Drive for Detroit: Week 2 Preview
September 5, 2019
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
After rain soaked many of this fall’s football openers, just about anything would be considered returning to business as usual this weekend.
But while we’re all hoping the storms stay away, will the heavy helping of unforeseen results we saw on the field follow us into Week 2?
Below again is a glance at games from every part of the state that appear especially intriguing. This week’s MHSAA.tv schedule includes live streams of 25 games – click for the full listing.
"Drive for Detroit" is sponsored by MI Student Aid.
Bay & Thumb
Ithaca (1-0) at Millington (0-1)
These two have met in the Division 6 playoffs two of the last five seasons, with Millington winning 50-33 in the opener last year to end the Yellowjackets’ shortest postseason since not making the playoffs at all in 2008. Now the teams are in the same league – the Tri-Valley Conference West I – and Millington will try to hand Ithaca just its second regular-season defeat this decade.
Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Freeland (1-0) at Essexville Garber (1-0), Midland (1-0) at Flint Carman-Ainsworth (0-1), Standish-Sterling (1-0) at Frankenmuth (1-0), Lapeer (0-1) at Midland Dow (0-1).
Muskegon (1-0) at Detroit Martin Luther King (0-1)
This is a rematch of last season’s Division 3 championship game, won by King 41-25. And while rosters certainly have changed, an impressive group of the headliners are back for this second meeting including Big Reds’ quarterback Cameron Martinez and King running back Peny Boone. Few teams statewide this fall have loaded up the early schedule like these two – Muskegon downed two-time reigning Division 2 champion Warren De La Salle Collegiate 41-7 last week, while King fell 24-22 against Division 1 power Detroit Catholic Central.
Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Toledo Whitmer, Ohio (1-0) at Detroit Catholic Central (1-0), Birmingham Groves (1-0) at West Bloomfield (1-0), Southfield Arts & Technology (1-0) at Lake Orion (1-0), Detroit Mumford (1-0) at Detroit Country Day (1-0).
DeWitt (1-0) at Portland (1-0)
These remain two of the Lansing area’s elite, and they’ll play for the first time since 2014. The Panthers opened with a solid 31-26 road win at Traverse City Central and are prepping for their second season in the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue – while hoping to extend a 13-year league title streak. Portland won big over Ovid-Elsie last week and has claimed five straight CAAC White titles. But this matchup should will pay off toward bigger goals as well. Both have realistic aims to play in November as the Raiders finished Division 5 runners-up last season and DeWitt made the Division 3 Semifinals.
Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Grandville (1-0) at East Lansing (1-0), Lansing Everett (0-1) at Lansing Eastern (1-0), Montrose (1-0) at Ovid-Elsie (0-1), Grand Rapids West Catholic (0-1) at Lansing Catholic (1-0).
Northern Lower Peninsula
Maple City Glen Lake (1-0) at Traverse City St. Francis (1-0), Saturday
St. Francis has won the last eight meetings between these two, including a pair in the playoffs since Glen Lake's most recent victory in the series in 2012. But the Lakers are coming off a 19-point win over Millington (mentioned above), with their 26-point first half a positive sign after last season's decreased offensive output. St. Francis will be ready, of course, after extending its winning streak over opening-night opponent Marquette to five with a 14-point win.
Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Harbor Springs (1-0) at Frankfort (0-1), McBain (0-1) at Roscommon (0-1), Boyne City (0-1) at Charlevoix (1-0), Escanaba (1-0) at Petoskey (0-1).
Southeast & Border
Parma Western (1-0) at Jackson Lumen Christi (1-0)
The reigning Division 6 champion Titans extended their state-leading winning streak to 24 with a two-point win over Kalamazoo United last week. The Panthers also opened with a two-point win, over Whitehall, after setting a program record for victories finishing 10-2 last season despite losing 34-7 to Lumen in Week 2. Western's lone win in this rivalry came in 1976, according to michigan-football.com. But the Panthers should relish this opportunity to take another big step.
Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Carleton Airport (1-0) at Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (1-0), Sand Creek (1-0) at Adrian Lenawee Christian (1-0), Erie Mason (1-0) at Britton Deerfield (1-0), Leslie (1-0) at Brooklyn Columbia Central (1-0).
Stevensville Lakeshore (1-0) at Portage Northern (1-0)
This might be one of the most competitive yet little-hyped annual matchups in the state. Before Northern's 17-0 win a year ago, the previous seven meetings all were decided by eight points or fewer. Both put up 40+ points last week, but if recent history holds neither team will approach that level of offensive output. History also tells us the winner likely will contend for the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference West title.
Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Mendon (1-0) at Cassopolis (1-0), Marshall (0-1) at Battle Creek Harper Creek (1-0), Berrien Springs (1-0) at Constantine (1-0), Mattawan (1-0) at Battle Creek Lakeview (1-0).
Ishpeming Westwood (1-0) at Iron Mountain (1-0)
This also will have an early but heavy influence on a league title race, as Westwood finished second and Iron Mountain third in the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference Copper in 2018 after Westwood won their meeting 34-7. The winner this time very well could push reigning champion Calumet for first place again, and the Patriots get the Copper Kings next week.
Keep an eye on these as well: FRIDAY Calumet (1-0) at Negaunee (0-1), Gaylord (1-0) at Gladstone (1-0), Traverse City Central (0-1) at Marquette (0-1) SATURDAY Ishpeming (1-0) at Lake Linden-Hubbell (1-0).
Lowell (1-0) at Rockford (1-0)
Last season's 36-0 Rockford win contributed to Lowell's uncharacteristic 1-8 finish, but it's likely this game will return to relevancy tonight. The Red Arrows opened with a 19-6 win over Detroit Loyola and the Rams started with a 24-14 victory over Grand Rapids Christian, those successes quickly reinforcing expectations for this season for both traditional powerhouses.
Keep an eye on these as well: FRIDAY Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central (1-0) at Holland West Ottawa (0-1), Watervliet (0-1) at Saugatuck (1-0), Grand Rapids Christian (0-1) at Zeeland West (1-0), Holt (1-0) at Hudsonville (1-0).
St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic (1-0) at Bridgman (1-0)
As a number of notable programs have moved from 11-player to 8 over the last few seasons, curiosity has grown about how those teams might shift the balance of power. Both of these teams made the move this fall (Lake Michigan Catholic had played a handful of 8-player games previously), and both put up at least 56 points in big wins last week. Both also have been frequent 11-player playoff qualifiers this decade.
Keep an eye on these as well: FRIDAY Hale (1-0) at Hillman (1-0), Pickford (1-0) at Engadine (1-0), Powers North Central (1-0) at Rapid River (0-1), Wyoming Tri-unity Christian (0-1) at Martin (1-0).
Second Half’s weekly “Drive for Detroit” previews are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid and find more information on Facebook and Twitter@mistudentaid.
PHOTO: Clare, here on defense, opened with an impressive 35-0 shutout of Alma last week. (Click for more from HighSchoolSportsScene.com.)