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Lake Orion 27 Cass Tech 34

19 Nov

The 2010 and 2011 MHSAA Division 1 State Championship winners squared off in a much-anticipated semi-final game this previous Saturday.  Cass Tech and Lake Orion, teams that were ranked high in the polls all year long, battled it out in a 2012 semi-final game that lived up to all the hype leading up to the game.  The Technicians of Cass Tech struck first on a 71 td reception from division 1 recruit Damon Webb following both teams going 3 and out on their first possessions.  The Dragons would not wait too long to respond.  In fact on the ensuing possession that is, senior running back Jacob Miller plowed in from 1 yard out to tie the game at 7 all.  The big play on the drive being a 57 yard reception from slotback Christopher Leigh.  The Technicians would re-take the lead on their next possession.  Michigan commit Jourdan Lewis returned the kickoff to the Lake Orion 21.  Setting up a sophomore running back Mike Weber for a 5 yard td.  Following another 3 and out for the Dragons, Cass would strike again.  Cass would score on a 8 yard td run from Jayru Campbell, but on this drive, Cass had to work for it.  Campbell completed a pass to Weber on 4-4 setting them up for the td.  Lake Orion’s next drive would stall again and they would be forced to punt.  Lewis was back at his goal line when he received the punt and raced for what appeared the be an electrifying 100 td return, only to brought back on a penalty.  Cass would do nothing on their drive giving the ball back to Lake Orion before half.  With under 10 seconds to play in the half, senior quarterback Derek Delaura would find fellow senior Chaz Miller going across the middle for a 10 yard td to put the Dragons down only 7 21-14 going into half-time.  Lake Orion and Cass would not do anything of their first possessions to start the 2nd.  But Lake Orion would tie the game up at 21 on their 2nd possession of the 3rd quarter.  Methodically passing the ball down the field, Delaura would find Jeremy Miller in the end-zone.  Cass would respond to the pressure with a td of their own.  Lewis would come up come up with 3 big receptions on the drive and one of them being a 29 td catch.  Never count out the Dragons, slotback Corey Ester would sprint to end-zone for a 71 run to again tie the game so it appeared.  The Dragons missed the pat which would’ve tied the game.  Cass’ next drive would take them all the way to the Lake Orion 4 set up by a 26 yard rush from Weber.  Cass would try to power the ball in but failed all three times.  Coach Wilcher called a fake field goal trying to catch Lake Orion napping, but the Dragons were ready, stuffing Campbell back behind the line of scrimmage.  Lake Orion desperate to get something going could not get a first down.  Finally on 4th down Coach Bell decided to go for it and failed.  Cass would take over on downs inside Lake Orion territory and Mike Weber went in from 10 yards out to seal the game.  Lake Orion would have one final drive but could not do anything.

Final Score: Cass Tech 34 Lake Orion 27


I was impressed with multiple things in this game from Cass.  Their passing game, Jayru Campbell was looking for that one game where he could say “I took it over.”  Campbell went 10-13 for almost 200 yards in the effort with 2 passing and 1 rushing td.  A great individual performance.

The running game.  Cass has averaged about 300 yards on the ground all year.  Recently Mike Weber has stepped in the playoffs.  He had over 100 yards in the 4th quarter.  A great sign for the green and white going into the championship game.

Finally the Defense.  The Cass defense really showed their toughness throughout the game. For the most part they held a very solid Lake Orion ground game.  Cass must do it again if they wish to beat Detroit Catholic Central, a team that loves to run the ball, in the championship.

Cass Tech vs. Lake Orion 2012

17 Nov

The best game in my opinion in Michigan is Cass Tech vs. Lake Orion at Troy Athens High School.  The very game was played in the 2010 state semi-finals.  In that game, Cass had the ball inside the Lake Orion 10 yard line with under a minute left to play.  Senior quarterback Keith Moore took the shotgun snap and was rolling to his left on an option play.  Looking to pitch the ball to wideout Kishon Wilcher, a Dragon player came out of no where and hit Keith in his attempt to pitch the ball.  The fumble was recovered by Lake Orion, sealing the game and sending the Dragons to Ford Field where they beat Plymouth for the Division 1 State Championship.  This year Cass comes in with a different identity than the 2010 team.  The 2010 Cass Tech team was called the “track team on turf” by some people, due to some of their players being under five foot nine.  The 2012 Cass Tech team, is certainly just as fast as that team, but they are also bigger.  The offensive line of Cass Tech is one of the best in the State of Michigan led by two 280 plus linemen David Dawson, and Michigan State commit Dennis Finley.  These two will have to be on their game if Cass hopes to have success with Mike Weber and Gary Hosey in the running game.  For Lake Orion, they just beat Macomb Dakota in the regionals last week by a score of 51-35.  The Dragons have an explosive ground game.  Running backs Jacob Miller and Christopher Leigh both had big games vs Dakota last week.  One thing about the Dragons is that they call themselves a spread team but they are under center more times than they are in the shotgun.  They love to send receivers in motion just about every play either handing the ball to them on a jet, or faking a handoff and giving it to a running back on a little belly play.  This game will come down the execution for both teams.  If Cass hopes to win, they must play solid defence especially in the running game.  If they give up 300 or more yards on the ground, this game will go to Lake Orion.  Lake Orion must establish the run game.  The Dragons don’t throw the ball much, which could be a problem if they are trailing late in the game.  In the end, Cass will get its revenge in the 2010 semi-finals sending them on a return trip to Ford Field.

Cass Tech: 28  Lake Orion: 24

Interview with Brandon Sowards

12 Nov

Wyandotte junior receiver Brandon Sowards came up big for his Bears in the regional championship game vs. Oak Park.  Trailing 6-3 with under five minutes left in the game, senior quarterback Kevin Matejko lofted one up into the end-zone, and Sowards was underneath it to catch the ball for the winning td.

Wyandotte vs. Oak Park

11 Nov

The Knights of Oak Park traveled to Wyandotte to take on the Bears in a regional championship game this previous Friday.  Oak Park came in to the game beating rival Southfield 19-12 in overtime while the Bears beat Downriver Champion Taylor Truman 9-0.  Both teams had good defenses and this proved to be one of the best games in the State.  Oak Park scored on their first possession of the game.  Methodically moving the ball down the field.  Senior WR Brian Williams connected with fellow 12 grader Dellontae on a third down conversion to set up a Malik Washington one yard scamper.  The Bears went three and out on their first possession giving the ball back to the Knights.  Sophomore sensation John Kelly took a handoff and raced all the way the way down to the Oak Park 10 yard line for a 55 yard gain.  Oak Park failed to get the ball across the plain as Johnson’s pass intended for Joshua Friday fell to the ground.  Wyandotte would score in the middle of the second to make the score 6-3.  The key play on the drive being a 14 yard reception by WR Brandon Sowards.  The 3rd quarter flew by with both teams trying to control the clock.  The Bears tried to get the ground game going with big six foot 246 pound running back Kyle Matjeko.  The drive would stall at the 30 yard line giving the Knights the ball.  Oak Park would fumble the ball at the Bear 36 yard giving the Bears excellent field position.  Now this is werethings got interesting.  Kyle Matejko would rush for what appeared to be 30 yard rush to put the ball inside the Knight 10, but a holding call prevented the gain putting the ball closer to mid-field.  With the clocking ticking down, Senior Bear quarterback Kevin Matejko would find Sowards all alone in the back of the end-zone to put the Bears up for good.  Oak Park would not give up with out a fight.  Backup qb Nate Simms would find Timothy Daniel sprinting down the sideline to put the ball at the Bear 25.  Oak Park would drive all the way down to the Bear 5 yard line.  Once again, the Knights put in another quarterback, this time being transfer Mario Morris to run the wildcat.  On the play to decide the game on 4-5, Morris rolled out to the left trying to get the ball to Brian Williams but the pass fell incomplete sealing the win for the Bears.  This victory gives the Bears their 2nd ever regional title in school history.  The Bears now move on to face the defending division two state champions Brother Rice next Saturday in a semi-final matchup.

Oak Park 19 Southfield 12

5 Nov

The Division 2 Region 4 District 1 championship in the MHSAA Football State Playoffs featured a rematch of OAA White Division rivals.  Oak Park, the division champion, defeated Southfield 24-18 in week 4 of the season.  Both teams came into todays game beating two Detroit PSL teams.  The Knights of Oak Park defeated Cody 35-20, while Southfield took down King 22-19.  The game started with both teams struggling to move the ball on a cold night, resulting in a 0-0 tie at the end of the first quarter.  But on the very first play of the second, Jeff Madison of Southfield took a pass from fellow senior QB Tre Walton for a td to give the Blue Jays a 6-0 lead.  On Oak Park’s ensuing drive, the Knights drove all the way down to the Blue Jay one, but failed to put points up on the board.  The final scoring of the half for either team came on a Malik Washington td run to tie the game at 6 heading into the lockers.  The third quarter was very similar to the third.  Both offenses struggled to find weakness’ in their opponents defenses, resulting in a tie to head to the final quarter of regulation.  Southfield running back Gerald Gates powered in for the Jays to give them a twelve point advantage with 6 minutes remaining.  But on Oak Park’s first play from scrimmage, Malik Washington scampered in from about 60 yards to tie the game at 12.  Southfield had one last drive to try to win the game, but a Tre Walton pass intended for Brandon Bean was picked off in the end-zone to send the game into overtime.  Oak Park got the ball to start overtime and scored on a controversal touchdown call that gave the Knights a 19-12 advantage.  On Southfield’s turn, Oak Park stopped the Blue Jays inside the one yard line giving them the victory.  Southfield ends their season with a record of 7-4 while the win gives Oak Park a 9-2 record.  The Knights will travel to Wyandotte to take on the Bears Friday night for a chance to win a regional championship.

This Weekends Games

31 Oct

After the first round of the MHSAA State Playoffs, only two teams remain from the PSL. Those teams are East English Village and Cass Tech. Last week,The Village beat Marysville, while the Technecians took out Grosse Pointe South. This week we move onto the District Championship. The Bulldogs will travel to St. Clair to play on Saturday at 7:00 PM, while Cass Tech will return for a home game to battle the Pioneers of Dearborn High on Saturday as well with a 1:00 PM kickoff. These two teams could very well end up at Ford Field playing for MHSAA State Championships. Please show your support for these two teams in their journey for greatness.

Southfield 22 King 19

28 Oct

In a game where two teams meet in the opening week of the season, no one expects one team to beat another team twice in one season.  But that was not the case for this pre-district contest between Southfield and King.  This game was nail biter and no team in this game deserved to lose.  The first quarter breezed by with both teams unable to put points on the board, but in the opening minutes of the 2nd quarter, Southfield qb Tre Walton scored on a td qb sneak to put the Blue Jays up 7-0.  Later in the 2nd, Gerald Gates of Southfield scampered up the middle for a 30 yard td to put the Jays up 14-0.  But the Crusaders would score on a Mycial Allen td to go into the lockers with a deficit of only seven.  King would come out hot in the 2nd half.  Avonte Maddox cut the Blue Jay lead to only one on a td run.  Later in the 3rd, Northern Illinois recruit Mycial Allen hauled in a 77 yard td pass from Devaun Williams to give King the lead.  That would be all the scoring for King the rest of the way.  The Crusader defense did not allow a touchdown for the most of the 2nd half.  But Southfield scored when they had to, on their last possession, Gerald Gates scored and Jeff Madison got the two to put Southfield on top by 3.  King would drive all the way inside the Blue Jay 10, but a 4th down desperation pass from Devaun Williams would fall incomplete giving Southfield the win.  King’s remarkable season finishes at 6-4, but not without a Detroit Public School League City Championship.  The Blue Jays now move onto the district Championship to face Oak Park, winners of the OAA White Division.  Who defeated Southfield 24-18 in week four of the season.

Game of the Week 10/26/12

26 Oct

My game of the week selection usually takes place on Thursday, but for this week it will happen on a Friday.  The game of the week for the first round of the MHSAA State Playoffs will feature a rematch of the Prep Kickoff Classic, with Martin Luther King leaving the City of Detroit to battle the Blue Jays of Southfield High School.  If you remember the game back in August, the Crusaders had control for most of the game, but stalled in the fourth quarter due to their seven turnovers.  The defense looked very good for MLK, only allowing a total of 21 points to a team that ended up beating perennial power Farmington Hill Harrison.  Southfield’s offense is quite interesting from what we have seen from them in the years past.  Their quarterback Tre Walton, a converted wide-receiver, lines up in the pistol with a running back in a three-point stance directly behind him.  They will send a receiver in motion trying to create a triple option and try to take advantage of Walton’s running ability.  If the Crusaders find a way to figure the offense out, they will most likely have no problems winning the game.  But I am not convinced that after last weeks city championship performance, where they gave up 48 points to East English, they will be able to contain this potent Blue Jays Offense.  Who needs to stop the ball when you score 51 points?  That is what the Crusaders did last week.  Devaun Williams was flawless connecting with Mycial Allen for two touchdowns.  King also got production on special teams with Avonte returning a kickoff for 81 yards.  This game will be a shootout.  The Blue Jays will give the Crusaders a battle, but King will march on to the district final.

Southfield: 35 King: 42

Enjoy the first round everyone!

2012 MHSAA Playoff Teams from the PSL

23 Oct

Congratulations to all of the 2012 MHSAA State Playoff participants from the PSL.  A good majority of the teams selected from the DPS could very well end up playing at Ford Field for the State Championships.  Here are the six teams that qualified, their first round opponents and the start time for each game.

Cass Tech @ Grosse Pointe South (Friday 7:00 p.m.)

Cody @ Oak Park (Friday 6:00 p.m.)

King @ Southfield (Friday 4:30  p.m.)

Marysville @ East English Village (Friday 7:00 p.m.)

Central @ St. Clair (Saturday 7:00 p.m.)

Douglass @ Grosse Pointe University Ligget (Saturday 3:00 p.m.)

The 2012 PSL City Championship Game

21 Oct

The 2012 Detroit Public School League City Championship lived up to all the hype it had it received, for the offenses that is.  Both teams put on offensive clinics with King scoring 51 and the Bulldogs putting up 48.  Defenses were in short supply as both teams seemed to move the ball at will against their opponents.  The Village got off to a quick 20-0 start with touchdowns coming from Desmond King, Khalid Hill, and defensive-lineman Antoine Benford on a fumble recovery.  But that would be the largest lead the Bulldogs would have as the Crusaders put up 32 points unanswered between the 2nd and 3rd quarters.  At one point in the 3rd quarter, King had built a 39-20 lead.  The Bulldogs cut into the deficit early in the 2nd half with Nathaniel Bowlware scampering up the middle for a td to put East English only down 11.  But on the very next kickoff, King speedster Avonte Maddox returned the kickoff for a 81 yard electrifying td return.  Senior Desmond King would not have his final regular season game in the PSL become a blowout as he scored the next two touchdowns for the Bulldogs to put them down only five points with less than three minutes remaining.  The Bulldogs were able to get the ball back with under a minute remaining trailing by 5 and needing a touchdown for the win.  But a Anton Curtis’ pass was intercepted by King Senior Sa’von Thomas to put the game on ice for the Crusaders.  It has been a truly remarkable run for the Crusaders, who started the season 0-3 and won their next six games, including a 44-13 blowout of top-ranked Cass Tech.  It was a victory well-deserved for King who had faced adversity all season, and have responded with great character and perseverance.

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