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Penn Hills info August 31, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in Previews.
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For those searching for info on Birmingham Brother Rice’s matchup with Pittsburgh Penn Hills, this preview comes courtesy of the Pittsburgh Sports Report’s WPIAL Preview. Penn Hills was tabbed as one of the contenders in Quad A (AAAA) behind the favored Gateway Gators.

Penn Hills Indians
– 15 returning starters
– Coming off a 10-2 record; reached the WPIAL Championship
– Since winning the WPIAL championship in 1995, Penn Hills has not since missed the playoffs.

If you want to talk returning starters packed with a filthy defense, then look no further than the Indians. D-1 recruit linebacker Dan Mason will anchor the load with 8 other returning starters on defense – a defense that gave up an average of two touchdowns a game last season. Quarterback Tom Fulton will continue his triumphant success in running the offense. The junior threw for 1,224 yards last season, as well as rushed for 421. Although USC won the WPIAL last year, Penn Hills is the best candidate out of the two to make a return to Heinz.

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

Posted by City Hoops in recaps.
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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.

According to papers, PSL schools playing today August 30, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in News.
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According to schedules in both The Detroit News and Free Press print editions today, the majority of Detroit PSL games are slated for today, not Friday. This differs from the MHSAA master schedule that DFR posts info from.

I’d place a quick call to Lafayette Evans, but I’m on a 10-minute break from jury duty. I didn’t want my website to be erroneous.

High School Picks, Week 2 August 30, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in picks.
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Click through as DFR’s Kyle Stefan and Andrew Hayner make their picks for Week 2 of the high school season. Last week’s records were: Andy 12-3 and Kyle 11-4.

Our pick for game of the week takes us across state lines as Birmingham Brother Rice – without starting quarterback Andy Lentz – travels to face a perrenial power in Pennsylvania’s WPIAL Class AAAA – Pittsburgh Penn Hills.

Click through for the picks … (more…)

Central Michigan Outlook August 29, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in MAC, Previews.
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cmu.jpgCentral Michigan

Last season: 10-4 (8-1)
MAC Champions
Motor City Bowl Champions

Players
Most exciting: Soph QB Dan LeFevour
Breakout season: Soph WR Bryan Anderson
Unsung players: Sr. RG Eric Tunney, Jr. LT Andrew Hartline
Impact frosh: DL Josh Allison, TE Rocky Weaver
Top Detroiters: Fr. DB Marc McKinney (Mumford); Fr. DB Gary Jackson (Renaissance); Sr. P Tony Mikulec (Notre Dame Prep); Sr. C Mike Decker (Brother Rice); rFr. OL Matt Brimer (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s); Fr. DE Lance Beers (Dearborn Heights Crestwood)

Fast fact: Former Wayne State offensive line coach Max Glowacki joined new coach Butch Jones’ staff at CMU this season as the tight ends coach. Glowacki lettered four years at CMU from 1994-97.

Opener: Saturday at Kansas
MAC Opener: Sept. 8 vs. Toledo
2007 Prediction: 8-4

Click through for the outlook … (more…)

Preps: Week 2 preview August 29, 2007

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Can’t wait for college football this weekend?

TIVO one of the early Thursday games, and then hit the road to check out one of around 260 high school games Thursday night – moved up from the traditional Friday night setting because of the Labor Day weekend.

MAC Red play begins Thursday night for two of the favorites – Sterling Heights Stevenson at Macomb Dakota. This is a highly-anticipated rematch of last year’s overtime thriller (Dakota won, 31-28) which headlines the early action.

Two games involving Catholic League teams Thursday night are Ann Arbor Huron at U-D Jesuit and Novi Catholic Central at Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.

When Muskegon joined the OK Red this season, the Big Reds solidified the West-side power conference as the best in the state.

That elite status is evident on a weekly basis as state powers meet for league showdowns. And that becomes apparent during the non-conference slate as well when Hudsonville hosts Lowell and Rockford travels to Davison on Thursday night. The OK Red teams will be favored in both games.

Other top games involving OK Red teams this week include Grandville at Traverse City West and Muskegon at Reeths-Puffer, an overmatched cross-town foe.

The PSL’s top game has Renaissance standouts Jeray Carraway and Sam Gaymon making the cross-town trip to challenge a talented King team. Both were Week 1 winners. Others include Denby at Henry Ford and Southeastern at Mumford (all are Friday afternoon kickoffs).

Friday night, the focus swings to a pivotal early-season game in the OAA White as Rochester Adams hosts Farmington Hills Harrison.

The Catholic League’s best matchup of the week will occur out-of-state, as Birmingham Brother Rice – minus quarterback Andy Lentz – travels for a highly-anticipated showdown with Pittsburgh Penn Hills.

In the Cereal City, Battle Creek Central will look to get its vaunted rushing attack on track agai nst cross-town rival Lakeview on Friday night. Jackson Lumen Christi held star running back Larry Caper II to 66 yards in last Saturday’s opener. Lakeview also has a talented junior class, led by BCC transfer Adrian Bouyer. Dimeko Price and Jake Labrecque are senior captains and are featured in the Spartans’ spread offense.

On Wayne State August 29, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in Wayne State.
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DFR took a good look today at Wayne State’s newly-released depth chart.

Coach Winters noted last week that injuries have hurt WSU’s depth, especially along the lines, which wasn’t deep on the defensive side to begin with.

He also said that tackle Ray Rocheleau might miss the season because of injury. Ryan Jonik replaced him at left tackle on the depth chart. The line, which originally was slated to lose just one starter (Grant Fodor), now might be forced to break in three new starters. Chris Ostosh, who has started all 21 games in his college career, was listed behind redshirt freshman Marc Cuddeback. Muhammad Abdullah is the biggest lineman (6-6, 318) but returns after not playing football last year.

Winters was noncommittal as to a starting quarterback at the end of camp last Thursday, but appears to have settled on Trent Pohl. Winters said he would not use a rotation but Zach George may eventually see time this year out of necessity, because of fatigue, ect.

Ed Sanders (6-0) performed well enough through summer and camp to be tabbed as one of the top receivers. Winters went as far to call him a possible No. 1. Chris Alsina (6-2) is the other starter. Travis Campbell and Chris Ratcliff are the backups. Hard to imagine that Adrian Dawkins won’t see some time. Winters said that true freshman David Mosley “is going to play.”

Dante Dunn and Jonathan Klyce are penciled in as starters on the corners, while Steve Wisnewski and Brandon Cooper are the starting safties. Cornelius Dillard, Stan Thornton, Kenny Watson, Brent Wisniewski, Wendell Thompson and true freshman Myles McNichols are also candidates to see time.

Click through for more Winters on last week’s conclusion of camp: (more…)

Apparently Michigan Tech throws the ball too August 28, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in GLIAC, Wayne State.
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warriors3.jpgmtu.jpgMichigan Tech quarterback Steve Short was his usual dual-threat self during Saturday’s shootout loss to Winona State, averaging 6.1 yards on 12 carries (team-high 73 rushing yards).

He also took to the air, early and often, hitting 27-of-45 for a whopping 431 yards and six (!) touchdowns in Tech’s 47-44 overtime loss.

Let’s put those passing numbers in perspective – Short’s six TDs equaled his total from last season, when he split time with Drew Schaft. The tandem combined to average 19.9 pass attempts per game with a high of 23. MTU doubled that against Winona State, a playoff team last season.

Granted, Tech was behind virtually the whole game, and the teams combined for an insane 1,038 yards and 45 points in the last 10 minutes of the game.

The last time Michigan Tech had a similar ratio of more passes (45) than rushes (41)? Last year’s opener against Wayne State, when the Huskies tossed it 37 times and ran 35.

Winona State started a freshman (Tyler Wegner), two juniors (Tony Hill and Tyler Wegner) and a senior (Craig Martindale) in the secondary. Only Martindale had marginal game experience.

My question to WSU coach Paul Winters last week was whether the inexperienced defensive line needed to grow up in a hurry to stop MTU’s rushing attack. His response was that the entire defense would have to grow up pretty quickly, just because how Tech runs its offense. There are many weapons, starting with the quarterback. A lot of their running comes off quarterback draws. That’s on the linebackers and secondary to be in position to make plays and stops.

Apparently, with a starting secondary similar to Winona State’s (experience-wise), it will take a team effort to limit the Huskies through the air and avoid a repeat 400-yard performance, too.

Thanks to Willy Mena and the Michigan Helmet Project August 28, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in News.
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Willy Mena over at Michigan H.S. Helmet Project has graciously allowed Detroit Football Report to use their helmet graphics to enhance our website this season.

3648_l.gifMake sure to visit their site here: Michigan H.S. Helmet Project – they have the helmet design for about 98% percent of active football schools (617, down from 620 last year) in Michigan.

The Helmet Project already has the new design for the U-D Jesuit Cubs (on the left) – that’s impressive (MHP having it – the design, not so much). The Cubs made the switch from the Clemson paw print that had graced the helmet for four consecutive 4-5 seasons.

Also check out Novi Football on the web, another site maintained by Willy Mena, for the latest on the Wildcats. Ann Arbor Pioneer edged Novi, 19-17, in Week 1 but the Wildcats will look to rebound at home against Milford this Friday at 7 p.m.

GLIAC and College Coverage August 27, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in News.
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Last week was entirely devoted to Michigan high schools; Monday kicks off DFR’s coverage of college football, especially Detroit’s own Wayne State Warriors.

Check back this week for our Big Ten, MAC and GLIAC previews; and stay tuned all week for coverage leading up to Wayne State’s season opener against Michigan Tech on Saturday.

And don’t worry, the preps coverage isn’t going anywhere. If our travel budget was bigger, we’d cover  Rockford at Davison and Brother Rice at Pittsburgh Penn Hills. Instead, we’ll stick around home and cover the best games around the Metro-area, including Farmington Hills Harrison at Rochester Adams on Friday.

Week 2: Michigan High School Top 40 August 27, 2007

Posted by City Hoops in Rankings.
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Week 1 is in the books with plenty of big wins and upsets to sort out. Find out the movers and shakers in DFR’s second Michigan High School Top 40 Poll.

A note on team movement: extreme fluctuations were limited as much as possible. There’s nothing worse than dropping teams after wins, but, there were cases this was necessary after getting a better handle on some teams after Week 1.

Click through for the poll … (more…)

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…)

Game Balls: Top Individual Performances, Week 1 August 26, 2007

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 Week 1 of the high school season produced several standout individual efforts. The top 10 individual performances of the week (plus one bonus performance) have earned Game Balls from DFR and are listed in no particular order (asterisk* denotes performance was seen by DFR):

Dominique White, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s*: Senior racked up four touchdowns – 28-, 5- and 15-yard runs and a 30-yard catch and run out of the backfield – and finished with 110 total yards in OSLM’s decisive win over Cass Tech.

DeAndre Johnson, Madison Heights Madison*: Senior tailback ran for 190 yards and three scores in Madison’s 34-6 win over Warren Woods Tower – a two-day affair because of lightning.

Chad O’Shell, Warren DeLaSalle*: Ran up 140 yards on three touchdown runs in the first half alone. Senior speedster flew through gaping holes in DeLaSalle’s 41-0 rout of Detroit Kettering.

Aaron Shavers, Inkster: Shavers totaled 200 yards rushing and one touchdown and 100 yards passing and three TDs as Inkster upset Warren Harding in Ohio.

Jeray Carraway, Detroit Renaissance*: Carraway, a senior quarterback, shredded the U-D Jesuit defense for 170 yards rushing and three touchdowns – two long scrambles and the game winning 5-yard plunge with 25 seconds left. He also hit Sam Gaymon for a 25-yard go-ahead TD pass on 4th and 22 in the fourth quarter.

Ali Alaboody, Dearborn Fordson*: Alaboody led the Fordson charge with 14 carries for 134 yards and two touchdowns as the Tractors smacked Dearborn Divine Child, 34-21.

Joe Kinville, Novi Catholic Central: CC played smashmouth football again, led by Kinville’s 141 yards on 24 carries and 48-yard TD run, and won its first opener since 2003 over Detroit Southeastern, 24-12.

Jimmy Saros, Grosse Pointe South: Sarios did a bit of everything – six catches for 106 yards and a 38-yard touchdown, a 55-yard punt return for a touchdown and an interception. South walloped East Detroit, 41-8.

Jerry Claxton-People, Grosse Pointe North: Claxton-People ran for 192 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries as GPN defeated Roseville, 33-12.

Emery Allen, Detroit Crockett: Had to get the defensive player of the week into the top 10. Allen had 12 tackles and two sacks as Crockett lost a heartbreaker, 15-14, in overtime at Cleveland Maple Heights.

Torsten Boss, Lowell: The junior do-it-all athlete was a gamebreaker on both sides of the ball in Lowell’s 7-0 win over Davison. Boss anchored the secondary while Lowell ran just five plays on offense where Boss didn’t run or throw the ball. He finished with 24 rushes for 91 yards and 138 yards passing and a touchdown.

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.

(more…)