The D Zone

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Recap of Legacy 7 on 7 League State Championship 2017

The Legacy 7 on 7 Football League concluded with the first ever repeat State Champion in Bridging The Gap who won the inaugural title 2 years ago.  The game wasn't decided until there was no time left on the clock as BTG's Cody Holmes knocked down the would be game-tying two point conversion attempt and the BTG sideline erupted shortly afterwards.

We'll highlight team MVP awards and All-State selections that weren't selected by us and other standouts. Put first our overall league MVP and playoff tournament MVP from this past weekend on Saturday.

The D Zone League MVP - Walled Lake Western 2018 WR Justin Thomas
The D Zone Tournament MVP - Saline 2018 WR/TE Emmett Turner

Tournament Results:
Finals: Bridging the Gap A beats Legacy Navy
Semi-Finals: Bridging the Gap A beats WR Nation
Semi-Finals: Legacy Navy beats Legacy East Black
Q-Finals: Legacy East Black beats Michigan Next Level
Q-Finals: Legacy Navy beats Legacy East Red
Q-Finals: Bridging the Gap A beats Legacy Detroit
Q-Finals: WR Nation beats Legacy West White
Legacy East Red beats Legacy Kalamazoo
Legacy Navy beats Legacy Macomb
Legacy East Black beats Legacy West Green
Michigan Next Level beats Legacy Saginaw Maroon
Legacy West White beats Michigan Elite B
WR Nation beats Legacy Flint
Bridging the Gap A beats Michigan Elite A
Legacy Detroit beats Legacy White
Legacy Macomb beats Legacy Grey
Legacy West Green beats Legacy Lansing
Legacy Flint beats Bridging the Gap B
Michigan Elite A beats Legacy Saginaw White

Saline 2018 WR/TE Emmett Turner

BTG who is all Canadian eliminated the defending champions, Legacy Navy who lost their warm-up game to Legacy East Black a few hours earlier, Legacy Navy avenged that loss in the quarterfinals.  In the finals, it came down to which team would make the last play as both teams scored on 3 possessions and was stopped once. Lansing Sexton 2018 Slot Cody Blankenburg is normally the go-to player for Legacy Navy and he did everything imaginable to carry his weight with several tough grabs and great routes that split defenses and made it seem like Blankenburg was the only one on the field.  The Big Reds playmaker possesses game-changing speed that simply isn't a skill many players in the Midwest possess, so the fact his recruiting process is quiet is confusing.  Saline 2018 WR/TE Emmett Turner hadn't done much crazy in the league, but definitely saved his best for last as he was near unstoppable the entire day.  Turner was quiet in the warm-up loss, but came back strong vs. Legacy East Red as he hauled in the only points of the game, that fortunately were enough for Legacy Navy as they advanced.  Turner became more active for Legacy Navy as 1 instance someone yelled, "just throw it to Turner" as the ball was snapped.  Turner that play made a clean 2 handed catch in the endzone.  His best 2 highlights came soon after as one pass a lofted pass in the endzone that the DB had better position on, but Turner reached over him and miraculously maintained possession of the ball for a touchdown.  Turner also had a lofted pass that he utilized his big 6'4" 200 lbs frame to shield the defender and bring in the touchdown with 1-hand as the bench cleared to celebrate the incredible catch.  Turner as you expect also had the touchdown as time expired as it was a missile from Michigan State bound QB Theo Day that Turner climbed the ladder to catch cleanly.

With that said, it's clear our State Finals MVP is Saline 2018 WR/TE Emmett Turner, we only cover Michigan HS football and even if it was BTG's QB would have been the overall contender, but Turner to us was on another level Saturday.

As for overall league MVP we identified the player who makes the most valuable impact for his team when he plays and shows leadership to in this case very young players who will hope to be in his shoes.  We have selected Walled Lake Western 2018 WR Justin Thomas of WR Nation as our MVP of the league from his overall body of work in 5 weeks.  Thomas plays with a team only of receivers, so him and others play defensive back as well to field a defense.  Him and John Paddock of Bloomfield Hills are two of only 3 2018 kids on the team so he's lead by example better than anyone by far in the league and numerous younger players during the final week have confirmed Justin has been a tremendous leader for their team and why they were as good as they were as a team.  WR Nation reached the semi-finals before falling to Bridging the Gap.  Thomas has put himself on the map and some this off-season with big performance after big performance.  Thomas one week had 4 touchdowns in a game and several tough catches that involved crafty footwork on the sidelines.  Thomas had one of those big-time catches in the playoffs as he caught the ball cleanly before securing one foot down and toe-dragging the other which is no ordinary catch.

Walled Lake Western 2018 WR Justin Thomas

Legacy Navy standouts:  Divine Child 2018 QB Theo Day, Michigan State bound QB who passes the eye test and upon closer look gets the ball out quicker than anyone and high velocity on his throws, but can also fit in tight windows.  Lansing Catholic 2018 QB Mike Lynn - Dual-threat QB who reached back-to-back titles with Legacy Navy as he's pinpoint with his throws and reminded everyone of his running abilities when he was blitzed during the finals, identified it and ran up field for a first down.  Saline 2018 QB Jason McGovern - Will be a 1-year starter at Saline this year as a Senior and has a lot of tools to be successful as he has pretty quick release and smart reading the field.  Led the league in competition percentage through 4 weeks with 78%  Livonia Franklin 2018 DB/WR Keion Harris - A balanced DB who matches up physically as much as anyone at the position and has speed to remain a scare to opposing QB's.  Country Day 2018 DB Isaiah Johnson - Freakishly athletic defensiveback who has very good length which allows him to constantly make great plays on the ball and be the CB on the team that no one wants to attack.

WR Nation standouts: Bloomfield Hills 2018 QB John Paddock has the arm that colleges dream of having on their roster as he gets the ball out so cleanly and quickly that defensivebacks are catching their breath before they even know it.  Paddock will make one school a believer as they've been reluctant on his near 6' height, but it's going to be an afterthought soon.  West Bloomfield 2020 WR Christian Fitzpatrick - young, solid receiver prospect with two early offers, moves well and was utilized mainly as a LB in 7 on 7 team,  Allen Park 2018 WR/FS Austin Dietz was a big play threat offensively throughout the league and looked even better defensively as he flew from sideline-to-sideline smoothly and constantly disrupted passes.

Legacy East Black standouts: Detroit Central 2018 Slot D.J. Adkins is labeled the human joystick by his coaches and its clear right off the bat, as he is so shifty and in space is just an absolute terror for defenders.  He doesn't have the ideal height which he uses to his advantage as he's tough to get more than a finger tip on.  Lake Orion 2019 Slot/LB Danny Del Otero‏ is a versatile player who reacts well and we believe was used in a Safety role on East Black's defense.  Detroit Central 2019 CB Rodney Johnson - solid CB who is gaining experience and becoming more and more physical.  Detroit Central 2018 DB Leotis Briggs is a physical player who covers ground well.  Lake Orion 2018 Slot Jon Haggitt is a solid option in the Slot as he has physical traits to fight through LB's and gets open easy.  Walled Lake Northern 2020 WR Ethan Hradil has developed into a major downfield threat during the league and has become one of the most clutch and reliable vertical threats in the league.

Legacy Kalamazoo standouts: Tri-unity 2017 WR/DB Braydon Sherrod plays 8-man football in the Fall, so doesn't get to shine the way he does in the league as he's a long and physical player who showed flashes of dominance.   South Christian 2017 WR/DB Tariq Williams is a freak in the secondary as he has every trait plus great size.  Williams along with Sherrod are unsigned seniors.  South Christian 2017 WR Brady Vis is signed with Concordia, Ann Arbor and a bit overlooked.  Is a big play receiver in short and vertical routes.  Had a great 1-hand catch in a great back and forth game with with Legacy East Red.  Watervliet 2018 RB/QB "ATH" Zack Pickens can throw the ball well on the run and is accurate.  Also has good size to be looked at in the recruiting process as an Athlete.

Legacy East Red standouts:  Clarkston 2019 WR/DB Max Nicklin grown from a boy to a dominant force for East Red this year and expect it to carry over well in the Fall as a Junior.  Nicklin emerged as a nice downfield threat and made great plays on the ball look regular.  Clarkston 2018 WR/DB Mike Fluegel - great sized WR/DB prospect who has good length and constantly makes plays.  Was used as RB and has performed very well since a Sophomore.  Clarkston 2018 LB/TE Zach Scott physical LB who moves well and has a good feel for what the offense is doing.  Clarkston 2018 WR/DB Conner Heaton had a huge touchdown over the weekend and is a solid target.  Clarkston 2018 WR/CB Spencer Lenardson rounds out the group of lethal playmakers from Clarkston as Lendardson was a major playmaker and contributor for Legacy East Red since week 1.

Michigan Next Level standouts:  River Rouge 2018 S DeAnte' Rigsby does it all for his squad as he moves great and has physical abilities to back-up his skill.  Rigsby was constantly ruining plays with his athletic abilities.   Loyola 2018 DB Jimmie Chappell has great closing speed and physical tools which allowed him to be a dominant force each week.   Saint Mary's 2018 QB Caden Prieskorn throws the ball well, but was also a vertical threat for Next Level as he snagged in a few good catches.  Cranbrook-Kingswood 2018 QB Trevor McConnell has nice pocket presence and gets the ball out well.  Romulus 2018 RB/LB Terrell Huguley has a nice build for his positions, but showed he could also catch the ball well as he gets open and has good hands.  Royal Oak 2018 S/RB Pat Tesho was another piece for the secondary as he moves well and covers ground as good as anyone.  Tesho has good length and great ball skills.

Legacy Detroit standouts:  River Rouge S Reggie Pearson who is committed to Wisconsin covers a ton of ground and can make plays, left and right.  Pearson was selected as the teams MVP with a strong season that in week 2 featured him catching a game winning touchdown pass.  Seaholm 2019 QB Gray Kinnie emerged a QB who gets the ball out quick and has good velocity on his throws.  Kinnie improved a ton week-to-week.  River Rouge 2018 TE/WR Lee Payton is a major vertical threat as he moves well for his size and was tough to stop.  River Rouge 2019 WR/DB Corry Thomas was Legacy Detroit's leading receiver as the speedster went crazy on both sides of the ball.

Legacy West White standouts:  Rockford 2018 QB Jason Whittaker who is committed to Northwestern was selected as team MVP.  Whittaker has a ton of tools to be a nice Big 10 QB as he's tall and accurate with his throws.  Whittaker runs a wing-t offense in the Fall so it's nice to see him throws vs. defenses.  Muskegon Catholic Central 2020 WR/DB Cameron Martinez had a big year as a safety he covers ground good and playmaker as well on offense.  Martinez received an early offer from Central Michigan and is going to improve from here.  Muskegon 2018 QB "ATH" Ladarius Jefferson led Muskegon to D3 title at QB last year and has good velocity on his throws + he can move well so has a good talent on the run as a QB and played some tight end this season as well.  Rockford 2018 CB/SS Marcus Remtema is a nice sized prospect who moves well and physically matches up well vs. receivers.

Legacy Macomb standouts.  Romeo 2019 MLB/RB Brock Horne controlled the middle of the field as defenses had to worry about his size and how much ground he covered.  Horne closes in fast on the ball as well.  Fraser 2018 WR Kenneath Redd was a technician in the Slot as he was always the ones his QB's relied on to get open.  Redd was utilized in the middle of the field and as a vertical threat.  Eisenhower 2019 FS/LB Ian Kennelly had a big year defensively as he was an interception machine and ball-hawk safety.  Stoney Creek 2019 QB Frank Potenza spins the ball well can make a lot of throws that other QB's in the league were struggling to make.   Chippewa Valley 2018 WR Jon'Naize Owens is a nice sized receiver who was a playmaker for Legacy Macomb.  Chippewa Valley 2020 WR/FS Corey Anderson II is a young and intriguing player who showed bits and pieces of whats to come.

Legacy West Green standouts:  Godwin Heights 2018 QB Susu Davenport was 2nd overall in the league in completions and missed the entire first week of the season.  Davenport gets the ball out well accurately and a good decision maker.  West Catholic 2018 WR/DB Zaavon Scott is a nice athlete who has good length and makes plays.  Orchard View 2018 RB "ATH" Jayden Day is another good athlete who catches ball out of the backfield and has good RB/LB size.  Middleville Thornapple Kellogg 2021 DE/TE Jake DeLong plays receiver and tight end and with great size at a young age was making plays and we look forward to seeing him in high school.  Coopersville 2018 OLB Devin Smith led the team in interceptions as he was a dangerous threat that QB's had to account for.

Legacy Saginaw Maroon standouts.  Carrollton 2018 WR/DB Ovauntay Vickers is definitely someone to look out for as he has great athleticism and is a big play waiting to happen.  Saginaw MLS DB/WR Casey Williams was chosen as team MVP, he'll have a great career at Saginaw Valley State, he always makes plays.  Saginaw Nouvel 2018 QB Tate Hausbeck has developed nice as a QB the last 3 years and had a big season in the league with good velocity on throws and smart getting the ball to the right receiver.  Hemlock 2018 QB Kade Peters formed a strong duo with Hausbeck as they both are different skilled QB's.  Peters has taller height and a bit more dangerous with vertical routes.   Mount Pleasant 2018 WR/CB Jayden Perry is a nice playmaker who statistically was the 3rd top performer and probably formed the best threesome of skilled players in the league.

Michigan Elite standouts:  Detroit Central 2018 QB El-Julian Jordan throws great and has very good velocity on his throws.  His skills are still very raw and with his speed & athleticism a ton of colleges would love to have him as their QB.  Jordan holds a few MAC offers.  Wyandotte Roosevelt 2018 WR Kendrick Stanley is a good sized receiver with good speed, so he's constantly causing mismatch problems regardless of what side of the ball he plays.  Detroit King 2018 WR/LB/DB Erik Gibson another like Stanley who has great size and moves.  Gibson has great hands for a receiver and versatility on defense to plug in anywhere.  Millington 2018 QB Bryce Bearss is a nice QB with good size and gets the ball out quick.  Bearss is a smart QB and received first offer from Morehead State last week.  University of Detroit Jesuit 2017 TE/WR Xavier Rice was a nice prospect who is unsigned.

Legacy White standouts: Pinckney 2018 QB/CB Jack Wurzer was selected as MVP as of the team, with a productive year. Wurzer has pretty good accuracy.  Fordson 2019 ATH Abraham Jaafar hadn't played any DB until this season with Legacy White and did a great job at it, as he's a very athletic player who can move and constantly makes plays.  Saint Johns 2019 OLB/RB Konnor Near is a young, but fluid LB who reacts well, also has good size for the position.

Legacy Flint standouts:  Flint Powers 2019 LB/WR Joey Zorn emerged a top option for his Quarterbacks as he's at the top of the stat board goes for receivers.  His quarterbacks, Fenton 2018 QB Josh Czarnota has a quick release with nice velocity and knows how to get the ball to his receivers.  Czarnota is a nice dual-threat QB.  Also on Legacy Flint at QB was Flushing 2018 QB Cal Endicott a true pocket passer with a quick release.  Burton Atherton 2018 WR/CB Kentrell Ware is a nice and shifty receiver and solid CB.  Flint Carman-Ainsworth 2019 WR/CB De'Shawn Gibson had several highlight catches during the season and was making plays each game we seen Legacy Flint play.

Flint Saginaw White standouts:  Midland 2019 WR/FS Carter Grove is primed for a strong 2 years left of high school as the Chemics have lacked talent the last few years, Grove is a big play receiver who will likely develop into a nice catching TE, as he's looks bigger than his listed 6'1" 190 lbs, if he doesn't grow more, he'll still be a big play threat.  Chesaning 2019 WR/DB Brady Frasier flies around on both sides of the ball and definitely one of the standouts in the league in terms of making plays.

Legacy Lansing standouts:  Lansing Sexton 2018 WR/OLB Karl Brooks is a physically intimidating player who moves great for his size and was the only constant threat Legacy Lansing had this year.  It will be scary to see him in pads as a senior.  Lumen Christi 2018 CB/RB Sebastian Toland was another big play threat for Legacy Lansing as a CB as he was tough to pass on.  Ovid-Elsie 2018 QB Gage Palus was a good decision maker and has good arm strength.

Legacy Grey standouts:  Hartland 2020 WR/DB Logan Tobel will go down in Legacy Center history as his team only won 1 game, but it was a game that will be remembered by 1 play, a diving - 1 handed catch by Tobel that went viral and was featured in ESPN's top 10 plays of the night.  Tobel is a good sized Freshman who had the Legacy Grey offense revolve around him as he was a easy target and entered the weekend at the top of the reception chart.  Ithaca 2021 QB Brady Hessbrook throws a nice ball at a young age as well, definitely one to keep track of.

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