Yellowjackets down so far.

8. Troy
The Cherry brother have been simply electric so far this year out of the Troy backfield, with both being more than capable of rushing for well over 100 yards in any given game, but what has put the Colt's offense over the top has been the emergence of sophomore quarterback Alex Mussat who has played well since taking over because of injuries.

9. Novi Detroit Catholic Central
The Shamrocks have one of, if not the toughest schedule in the state, and ran into an Ohio buzz saw over the course of the past few weeks, but were able to get back on track with a strong week four win on Friday.

10. Auburn Hills Avondale
The Yellowjackets seem to find another big time performer every single week, and with more and more weapons popping up for Avondale, the more dangerous this offense is going to be and the more points they will score.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Elite Eight - Running Wild

8. Terrance Cherry/Torrance Cherry – Troy RB
This might be the most underrated 1-2 backfield punch in Oakland County this year and they proved just that on Friday night. Terrence finished the night with 179 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while his twin brother Torrance also went over the century mark on the night, rushing for 108 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries for the Colts in a 24-14 win over Pontiac.

7. Nick Krumm – Walled Lake Central QB
The Viking signal caller was nearly perfect through the air on Friday night as he completed eight of his nine pass attempts for 112 yards and a score while rushing for over 130 yards on 18 carries in Central’s 45-21 win over Waterford Mott.

6. Ross Williams – Birmingham Groves RB
Williams has been a player that has flown under the radar so far this season, but may have had his breakout performance on Friday night as Williams carried the ball 21 times for 232 yards and three touchdowns for the Falcons in a narrow 38-33 loss at the hands of Hazel Park.

5. Justin Pritchett – Southfield Christian RB
Pritchett led the way for the Eagles in their upset win over Parkway Christian on Friday night as the running back rushed for 160 yards and three touchdowns, including two second half scores from 50 and five yards away to seal the win for Southfield Christian.

4. Walled Lake Northern defense
The Northern defenses had its struggles through the first two weeks of the season, but in the two weeks since have allowed just 17 points and only three points on Friday night against an explosive Western offense. The Knights came up big, not once, not twice, but three times on fourth down against the Warriors, including twice in the final four minutes to seal a 17-10 win on Friday night.

3. Johnny Williams – Holly QB
Williams helped the Bronchos get back on track in week four as the senior signal caller accounted for five touchdowns on Friday night. Williams did a little bit of everything in the win over Clio as he scored on a punt return, a kick return, a touchdown pass and two rushing touchdowns. What can’t Williams do?

2. Connor Mohr – Farmington RB/LB
Mohr was a dominant force out of the Farmington backfield on Friday night as the senior scored three touchdowns on the night, including the game winning score in overtime. Mohr also racked up 15 tackles on the defensive side of the ball as well as he helped lead the Falcons to a 19-13 win over Oxford in a key OAA White battle.

1.Chris Polite – Auburn Hills Oakland Christian K/WR
If you don’t know this name yet, you might want to get to know it, fast. Polite shattered the state record for longest field goal on Friday night as he booted a 63 yard field goal in a loss to Mayville. As you probably know already, that field goal not only sets a new state record, but it also ties the NFL record as well. Polite also put together a solid performance offensively as well, receiver for 143 yards and a touchdown.

*UPDATE: The field goal by Polite was a 53 yarder, not 63. But still very impressive.*

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Week 4 Oakland County Football Picks

Last Week's Record: 12-3      Season Record: 34-14

Walled Lake Western at Walled Lake Northern
Northern seems to have gotten its defense on track last week against Mott, but Western is on another level. From quarterback Kyle Bambard to a very deep group of backs and receivers, Western has playmakers everywhere. Don’t forget that the Warrior defense has been outstanding over the last two weeks as well.
Western 49, Northern 38

Oxford at Farmington
Oxford pulled off a pretty big upset last week over Harrison, and Farmington has caught the attention of many with some big time performances so far. The big question in this game is simple, can Oxford slow down the Farmington rushing attack? If the Wildcats can do just that, then Oxford should pick up the win, but I think the dynamic duo of Degreffenreed and Mohr will be too much to handle.
Farmington 31, Oxford 24

Oak Park at Southfield
This will be the ultimate test for Oak Park to see if in fact the Knights are the real deal. Southfield is looking stronger and stronger with every game on offense and with Willie Duncan back, the defense will continue to improve as well. But the Knights are ready to prove that they are for real and Malik Washington is going to help carry Oak Park to a 4-0 start.
Oak Park 42, Southfield 35 in OT

Clarkston at Troy Athens
This could be a trap game for the Wolves, who have been rolling teams all year long against an Athens team needing a win. Clarkston should get it done behind the dominant run game, but this one could be closer than most think.
Clarkston 31, Athens 27

South Lyon East at Novi
Cam Thomas and Co. are going to get back on track this week against a Novi squad still putting in a new offense.
SLE 28, Novi 16

U-D Jesuit at Orchard Lake Saint Mary’s
The Eaglets have had their run game going since the first game of the season, and started getting the aerial attack going last week and were looking unstoppable.
OLSM 42, Jesuit 28

Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard at Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
There aren’t very many two-way players that are better than Jermaih Johnson, who is one of the top linebackers around and is hard to bring down out of the Irish backfield.
NDP 35, AAGR 24

Waterford Mott at Walled Lake Central
The Vikings seemed to bounce back last week with a win over Kettering after an uncharacteristic loss to Livonia Stevenson. But the Vikings won’t want to look past the Corsairs this week, who are still in search of win No. 2 after a pair of rough losses in recent weeks.
Central 31, Mott 21

Milford at Hartland
The Mavericks were in an unenviable position over the course of the past two weeks with a tougher than usual schedule, but look for Alex Larson and Co. to get back to their winning ways against Hartland.
Milford 35, Hartland 24

Southfield-Lathrup at Rochester Adams
Lathrup is in a position that nobody wants to be, the Chargers are faced with the task of taking on an angry Adams team that has been dealt three consecutive tough losses to some of the best teams in the area, and now Adams will look to take out its frustrations on the Chargers.
Adams 38, Lathrup 21

Birmingham Brother Rice at Warren De La Salle
This game has plenty of intriguing individual match-ups, especially the Warrior’s defense facing quarterback Shane Morris, considered one of the best prospects at his position in the state. Look for the Brother Rice defense to shine on Saturday afternoon and shut down the De La Salle passing game.
Brother Rice 17, De La Salle 7

Royal Oak Shrine at Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes
The Lakers have been able to do just about everything so far this year, defensively, Lakes started out with back-to-back near shutout efforts. Offensively, Lakes has scored 108 points, 98 of which has come in two games. Just too many factors for Shrine to overcome on Saturday.
WOLL 28, Shrine 17

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A modest proposal for the Andover players that remain

I was sad to hear that Bloomfield Hills Andover made the decision to end its football program yesterday after only a few players came to practice on Monday.

But here’s a modest proposal for the small handful of players that were still invested in the Baron Football squad:

It’s not right to tell the several players that still wanted to have the opportunity to play on Friday night’s that they can no longer do so. With both Andover and Lahser set to merge at the beginning of the 2013 season, why not give the remaining Andover players the choice to play just a couple of miles down the road at Lahser a year earlier?

The option should be left to the athletes, especially the seniors, if they want to continue the season on a football team, even if it’s not playing for Andover, and not taken out of their hands because of unfortunate circumstances.

Now the chances of this suggestion happening are pretty slim because the season is already well under way and if the players would be allowed to play at Lahser, then in all likelihood, the Knights would be forced to play up in Division 1 rather than Division 2 due to the total enrollment between the two schools.

The decision to shut the program down was obviously a hard decision to make, but it was the right one for Andover to make in terms of player safety in my mind. Andover athletic director R.J. Guizzetti and the entire coaching staff made the only decision that they could. To continue a season with just 12 players on the roster on a week-to-week basis wouldn’t be fair to those players to risk injury every single week because of how often they would be on the field.

I understand that the idea to allow the players to suit up for Lahser is unlikely for a number of reasons, but it should be something that should at least be considered.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Oakland County Football Rankings - Still On Top

1. Clarkston
Over the first three weeks of the season, the Clarkston defense has been overlooked by the dominant performances the offense has put together, but the defense was at its best on Friday night when the Wolves put together a dominant performance of their own as they shut out a very good Rochester offense.

2. Birmingham Brother Rice
Everyone knows about the impressive rushing attack that the Warriors have. But on Friday night, Brother Rice quarterback Cheyne Lacanaria showed that the Warrior offense can air it out as well as the senior signal caller threw for nearly 200 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

3. Lake Orion
The Dragon offense has been unstoppable over the course of the past two games as Lake Orion has scored over 100 points against Troy Athens and West Bloomfield. Defensively, the Dragons have been nearly as good as they've played some serious lock down defense through three weeks.

4. Farmington
The Falcons have one of, if not the best 1-2 backfield punch with running backs Jordan Degreffenreed and Connor Mohr. The first two weeks belonged to Degreffenreed, but last week Mohr was the one who exploded for over 200 yards on the ground. It's hard to stop one of these guys, but to stop both of them is nearly impossible.

5. Orchard Lake St. Mary's
The Eaglets had everything working on Friday night as they opened up the red turf era. The run game and passing attack were firing on all cylinders while the defense put together a shutout performance after holding Toledo St. John's to just seven points in week two.

6. Oak Park
Expectations are starting to grow for the Knights after their 3-0 start, but they haven't had much trouble living up to them so far this year. Oak Park aced what might have been its biggest test so far last week as the Knights, behind a monstrous performance from Malik Washington, topped a desperate Rochester Adams squad.

7. Southfield
The Blue Jays could easily be 3-0 this season, but improved to 2-1 last week after taking out some frustrations on North Farmington behind an impressive offensive output. Look for much of the same from Tre Walton, Brandon Bean and Co. for the rest of this season.

8. (Tie) Farmington Hills Harrison
Jake Slobin might be the most underrated player in Oakland County, even in the week three loss to Oxford, Slobin recorded 16 tackles. Look for Slobin and the rest of the Harrison defense to help get the Hawks back to their winning ways next week.

8. (Tie) Birmingham Detroit Country Day
The Yellowjackets bounced back in a big way in week three thanks to a big game from junior running back Richie Wilson. Wilson carried the ball 21 times on Friday night for 196 yards and three first half touchdowns to lead the 'Jackets past Birmingham Seaholm.

9. Bloomfield Hills Lahser
The Knights have quietly scored 135 points in their first three games this season, but the defense has just about equaled the offense so far as they've held their opponents to just 33 points so far. It's not often you see teams outscore opponents by over 100 points in three games, but that's exactly what Lahser's been able to do.

10. Walled Lake Western
The Warrior offense has looked almost unstoppable since the week one loss to Saline, as Western has scored 80 points against South Lyon East and Lakeland. A big reason for that has been junior quarterback Kyle Bambard and senior running back Kyle Ford, who connected for the go ahead score in Western's week three win over Lakeland.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Several former Oakland County stars left their mark on Saturday

In some of the local college football action taking place on Saturday afternoon, several former Oakland County stars shined for three in state football squads.

Michigan State vs. Central Michigan:
On the Michigan State side of things, Birmingham Detroit Country Day’s Bennie Fowler led all receivers on Saturday with eight catches for just under 100 yards and a touchdown, while Dion Sims (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) grabbed a touchdown catch of his own to go with his 48 receiving yards.

Farmington’s Jason Wilson made the big play of the game for Central Michigan on Saturday afternoon as the defensive back took an interception back for a touchdown to end the Spartan shutout on the afternoon. Justin Cherocci (Birmingham Brother Rice) led all defensive players on the day with 10 tackles on the afternoon, while Wilson and Joe Kinville (Novi Detroit Catholic Central) each recorded six tackles of their own. Cody Wilson (Rochester Adams) finished the day with six catches for 54 yards to help lead the Chippewa offense.

Michigan vs. Air Force:
Former Farmington Hills Harrison and current freshman tight end Devin Funchess had a big day for the Wolverines on Saturday as he made four catches for over 100 yards including a 30 yard grab for his first ever collegiate touchdown. Defensively, Kenny Demens (Birmingham Detroit Country Day) finished with seven tackles while freshman James Ross (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) made four tackles, including a key fourth down tackle late in the game to stop an Air Force drive.

Elite Eight - Cool Customers

8. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
There’s no way I could fit in all of the standouts from the Eaglet’s blowout win in the inaugural game on the red turf, so this spot goes to the offense and the defense. St. Mary’s scored over 50 points, and pitched the shutout to open up the 2012 season at home on a high note.

7. Josh Holloman – Auburn Hills Avondale RB
Holloman continued to impress in the Yellow Jacket backfield as he rushed for nearly 170 yards and two touchdowns to help lead Avondale to an impressive blowout win over Royal Oak on Friday night.

6. Ian Eriksen – Clarkston RB
Eriksen is becoming a regular on this weekly list and was once again dominant on Friday night as he had 30 carries and rushed for 150 yards as Clarkston stayed perfect on the season. Eriksen scored all three touchdowns on the day for the Wolves as he brought his season total up to 12 through just three games.

5. Malik Washington – Oak Park RB
Washington was unstoppable on Friday night as the star running back rushed for over 170 yards and scored four times, including a 78 yard touchdown run, to help keep the Knights unbeaten on the season with an impressive win over Rochester Adams.

4. Connor Mohr – Farmington RB
Mohr continued the trend of dominant performances out of the backfield from the Falcons and the senior rushed for over 200 yards and found the end zone and three touchdowns to go along with 130 yards and two touchdowns from Jordan Degreffenreed.

3. (Tie) Richie Wilson - Birmingham Detroit Country Day RB
Wilson rushed for nearly 200 yards against a stout Seaholm defense on Friday night as the junior running back found the end zone three times, all coming in the first half to help lead the Yellowjackets to a 35-21 win over the Maples.

3. (Tie) Jake Ginster – Walled Lake Northern RB
Ginster was a wrecking ball on Friday night as the senior running back ran over, around and through the Waterford Mott defense as he accounted for three touchdowns and played a big role in the Northern run game that accounted for over 300 yards on the ground for the night.

2. Nathan Drews – Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest QB
Drews was brilliant on Friday night as the senior quarterback accounted for 121 yards passing and four touchdowns through the air to lead the Crusaders to a rout of Oakland Christian. Drews rushed for over 140 yards on the night on just 10 carries and added another score on the ground.

1. Kyle Bambard – Walled Lake Western QB
Bambard was as clutch as it gets in the fourth quarter, as he accounted for each of the final three touchdowns for the Warriors in their win over Lakeland. The junior signal caller ran in for the game tying score near the midway point of the fourth then threw the go-ahead score to Kyle Ford a few minutes later. Bambard accounted for nearly 300 yards of total offense to go with his three scores.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Week 3 Oakland County Football Picks

Last Week’s Record: 11-6                             Season Record: 22-11

Walled Lake Central at Waterford Kettering
The Vikings had one of their worst losses in recent history last week, but look for Zach Goor and Co. to bounce back against Kettering.
Central 35, Kettering 24

Walled Lake Western at Lakeland
It might only be week three of the season, but this game could end up deciding the winner of the KLAA North.
Western 31, Lakeland 28

Walled Lake Northern at Waterford Mott
Northern is in a must-win position, if the Knights lose, their playoff hopes are likely out the window. The offense has been electric, but the defense has had its issues. Expect a shootout in Waterford.
Northern 62, Mott 56 in OT

Birmingham Detroit Country Day at Birmingham Seaholm
Seaholm’s defense has been as good as it gets through the first two weeks, but the Yellowjacket offense is on another level.
Country Day 17, Seaholm 10

St. Marcellinus at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
There’s no doubt that St. Mary’s will impress in the first ever game played on the red turf. The only question is how much will the Eaglets win by.
OLSM 42, St. Marcellinus 21

Pontiac Notre Dame Prep at Ortonville Brandon
Notre Dame Prep is looking almost as dominant in the regular season as it did last year, which is bad news for Brandon.
NDP 35, Brandon 28

Rochester at Clarkston
The first two weeks have belonged to Ian Eriksen, but don’t overlook the mammoth offensive line for the Wolves and now look for sophomore signal caller D.J. Zezula to get in on the scoring action.
Clarkston 42, Rochester 31

Rochester Adams at Oak Park
It’s been a tough start to the season for Adams, and it’s not going to get any easier in week three with Oak Park.
Oak Park 35, Adams 31

Troy at Stoney Creek
The Cougar defense has been dominant through the first two weeks, and Troy has been dealing with the injury bug on offense, which could mean a 3-0 start for Stoney Creek.
SC 14, Troy 7

Troy Athens at Pontiac
Both teams have gotten off to a disappointing 0-2 start, but look for Pontiac to finally make it into the win column.
Pontiac 42, Athens 38 in OT

Farmington Hills Harrison at Oxford
Harrison has had a solid start to the season in 2012, but I’d doubt that we’ve seen the Hawks at their best yet.
Harrison 24, Oxford 14

Southfield at North Farmington
Southfield came close to starting the season 2-0, but the Blue Jays won’t have to wait much longer for that second win.
Southfield 28, North Farmington 13

Farmington at Southfield-Lathrup
The Farmington defense has been on another level through the first two weeks, and should continue its dominance in week three.
Farmington 24, Lathrup 7

Bloomfield Hills Lahser at Birmingham Groves
Lahser’s offense has been unstoppable through two weeks, but the defense has been nearly as good.
Lahser 21, Groves 10

Cincinnati Moeller at Novi Detroit Catholic Central
The Shamrocks have a tough schedule for 2012, but Moeller just might be their toughest game of the season.
NDCC 14, Moeller 7 in OT

Monday, September 3, 2012

Oakland County Football Rankings - Moving Day

The Wolves are showing that they can be one of the best running teams in the state with their bruising offensive line, and with a strong defense through the first two weeks, Clarkston has put itself in the driver seat for the OAA Red crown early on.

2. Birmingham Brother Rice
A nice bounce back win over Ann Arbor Pioneer in week two, and now the Warriors are showing that their defense is the real deal, holding Pioneer to just seven points for the game and pitching a second half shutout.

3. Lake Orion
Since the start of the second half of the Oxford game in week one, the Dragons have scored 85 points. Yes, 85 points in just six quarters. This offense is the real deal, and teams are going to have their hands full with trying to stop the Dragons.

4. (Tie) Farmington
The Farmington defense has been as good as it gets and it was on display once again on Friday afternoon as the Falcons held a dangerous Southfield offense to just six points.

4. (Tie) Farmington Hills Harrison
Harrison has gotten the job done quietly this year, starting out with a strong win in week one and followed that up with a dominant defensive performance in a key win over Rochester Adams.

5. Novi Detroit Catholic Central
A tough loss to Ohio powerhouse Toledo Whitmer, but the Shamrocks will have another shot at a top Ohio team this week when they play host to Cincinnati Moeller on Saturday.

6. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
How’s that for a rebound? After a tough opening loss to Muskegon, the Eaglets came back in week two behind Parker McInnis and Grant Niemiec and picked up a monster win over Toledo St. John’s on Friday night.

7. Oak Park
Oak Park has quietly picked up a pair of impressive wins to start the season including a dominant win over Southfield-Lathrup on Friday. The Knights look light they’re in store for a big 2012 season.

8. Lakeland
The Eagles have been one of the pleasant surprises of the 2012 season with their 2-0 start thanks in large part to the dominating backfield duo of Anthony Waite and Dalton Christie.

9. Bloomfield Hills Lahser
Through two weeks, the Knights have scored 100 points and haven’t shown any signs of slowing down. With quarterback Spencer McCourt, running back Nate Emery and receiver Zach Tornow, Lahser’s offense is looking unstoppable early on.

10. Southfield
A tough loss to Farmington in week two, but look for Tre Walton, Brandon Bean and Co. to bounce back next week. The Blue Jay’s offense probably won’t be held under 10 points again this season.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Elite Eight - Getting Defensive

8. Corey Ester - Lake Orion RB
Ester made the most of the touches he got on offense as the Dragon's running back rushed for 130 yards on just 10 carries while scoring a touchdown in Lake Orion's rout of Troy Athens at Ford Field.

7. Grant Niemiec/Parker McInnis - Orchard Lake St. Mary's RB
Niemiec carried the ball 15 times on Friday night for over 150 yards and a touchdown while McInnis totaled nearly 200 yards between the running game and the return game for two touchdowns as the dynamic duo led the Eaglets to a convincing win over Toledo St. John's.

6. Ian Eriksen - Clarkston RB
Eriksen is already putting up Prescott Line like numbers this year as the Clarkston junior rushed for over 180 yards on 22 carries and found the end zone three more times on Friday night to help lead the Wolves to a dominating win over West Bloomfield.

5. Lorenzo Collins - Farmington Hills Harrison RB
Collins carried the load for the Hawks on Friday night, carrying the ball 25 times for 167 yards as he punished the Adams defense in a key OAA White win for the Hawks.

4. Walled Lake Western Defense
The Warriors had no trouble slowing down one of the area's most dangerous quarterbacks as Western pitched an impressive shutout on Thursday night in a punishing 45-0 win over South Lyon East.

3. Spencer McCourt - Bloomfield Hills Lahser QB
McCourt tossed three first half touchdown strikes on Friday night for Lahser to give the Knights all of the offense they would need to outlast OAA Blue rival, Ferndale in a key battle in the division race.

2. Farmington Defense
The Falcons shut down an explosive Southfield offense on Friday afternoon, allowing the Blue Jays to score just six points on the day as Farmington proved to be a legitimate threat to win the OAA White title.

1. Stoney Creek Defense
The Stoney Creek defensive unit has been dominant in the first two weeks this year as the Cougars have allowed just seven points so far after a convincing shutout win over Pontiac on Friday night.