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Rice over Penn Hills September 3, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in recaps.
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Brother Rice went into Pennsylvania and took it to, by some accounts, the No. 1 team in AAAA, Pittsburgh Penn Hills. The final: 24-0.

Stream of consciousness: Thursday high school thoughts August 31, 2007

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My two games today were Renaissance at King and Ann Arbor Huron at U-D Jesuit.

I’ll have much, much more on both later but here are some initial reactions.

I was only able to see two quarters and a half of the week’s premier PSL game, because Renaissance arrived an hour late (baffling because they don’t have school) and the penalty-filled game dragged on. It was scoreless when I left – a defensive struggle to say the least – and King notched a late touchdown to win, 7-0.

Renaissance, which looked like world beaters on offense against a porous U-D Jesuit team last week, couldn’t move the ball effectively. Besides a couple scrambles from Jeray Carraway, the Phoenix looked disoriented and unorganized. Missed assignments and sporadic blocking led to King defenders spending a lot of time in the backfield, and vice versa. There were too many fumbles, penalties – granted, it was Week 2. But this was a poorly played football game.

U-D High blew a 20-point lead against Ann Arbor Huron – a team that might be a candidate for a bottom 10 high school poll. Huron won on a last-play field goal, 23-20.

I can’t discount some individual efforts from the River Rats, but U-D was abysmal in the second half once again. This is another game that a CHSL Central team has no business losing. I can’t believe the Ann Arbor News writer had the innards to pick Huron. I guess he was right.

Josh Harris looked like a freshman tonight – 2-of-6 for 25 yards with two interceptions and four fumbles. U-D wasted a stellar effort from Cincinnati-bound George Winn, who rushed for 180 yards on 17 carries.

On to the state scores: it was Hudsonville big over Lowell (28-7), Dakota big over Stevenson (31-7), Troy upsetting Lake Orion (so much for best bets), East Grand Rapids and Novi CC both posting blowout wins, and Holt doubling up Jackson 28-14. Rockford/Davison was moved to Friday.

Let me digest the night for a few. I have pictures from the Renaissance/King game and so much to write and rant about the mighty (not) Cubs.

Games 3, 4 and 5: 4 in 24 August 26, 2007

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Saturday dawned and DFR had ambition: With games on the slate for 1, 5 and 8 p.m., it might be possible to witness four prep football games in 24 hours (DeLaSalle/Kettering started at 9 and finished up Friday night around 11:15). Some might call that insane or say we had too much time on our hands. We wouldn’t entirely disagree.

When UDJ/Renaissance turned into a marathon, realistically our target of four games became 3 1/2. Nevertheless, it was a fun day of football. We saw 2/3 of the CHSL Central Division play in 24 hours – at four different sites. We saw a tremendous fourth quarter at Renaissance. And we celebrated in style when the day was complete.

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 28, Detroit Cass Tech 6

ORCHARD LAKE – Becasue Cass Tech struggled to move the football, this game was never in doubt.

The Technicians played without Thomas Gordon, instead using Anthony Anchrum – dangerous with his feet but a feeble thrower – at quarterback. Cortez Smith ran strong between the tackles but is not much of a threat to break a run outside. Boubacar Cissoko never touched the ball in the open field.

Collectively, the Cass offense was a model of confusion and disarray, especially in the second half. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s produced a Dominique White touchdown in each of the four quarters and coasted, 28-6.

OSLM has a bye week before traveling to Columbus St. Francis De Sales on Sept. 8. It’s apparent that game will reveal more about the Eaglets than Saturday, because Cass Tech was nothing more than a disappointing collection of college prospects.

Not having Gordon hurt, and it’s tough to be too hard on a team after the first week. But unless there is major improvement, Cass seems destined for mediocrity, especially in a restructured, tougher PSL Division 1. Relying on team speed to overcome a lack of height didn’t work against St. Mary’s bigger athletes. (more…)

Saturday highlights August 26, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in Preps, recaps.
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DFR attended St. Mary’s 28-6 thumping of Cass Tech, Renaissance’s thrilling comeback (the Phoenix came from behind twice in the 4th quarter to win, 24-21) against U-D Jesuit, and the second half of Dearborn Fordson’s rout of Dearborn Divine Child (34-14 with about five minutes left).

Much more on these games later but to summarize the three: we’ll know more about St. Mary’s in two weeks when they travel to Columbus St. Francis DeSales. Cass Tech was not very good, or did not play very well. Whether they improve and are a better team by Week 5 is yet to be seen, but they struggled to move the ball. Their running game is built between the tackles.

U-D Jesuit/Renaissance was a sloppy, penalty-filled contest that got very exciting in the fourth quarter. The U-D secondary was very lax in the first half and lucky it wasn’t beat deep a couple times; they shored up in the third quarter, but were torched in the fourth and it cost them this game. Keep an eye on freshman U-D quarterback Josh Harris (6-1). If Devin Gardner doesn’t return from school suspension, the job might be his by Week 3.

Dearborn Divine Child lacks talent at the skill positions and could be in for a very long season in the CHSL Central. They struggled to move the ball consistently in the second half Saturday. Fordson also manhandled DC in the trenches.

Brother Rice got by Denby, 10-0, making it 4-1 this weekend in favor of the CHSL over the PSL. One would expect 5-0, but U-D really let one get away against Renaissance.

Canton has just three returning starters and the perennial MI power showed that lack of experience, falling to Toledo Central Catholic 27-7.

Rockford handled Brighton, 26-6.

According to MLive, Jackson Lumen Christi is up 28-0 on Battle Creek Central in the second half.

Game 2: Must have football August 25, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in recaps, Week 1.
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U-D Jesuit at Renaissance

While many pundits were able to take in two, even three top games yesterday, the only game on DFR’s slate (as loyal U-D High alums) was the coaching debut of Paul Windham at Renaissance.

When that game was postponed because of severe weather (Saturday, 5 p.m. at Renaissance), it left our two-man team scrambling for an alternative.

Warren De La Salle 41, Detroit Kettering 0

WARREN – There are mismatches, and then there are mismatches.

Warren De La Salle vs. Detroit Kettering in Week 1? Yeah, that qualifies.

It was football, however, and at 9 p.m. Friday night options were running out. Ultimately, there was nothing wrong with an early look at one of the favorites in the CHSL Central Division.

The Pilots, fresh off an unprecedented run to the Division 2 title game, wasted little time running by the undermanned and outclassed Pioneers, winning 41-0 after a 2-hour weather delay Friday night at Warren Fitzgerald.

While Kettering spent its time on offense going 3-and-out (the Pioneers picked up just four first downs all game), De La Salle’s Chad O’Shell was busy taking the ball to the house through gaping holes.

O’Shell finished with touchdown runs of 49, 28 and 73 yards, all in the first half, and while Pilot fans won’t ever forget Jimmy Berezik, O’Shell will sure help ease the loss.

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Deandre Johnson update August 25, 2007

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After a 24-hour weather delay, Madison picked up right where it left off and pounded Warren Woods Tower, 34-6. This final score was indicative of how the first half was playing out Thursday night.

Deandre Johnson, typically, finished with another monster game – 190 yards on 13 carries and a trio of touchdowns.

Madison will again be one of the top teams in Division 5 because opponents will be hard-pressed to stop their offense.

Some highlights August 25, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in recaps, Week 1.
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Late night after De La Salle smashed Kettering 41-0; the game didn’t kick until 9 p.m., leaving us enough time to rush over from U-D Jesuit/Renaissance, which was postponed until 5 p.m. Saturday.

Inkster upsets Warren Harding, 36-20. Big night for Aaron Shavers, leading the Vikings with his arm and feet. Crockett almost makes it 2-for-Ohio but fell, 15-14, in overtime. Canton looks to salvage the weekend for Michigan tomorrow against Toledo Central Catholic.

Novi Catholic Central hasn’t won its opener in three tries but hadn’t lost to a PSL team since 1990. One of those streaks was bound to end as the Shamrocks outdueled a game Southeastern team, 24-12.

Severe weather blasted the area for a second straight night. Brighton/Rockford at the aforementioned UDJ/Renny were just two of the postponments. It seemed 50/50 whether games were played. Rcohester Adams (over Southfield) and Melvindale (over Marine City – not much of Brendan Kay) were among the big winners.  

Plan B on the night was DLS/Kettering – got a first look at one of the CHSL favorites – really men against boys – will have a story posted pronto.

Don’t have any info, but it looks like Dearborn High gutted out a 7-6 win over the Polar Bears of Highland Park.

Between Cass Tech/St. Mary’s tomorrow at 1, UDJ/Renaissance at 5 like it was announced, then another game at 7 (BCC/JLC might be too far of a drive) or 8 (Milford/Walled Lake Central at Rynearson) could be quite the tripleheader.

Props on the day go to (gulp) Detroit Catholic Central. The buzz around the Central Division is that the Shamrocks might be vastly tougher than in years past.

Game 1: False start August 24, 2007

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Warren Woods Tower at Madison Heights Madison 

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(Right) Lightning forced the suspension of Madison Heights Madison vs. Warren Woods Tower and a number of other games across the Metro area, many of which will resume today. 

When Madison Heights Madison running back DeAndre Johnson takes the field, the odds of a highlight-reel performance are pretty good.
Johnson rumbled for a staggering 2,698 yards last year. Considering the Eagles finished 13-1 and were the Division 5 runner-up, that equates to a gaudy 192.1 rushing yards per game.
Those on hand for Madison’s opener against Warren Woods Tower seemed assured to witness more rushing heroics from Johnson. 
For the game’s first 22:20, it was Johnson and Madison’s quasi-option offense that was true to form – after stumbling on the game’s opening drive, the Eagles were developing a rhythm and wearing down Tower, pounding away with run after run.
Then the weather quashed that.
With Madison leading 8-0 and facing second-and-one on the Tower 10-yard line with 1:40 left in the first half, the officials spotted lightning and halted the game, which was later suspended due to inclement weather.
The game will be resumed at 7 p.m. Friday.

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MHSFCA All-Star Game: West edges East, 9-7 July 22, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in MHSFCA All-Star Game, Preps, recaps.
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Battle Creek Central defensive back Myles McNichols (14) tries to block this extra point attempt in the West’s 9-7 win over the East in Saturday’s MHSFCA All-Star Game at Spartan Stadium. (Photo by Kyle Stefan)

McNichols, incoming Warriors make plays in defensive struggle

By Kyle Stefan

EAST LANSING – Unlike typical all-star contests, the hitting was hard and the action was intense at Saturday’s Michigan High School Football Coaches Association All-Star Game.

The game, captured 9-7 by the West in front of a sparse crowd at Spartan Stadium, was a grind-it-out slugfest won in the trenches.

That suited Wayne State’s incoming quintet of players — two offensive linemen, two linebackers and a defensive back — just fine. (more…)