Drive for Detroit: Week 3 Preview

September 12, 2019

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Every football regular season there’s one week when it’s tough to tell heading in which matchups might eventually have the greatest impact on the season as a whole. That tough-to-forecast week then tends to end up as one of the most exciting of the entire fall.

This might be that week for 2019. There are some definite must-watch games across the state for Week 3 – but in a lot of places, we’re eager to see who emerges as leagues continue to get rolling and summer weather hangs on just a little bit longer.   

Below are some pretty strong guesses at games you won’t want to miss from your part of Michigan. You’ll again be able to check out 20 games live on – including eight of the games listed below.

Games below are Friday unless noted. "Drive for Detroit" is sponsored by MI Student Aid.

Bay & Thumb

Flint Beecher (1-1) at Flint Hamady (2-0)

These neighbors have begun playing each other during the regular season again only recently, with Hamady winning both matchups as part of the Genesee Area Conference Blue schedule over the last two seasons. Hamady edged Beecher 24-18 in Week 3 last year on the way to winning the league title and both teams qualifying for the playoffs.

Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary (2-0) at Saginaw Nouvel (2-0), Kalamazoo Central (1-1) at Flint Powers Catholic (2-0), Sandusky (1-1) at Ubly (2-0), Chesaning (2-0) at Montrose (2-0).

Greater Detroit

Rochester Adams (2-0) at Lake Orion (2-0)

The Dragons are one of the stories of the season so far, coming off back-to-back 0-2 starts the last two years with wins over highly-touted Lapeer and Southfield Arts & Technology to open this one. Lake Orion won those games by a combined score of 54-14, but faces another team that hasn’t gotten much attention – yet. Adams has outscored its first two opponents by a combined 91-31, with a 31-7 win last week over 2018 playoff qualifier Oxford.

Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Detroit U-D Jesuit (2-0) at Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (2-0), Dearborn (1-1) at Belleville (2-0), Utica Eisenhower (1-1) at Clinton Township Chippewa Valley (2-0), Canton (1-1) at Plymouth (2-0).


Clare (2-0) at Harrison (2-0)

The Jack Pine Conference title continues to go through Clare, which shared the championship with Roscommon last season after outright wins in 2016 and 2017 and four more during the first half of the decade. The Pioneers have lost only three league games this decade – including to Harrison in 2010 and 2015. The Hornets earned their first two wins this season by a combined 70 points, but Clare has to be happy too with a combined 62-point margin during its start that included an impressive 35-0 shutout of Alma in Week 1.

Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Hartland (1-1) at Brighton (2-0), Fowlerville (2-0) at Williamston (2-0), Haslett (1-1) at Mason (2-0), Lake City (1-1) at Beal City (2-0).

Northern Lower Peninsula

Alcona (1-1) at Oscoda (2-0)

Alcona owns a 7-3 advantage since the teams began playing each other annually again in 2009, but Oscoda won 55-8 last season on the way to a North Star League title. The Owls offense found its stride last week against Coleman with a feat that is at least rare, if not unique – eight players combined to score 10 touchdowns, with Owen Franklin crossing the goal line three times and Andy Dault, Robert Host, Caleb Nagel, Gabe Kellstrom, Zach Ouillette, Gavin Lueck and Anthony Ward all scoring once (and quarterback Brayden Mallak making the MHSAA record book with five first-half TD passes).

Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Ludington (2-0) at Manistee (2-0), Grayling (1-1) at Kingsley (2-0), Tawas (1-1) at Whittemore-Prescott (1-1). SATURDAY Holt (2-0) at Traverse City West (1-1).

Southeast & Border

Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (2-0) at Milan (2-0)

This pair frequently of late has decided the Huron League title – although Milan last season followed up a 26-21 win over the Falcons with later losses to Riverview and eventual conference champion Grosse Ile. But these two look like the possible teams to beat again. Milan opened league play last week beating Grosse Ile 35-13, and St. Mary has nice wins over 2018 Division 7 runner-up Madison Heights Madison and Carleton Airport to start this fall.

Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Coldwater (2-0) at Jackson Lumen Christi (2-0), Hillsdale (2-0) at Erie-Mason (2-0), Brooklyn Columbia Central (2-0) at Ida (1-1), Schoolcraft (2-0) at Ottawa Lake Whiteford (1-1).

Southwest Corridor

Portage Northern (2-0) at Portage Central (1-1)

These neighbors shared the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference West title last season, in part because of Central’s 21-20 win over Northern in Week 3. Northern earned a degree of revenge seven weeks later with a 35-7 win over Central in a Division 2 playoff opener and on the way to a District title. The Huskies got past a major league obstacle last week by edging Stevensville Lakeshore 14-6, but haven’t beaten Central during the regular season since 2012.

Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Centreville (2-0) at Cassopolis (2-0), St. Joseph (2-0) at Mattawan (1-1), Paw Paw (2-0) at Plainwell (1-1), Kalamazoo United (0-2) at Berrien Springs (2-0).

Upper Peninsula

Calumet (2-0) at Ishpeming Westwood (1-1)

A number of contenders facing off immediately this season has put a focus on the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference Copper, and this week reigning champion Calumet will travel to take on 2018 runner-up Westwood. The Copper Kings won last year’s matchup 14-12 and then got past the Patriots 6-0 in a Division 6 playoff opener. But Westwood this time is trying to bounce back from last week’s 20-point loss to Iron Mountain, which has emerged as the possible Copper favorite this fall.

Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Menominee (1-1) at Gladstone (2-0), Charlevoix (2-0) at St. Ignace (1-1), Ishpeming (2-0) at Norway (1-1), Marquette (0-2) at Sault Ste. Marie (2-0).

West Michigan

Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central (2-0) at Grandville (2-0)

This matchup features a pair of teams that have been impressive so far and have high hopes of moving up in tough conferences. Forest Hills Central was 5-5 a year ago and third in the Ottawa-Kent Conference White, but has beaten 2018 playoff teams Jenison and Holland West Ottawa to start and held both to seven points apiece. Grandville tied for fourth in the O-K Red last season and finished 4-5 overall despite a one-point Week 3 win over the Rangers. The Bulldogs have outscored their first two opponents by a combined 106-44, with a 39-point win over playoff regular East Lansing last week.

Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY East Grand Rapids (1-1) at Muskegon (2-0), Grand Rapids Catholic Central (1-1) at Zeeland East (2-0), Muskegon Reeths-Puffer (1-1) at Muskegon Mona Shores (2-0), Hamilton (2-0) at Byron Center (2-0).


Pickford (2-0) at Powers North Central (2-0), Saturday

If nothing else, this matchup might feature the two best offenses in 8-player football this season – and might be pitting two teams that will be playing for MHSAA championships at the Superior Dome in two months. Reigning 8-player Division 1 runner-up Pickford has put up 106 points, against 34, over its two wins over playoff regulars Crystal Falls Forest Park and Engadine. North Central’s combined tally is 128-18 against two more annual powers, reigning 8-player Division 2 champion Rapid River and Cedarville.

Keep an eye on these: FRIDAY Pellston (2-0) at Au Gres-Sims (1-1), Bellevue (1-1) at Climax-Scotts (2-0), Battle Creek St. Philip (1-1) at Colon (2-0), Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart (1-1) at Deckerville (2-0).

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 and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

PHOTO: A Newberry ball-carrier looks for an opening during last week’s 8-player 32-8 win over Stephenson. (Photo by Jeff Rochefort.)

Ubly Offense, Kicker Pile Up Record Book Listings During Championship Run

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

April 12, 2024

Ubly finished a combined 27-1 over the last two seasons, following up a Division 8 runner-up run in 2022 with its first MHSAA Finals championship this past November. And the Bearcats stacked plenty of record book performances along the way.

Individually, senior Brett Mueller made the single-season extra point list again this past season with 76 in 81 tries, and he set the MHSAA career record with 220 extra points over 232 attempts, 40 games and three seasons. He has signed with Saginaw Valley State.

As a team, Ubly was added to the record book 13 times for achievements over the last two years, most notably in the rushing game. The Bearcats topped 5,200 total yards both seasons, and also made the rush yardage list twice including with a sixth-best 5,148 in 2022. Their 90 touchdowns in 2022 rank seventh all-time, and their 85 this past fall tied for 13th, and they tied the record with 10 rushing touchdowns in a 2022 win over Reese and set another record with 84 rushing touchdowns total that season.

See below for more recent record book additions in 11-player football, and click the heading to see the record book in full:

11-Player Football

Dundee’s Ben Miller has a pair of basketball record book entries, and he’s also been added in football for scoring seven touchdowns in his team’s 72-36 win over Erie Mason on Oct. 20, 2017. A senior that season, he ran for five scores and caught two touchdowns passes.

Nearly four decades later, Howard City Tri County’s Mike Wagoner has reached the record book for his work on defense in 1985. A junior that season, Wagoner returned three interceptions for touchdowns – 65, 55 and 35 yards – which would have been second on the list at the time and remains tied for third-most for one season.

Jaxon Lippert tops the list of 21 who have returned kickoffs 99 yards. Lippert, now a senior at Walled Lake Western, joined the list against Davison during his junior season.

A handful of records from Warren De La Salle Collegiate’s recent run of Ford Field teams and also one from decades ago were added. Jake Badalamenti was added three times for kickoff returns between 96-99 yards, one as a junior in 2016 and two as a senior the following fall, and Marty Wyzlic was added for his 95-yarder in 1976. Mason Muragin is the new leader for tackles for loss in a career with 71 over three seasons, and he also was added to the single-season list with 31 as a junior in 2021, as was Will Beasley for 38 as a junior in 2020. Wayne Wright was added for his 16 sacks over nine games as a senior in 1984, and Josh Cox was added for his 100-yard interception return as a senior in 2012. Muragin plays at Illinois, Beesley plays at Princeton, Cox played at Central Michigan, and Badalamenti played baseball at Wayne State.

Pinckney junior Nolan Carruthers caught 16 passes during a 13-7 loss to Jackson on Sept. 15, good to tie for ninth-most in one game and breaking the Livingston County record of 14 by Hartland’s Greg Matthyssen in 2007 – a listing that also was added.

Ethan Wissner did some major lifting, or rather carrying, during Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker’s 28-14 District Final win over Montrose in 2022. The then-senior ran 42 times to make the record book, for 289 yards and three touchdowns. He’s continuing at Siena Heights.

Senior quarterback Andrew Schuster and junior receiver DeShaun Lanier formed a game-changing pass-catch combo this past season for Clinton Township Chippewa Valley, with Schuster finishing his career with nine record book listings and Lanier totaling six with a season to play. Schuster most notably was added for 212 completions on 301 attempts for 2,766 yards and 28 touchdowns this season, and 321 completions and 4,199 career yards over two years and 22 games. Lanier was added in part for 73 receptions for 1,132 yards and 15 TDs this fall. Junior kicker Juliano Haddad also earned impressive mentions with 10 field goals and 50 extra points – and he’ll carry a streak of 35 straight extra points into next fall. Schuster has committed to Grand Valley State.

Fulton’s Evan Barton has been added to the single-game touchdowns list after catching four scoring passes Sept. 8, 2017, against Potterville. He was a senior that season.

Saginaw Heritage’s Braylon Isom completed his career this past fall as arguably the most accomplished receiver in MHSAA history. His name is listed in the record book eight times, with career records of 3,837 receiving yards and 52 touchdowns over 34 games and four seasons, and with a single-season record 26 touchdowns this past fall over 12 games. His 91 career receptions rank fifth, and he’s also listed for 82 catches and 1,617 yards (seventh-most) as a senior and 1,428 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior. He will continue at Miami (Ohio).

Evart’s 24-8 run over the last three seasons has been its most successful of the MHSAA playoff era, and senior quarterback Preston Wallace has played an enormous part. He finished his 33-game career in the fall – he came up for one game as a freshman – on record book lists twice for single-season passing yards and touchdowns and on career lists for 662 attempts, 421 completions, 6,955 yards and 88 passing touchdowns over those 32 games and three seasons. The yardage ranks 15th all-time, and the touchdowns are tied for sixth-most for one career.  

The 2005 Midland Bullock Creek team was added for scoring 547 points over 12 games. The Lancers finished 11-1, their only loss in a Division 5 Regional Final.

PHOTO Ubly's Seth Maurer (30) carries the ball during the Division 8 championship win over Ottawa Lake Whiteford in November.