Sunday, August 28, 2016

2016 D1-D3 Week 1 Statewide of Michigan 40/40 Football Rankings

The 40/40 Football Rankings are our top 40 teams from the whole state of Michigan.  There are two groups of rankings. One group is all of the Division 1 - 3 teams in the state of Michigan and the second group is a combination of all of the D4 - 8 teams in Michigan.

  1. Cass Tech
  2. Muskegon
  3. Walled Lake Western
  4. Dakota
  5. Detroit King
  6. Fordson
  7. Saline
  8. Lowell
  9. Clarkston
  10. Orchard Lake Saint Mary's
  11. Detroit Catholic Central
  12. Oak Park
  13. Belleville
  14. East Kentwood
  15. Lapeer
  16. Canton
  17. Northville
  18. De La Salle
  19. Livonia Churchill
  20. Hudsonville
  21. West Bloomfield
  22. Eisenhower
  23. Southfield
  24. Rockford
  25. Brother Rice
  26. University of Detroit Jesuit
  27. Warren Mott
  28. Dearborn
  29. Coldwater
  30. Brighton
  31. Farmington Hills Harrison
  32. Grand Ledge
  33. Livonia Stevenson
  34. Jackson
  35. Oxford
  36. Romeo
  37. East English Village Prep
  38. Caledonia
  39. East Lansing
  40. L'Anse Creuse North

Detroit King defeats Southfield in 1st game without Dale Harvel

The perfect storm was brewing in Detroit on Saturday and it definitely wasn't the rain and lightning that ended the River Rouge and Chelsea game a quarter short.  Saturday marked the first time that the new Southfield A&T would take the field, which is the merger of Southfield and Lathrup High Schools.  It was also the first time, Tyrone Spencer led the Crusaders onto the field following the death of Dale Harvel over the summer.  King wore a special tribute jersey that was gray and said "Harvel" as their last names.

The game itself wasn't pretty at first as the field was soaked in rain and seemed to slow things down at the start.  King woke up following a massive hit by Southfield 2017 S/WR Justin Cain that jarred loose the ball.  King would recover the ball, but turned the ball over on downs.

King led by 2017 RB Kevin Willis constantly clawed away yards and 2019 QB Dequan Finn stepped up with some nice throws.  His best finding an open 2017 WR/DB Ambry Thomas from 36 yards out for a touchdown to give King a 7-0 lead in the 2nd quarter.

Things picked up from there.

Willis stole the show from there, as he had three touchdown runs and a 13-yard touchdown reception from Finn to put King's lead up to 33-0.

2019 RB/DB Marvin Grant capped off the scoring and put the game in a running clock with a touchdown run to make the score 39-0.

King was led on the ground by Willis who showcased a physical running style and burst through holes.

King's most experienced player, Ambry Thomas locked down Southfield's top WR in Southfield 2018 WR Brandon Gray, not giving him much room to work.  Thomas had several big catches and runs that completely changed the field position around.

Kent State 2017 LB commit, Cepeda Phillips was one of the most active defenders both physically and vocally as he led the Crusaders defense from the MLB position.

2019 LB/DE Tyrece Woods seems to have already outgrown the LB position, but played some LB position and DE.

For Southfield, it was Justin Cain and Lorenzo McCaskill who turned in the best performances of the night.  Cain was arguably the best player on the field besides for Willis.  Cain came up from the Safety position to make several tackles, the highlight being a forced fumble early in the game.

McCaskill who recently committed to Cincinnati is a very solid LB for the Warriors.  He has a little a bit of every skill which makes him such a valuable piece for Southfield.

Southfield 2017 WR/CB Marquise Thorns who is committed to Morgan State was selected as Southfield's player of the game.  Thorns showed his explosiveness and playmaking skills on special teams and a few catches also.  He was often times defending Ambry Thomas when he was playing CB.

Southfield coaches also had to like 2018 RB Lew Nichols stepping up with a good performance.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

River Rouge stands tall after weather shortened game, win over Chelsea

It wasn't a full 3 quarters finished before, River Rouge who was the D5 runner-ups last year defeated the D3 runner-ups Chelsea, 34-16.  With just under a minute before the 4th quarter, a referee spotted lightning off in the distance.  30-40 minutes later, it poured rain and lighting on the campus of Wayne State University.   Just over 2.5 hours following the delay, Chelsea decided to call it a game.  The tempo of the game was really high, as both teams laid some devastating hits and blocks.

River Rouge led by 2017 QB Jairus Grissom constantly moved the ball all game long and quickly got in the red zone.  Grissom leaped for the goal line, but was just short.  He would later redeem it.

Chelsea got on the board first, as their top player.  2017 CB/RB Cam Cooper fielded a punt at his own 25 before a bunch of blocks cleared a path for him to burst through for 6 points.  Cooper who was clearly Chelsea's reason for moving the ball on each drive, was kept with what seemed minimal playing time as others around him weren't able to follow his consistent production.

River Rouge picked up their intensity on defense, as 2018 S/OLB Eric Chenault cut in front of Chelsea 2017 QB Jack Bush's pass and took it near the goal line.  2018 RB Alex Carter punched it in right after to even the score.  Senior LB Savion Thomas picked off another Chelsea pass and Grissom would score on a QB sneak afterwards.

A phenomenal touchdown run by 2018 RB Jalen Jackson in which he laid a stiff arm and hit the edge had River Rouge's momentum meter rising quickly.

Chelsea had a chance to stop the bleeding, but a 39 yard field goal attempt missed left.  River Rouge made matters worse for Chelsea, as 2017 QB Jairus Grissom's highlight of the day was a run that he juked a Chelsea defender before cruising into the end zone from 36 yards out.  Grissom nailed 2018 TE Lee Payton on the 2 point conversation to extend their lead to 28-10.

River Rouge has 2018 S Reggie Pearson perform punting duties, his kick went off the side of his foot and several yards up field, his Dad an assistant yelled for him to get it back.  On the very next play, Pearson read Bush's eyes and dove it on a ball thrown in the middle of the field for an interception. Pearson later messaged The D Zone informing us that he had committing to the University of Wisconsin.

Grissom would again find Payton, this time a short pass turned the MAC recruited TE, into a 73 yard gain.  Payton appeared to score, but was ruled out at the 1 yard line.  Grissom punched it in from there.

Chelsea 2017 QB Jack Bush closed the scoring with a QB sneak.

River Rouge was led by QB Jairus Grissom who showed flashes of mid-season form, overall was very solid.  He made several very good throws and moves on his feet.

River Rouge 2018 TE Lee Payton probably had the best performance among Rouge players, as the TE constantly kept getting open and getting up field.

River Rouge 2017 DB Justin Knott had a solid day at CB, hit pass breakup and some tackles.  The secondary of Reggie Pearson, Corry Thomas, Brandon Woods, etc. all had good chemistry.

Chelsea also got big contributions from 2017 CB Lawrence Buckley as he had 2 big kick returns and an interception.

Michigan High School Football Scores, Saturday August 27th, 2016

River Rouge beats Chelsea 34-16
King beats Southfield 39-0
Unity Christian beats Allendale 37-35
Coopersville beats Fruitport 36-13
East Kentwood beats Farmington Hills Harrison 31-24
Menominee beats Marinette, WI 31-14
Montague beats Orchard View 51-14
Catholic Central beats Stevenson 42-0
Detroit Central beats Fr. Gabriel Richard 20-15

Fordson wins thriller at PKC

Fordson's Hamze Elzayet scores a touchdown. Source: Ken Detloff/The D Zone

After a first half in which the Canton defense allowed just seven points and 176 total yards, the wheels came off as Dearborn Fordson exploded for 404 second half yards and five touchdowns to defeat the Chiefs 40-35 at the annual Prep Kickoff Classic held at Wayne State.

“It was a tale of two halves. Offensively, we need to start scoring. Just way too many big plays defensively and that’s something we’ve been harping on; long pass plays, not tackling a fast quarterback. We got a lot of issues that were exposed tonight. They were faster than us and it showed in the second half,” Canton head coach Tim Baechler said.

Slay Shajrah put the nail in the Chiefs’ coffin as he hauled in a 59-yard strike from Hamze Elzayet to put the Tractors up for good.

“To come in here and battle, especially how we were down at half, shows a tribute to the kids and our staff,” Fordson head coach Fouad Zaban said.

Tale of Two Halves

Canton (0-1) took a 28-7 lead into halftime thanks to a balanced first half attack. Markus Sanders (18 carries for 186 yards) and Steven Walker (two carries for 27 yards) each scored rushing touchdowns to put Canton up 14-0 in the first quarter. Brennon Pelland and Colin Troup each caught touchdown passes from quarterback Jake O’Donnell in the second quarter.

On the first play of the third quarter, O’Donnell was intercepted by Shajrah to shift the pendulum Fordson’s way. Four plays later, Elzayet scampered in from 39 yards out to cut the Canton lead to 28-14.

Change in momentum put Canton behind the eight-ball right out of the gates in the third quarter, according to Baechler.

“Our message (at halftime) was the score is zero-zero and we have to reestablish momentum in the third quarter and we didn’t.

“We didn’t communicate on the kickoff right away. Quarterback makes a horrible decision on a receiver running the wrong way. They took the momentum right away and we just could not get it back. Hats off to them,” Baechler said.

On the flip side of things, Fordson’s defense struggled with Canton’s traditional wing-t offense in the first half, giving up 28 points and 293 total yards.

Zaban and his coaching staff trusted their preparation and did not make any halftime adjustments.

“Honestly, we did the same stuff. We were more disciplined and executed better. Our players came back and wanted to fight, they fought,” Zaban said.

After Fordson rattled off four unanswered touchdowns to take a 34-28 lead with 7:21 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Chiefs marched down the field to retake the lead. Canton needed two fourth down conversions to get deep inside Fordson territory as Julian Thornton ran in from 27 yards to put Canton up 35-34 with 2:34 left.

“We couldn’t stay on schedule today. They were obviously more physical than we were and that’s an issue; I don’t care how big we are. We’re not a big team, but that should not be an issue,” Baechler said.

Despite scoring 35 points, the offense was not firing on all cylinders, according to Baechler.

“We had to go with big plays. We scored 35 points, but I certainly don’t think we played very well offensively. We have a lot of work to do,” Baechler said.

Fordson’s defense held Canton’s offense to just 155 yards in the second half. The Tractors’ concentration and discipline to stopping the run proved to be critical in their effort, according to Zaban.

“We know what they’re going to do, they know what they’re going to do. We didn’t go in at halftime and really change anything. We concentrated on our execution,” Zaban said.

Elzayet was a difference maker all night, accounting for 470 out of Fordson’s 580 offensive yards and five touchdowns (three passing, two rushing).

“The quarterback is a product of who’s around him and my guys stepped up and they made plays. They don’t all have to be Division 1, 6-foot-3 athletes. They’re just playmakers that do their jobs,” Elzayet said.

Fordson’s lone first half score came on a 3-yard run by Ahmed Sabbagh.

Friday, August 26, 2016

 Other Jackson Area  score for August 26 , 2016

Grand Rapids West Catholic @ 30         Onsted @ 28                            
Jackson Lumen christi                13         Dearborn Heights Annapolis  36

Coldwater @  33                                       Marshall @ 7
Jackson            22                                       Benton Harbor  28  

Jackson Northwest @ 17                           Leslie @     22
Eaton Rapids             20                           Dansville    42

Parma Western @   21                               Okemos @   0
Grosse lle                41                               Mason         7