Drive for Detroit: Week 3 in Review

September 12, 2016

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Streaks are made to be broken, it is said. And that being the case, Week 3 saw plenty of the inevitable all over Michigan high school football fields. 

See below for quick details on some of the most intriguing results, including a number of teams adding to their best starts in a number of seasons, and a few breaking streaks by beating opponents for the first time in more than a decade. 

Bay & Thumb

Lake Fenton 61, Flint Beecher 14

This round of one of the Flint area’s top rivalries goes to Lake Fenton, which fell to Beecher by a point last year (and 38 in 2014) but is definitely one of a few favorites now in the Genesee Area Conference Red. The Blue Devils (3-0) unloaded their highest point total since 2012, with Beecher giving up its most points since 2004. Click for more from the Tri-County Times.

Also noted:

Alma 26, Saginaw Swan Valley 0 – The Panther's first win over Swan Valley (1-2) since 2011 corresponded with Alma’s first 3-0 start since 2012.

Fenton 28, Ortonville-Brandon 22 – The Tigers (1-2) were looking for a jumpstart as they pursue another Flint Metro League title, but Brandon (2-1) has shown it may be the team to take advantage if Fenton does fall again along the way.

Grand Blanc 42, Plymouth 27 – The Bobcats’ play to get back into the playoffs after two seasons away definitely will get a bump from starting 3-0 for a second straight season; Plymouth must bounce back from 1-2 to keep its three-year playoff streak intact.

Richmond 29, Croswell-Lexington 26 – Reigning Blue Water Area Conference champion Richmond (2-1) needed a late score to get past the Pioneers (2-1) for the fourth straight season. 

Greater Detroit

Clarkston 38, Oxford 7

The Oakland Activities Association Red is sorting itself out quite a bit already this season, with preseason contender Clarkston losing to Southfield Arts and Technology in Week 2. But the Wolves (2-1) stormed back by downing an Oxford team that while 1-2 did open with a win over reigning Division 1 champion Romeo. Clarkston’s top three ground gainers – led by Michael Fluegel and his 114 yards – all averaged at least 7.8 yards per carry. Click for more from the Oakland Press

Also noted:

Detroit Mumford 26, Detroit Collegiate Prep 14 – A nine-point loss to still-undefeated Detroit U-D Jesuit in Week 1 is looking even better for Mumford, which moved to 2-1 by beating a Collegiate Prep team (0-3) that went 9-1 last fall.

Walled Lake Western 48, Northville 34 – The Warriors’ 3-0 start has now included three wins over 2015 playoff teams, and Northville (2-1) didn’t lose during the regular season last year.

Rochester 38, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 32 (OT) – The Falcons' move to 1-2 gave them as many wins as last season and 2014 as well, and with an impressive one against a Notre Dame Prep team that is 2-1 and went 8-3 last fall.

Dearborn Fordson 34, Belleville 25 – The Tractors (3-0) avenged a six-point loss last season to the Tigers (1-2), who went on to win the Western Wayne Athletic Conference Blue title while Fordson was among those tied for second. 


Bath 17, Fowler 14

Before Friday, Bath coach Matt Stephens was among the few on his sideline who had had football success against Fowler, having quarterbacked Fulton teams that beat the Eagles during the mid-2000s. But his Bees – which won a combined two games over the last two seasons – downed Fowler (2-1) for the first time since 1989 to move to 2-1 this fall. Click for more from the Lansing State Journal.

Also noted:

Laingsburg 27, Dansville 20 – The Wolfpack (3-0) broke a four-game skid against the Aggies (1-2), and with the Fowler loss as well suddenly look like the team to challenge favorite Pewamo-Westphalia in the Central Michigan Athletic Conference.

Breckenridge 40, Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart 34 – After posting a best record in more than a decade in 2014, the Huskies stepped back to winless a year ago; fast forward and they’re 3-0 with a win over a perennial winner in the Irish, who are 0-3 but also started that way on the way to 6-4 last fall.

Eaton Rapids 42, Ionia 41 (OT) – The Capital Area Activities Conference White looks even stronger than usual, which made handing Ionia (2-1) a first loss especially key as Eaton Rapids (2-1) looks to bounce back from 4-5 a year ago.

Mason 31, St. Johns 15 – The Redwings (0-3) may be struggling out of the gate, but that doesn’t take away from a Mason 3-0 start that’s seen its defense give up 22 points total so far. 

Northern Lower Peninsula

Traverse City Central 10, Traverse City West 8

As usual, the "Patriot Game" between these neighbors turned into a classic – Central downed West for the third straight season, but four of the last five meetings between these two have been decided by seven points or fewer. Although both entered the game averaging at least 40 points per, defense and turnovers were the narrative at Thirlby Field. Click for more from the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Also noted:  

East Jordan 34, Central Lake 6 – The Red Devils are 3-0 after winning two games last season and none in 2014, and this one was especially impressive with Central Lake (1-2) a playoff team the last two seasons.

Oscoda 22, Whittemore-Prescott 14 (OT) – The Owls (2-1) bounced back from a five-point loss last week against AuGres-Sims to avenge last season’s 27-point defeat to the Cardinals (2-1).

AuGres-Sims 50, Hillman 32 – While this is starting to look like a down season after two straight league titles for the Tigers (0-3), it’s also starting to look like one of offensive outbursts for the Wolverines (3-0), who have scored 128 points.

Roscommon 26, Sanford Meridian 14 – The Bucks have to be enjoying their first 3-0 start since 2000, and especially after downing reigning Jack Pine Conference champion Meridian (1-2). 

Southeast & Border

Parma Western 32, Marshall 30

It was only a few seasons ago that Parma Western couldn’t be counted on to do much in a game like this Interstate 8 Athletic Conference opener. But the Panthers (1-2) surely learned something from their early struggles this season as they avenged losses of one and then 28 points over the last two to Marshall (1-2). Parma Western made the playoffs in 2015 for the first time ever, and this nearly was a must-win for the Panthers to do the same this fall. Click for more from the Jackson Citizen-Patriot.

Also noted:

Clinton 28, Adrian Madison 20 – Make that Clinton regular-season win streak 39 straight with another 3-0 start, but Madison (2-1) again gave the Redskins one of the rare tests of this run.

Hudson 26, Brooklyn Columbia Central 14 – The Tigers’ turnaround has thrown them into the conversation again in the Lenawee County Athletic Association, as Hudson (3-0) is now one win shy of last year’s total after beating reigning league runner-up Columbia Central (2-1).

Temperance Bedford 22, Ann Arbor Pioneer 21 – The Mules (3-0) reversed a six-point loss to Pioneer (0-3) last season and have now nearly also reversed last year’s 0-4 start.

Springport 48, Union City 26 – The Spartans are 3-0 for the first time since 2011 and have avenged two of last year’s five losses, handing Union City (2-1) its first defeat after falling to the Chargers by 16 a year ago. 

Southwest Corridor

Battle Creek Harper Creek 24, Jackson Lumen Christi 14

The Beavers’ bounce-back season continued as their 3-0 start gives them as many wins as all of 2015, and the victory over Lumen Christi (1-2) was their first since the formation of the Interstate 8 Athletic Conference. One game into the I8 schedule, Harper Creek is the only undefeated team in a league with at least four that would scare most area opponents. Click for more from the Battle Creek Enquirer.

Also noted:

Coldwater 17, Battle Creek Pennfield 6 Reigning I8 champion Coldwater (2-1) kept pace a win behind Harper Creek after falling to Marshall in Week 2; Pennfield also is 1-1 in the league and 2-1 overall. 

St. Joseph 27, Portage Northern 23 – This was the sixth straight time the Bears (3-0) and the Huskies (1-2) played to within 10 points of each other, with St. Joseph winning five of the recent nail-biters.

South Haven 28, Plainwell 19 – The Rams have won only three games each of the last two seasons and no more than that since 2008, but are 2-1 having downed a Plainwell team (1-2) that has made the playoffs the last five years.

St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic 20, Niles Brandywine 6 – One of the toughest losses of two seasons of ups and downs for Lake Michigan Catholic was a 57-18 defeat to Brandywine last fall; this one put Brandywine at 1-2 and the Lakers at 3-0 after they won two games total in 2015. 

Upper Peninsula

Newberry 48, Bark River-Harris 34

As expected, these Mid-Eastern Conference contenders combined to put up plenty of points. But Newberry (3-0) continued to put up more, running its total to 154 over three games and putting itself in fine position in the league standings by downing the reigning co-champion. Bark River-Harris (2-1) had beaten the Indians in two straight, including 56-34 a year ago. Click for more from the Escanaba Daily Press.

Also noted:

Iron Mountain 48, Iron River West Iron County 21 – The Mountaineers’ great start keeps picking up steam as they’re now 3-0 for the first time since 2011 and with a second straight win over the rival Wykons (1-2).

Ishpeming Westwood 18, L’Anse 16 – The Patriots (1-2) got a much-needed win as they go for a third-straight playoff berth but now head into Mid-Peninsula Conference play; the Purple Hornets (0-3) have a similarly hard road coming up.

Escanaba 27, Gaylord 13 – The Eskymos are 3-0 for the first time since 2010, with Gaylord (1-2) the second straight 2015 playoff team to fall to the Great Northern Conference contenders.

Felch North Dickinson 24, Munising 6 – The Nordics are hoping to climb back to their elite status from the start of this decade, and at 2-1 they’re only a win shy of equaling their total of both of the last two seasons; they’ll meet Munising (0-3) again in Week 6. 

West Michigan

Zeeland West 38, Grand Rapids West Catholic 22

The battle of reigning MHSAA champions went to the Division 4 winner, as West (3-0) continued its 28-game regular-season winning streak with one of its most impressive over a run that’s been especially stellar this fall. Adding in the reigning Division 5 champion Falcons (2-1), West has beaten teams that went a combined 28-7 in 2015. Click for more from the Grand Rapids Press.

Also noted:

Leroy Pine River 34, Beal City 7 – The Bucks (2-1) had last beaten Beal City (1-2) in 2000 and have helped the always-powerful Aggies to their toughest start since that year.  

Lowell 34, East Grand Rapids 7 – Even when it’s not much of a game, Lowell (3-0) taking on East Grand Rapids (1-2) is still going to be a game of statewide interest.

Rockford 37, Muskegon Mona Shores 23 – The Rams’ 21-season playoff streak got a needed jolt; beating Mona Shores (1-2) is a much better way for Rockford (1-2) to enter the Ottawa-Kent Conference Red schedule.

Hamilton 34, Zeeland East 21 – The Hawkeyes (3-0) are soaring after winning a combined four games over the last three seasons; handing annually-strong East (2-1) a loss makes the start even more impressive. 


Rapid River 36, Webberville 34 (OT)

Rapid River made a long drive south for one of the most intriguing nonleague matchups of the 8-player season and headed back across the bridge at 2-1 after edging the home Spartans in overtime. Webberville had given up only 26 points over its first two games. Click for more from the Escanaba Daily Press.

Also noted:

Engadine 42, Pickford 32 – The Eagles also are 3-0 for the first time since 2011 after finding openings in a Pickford defense that had given up only six points over its first two games of a 2-1 start.

Owendale-Gagetown 70, Flint International Academy 50 – No team statewide is scoring like the Bulldogs (3-0), who went over 70 points for the second straight week – although first-year Flint International (1-2) scored the most O-G has given up since 2013.

PHOTO: A Breckenridge ball carrier works to beat a Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart defensive player to the goal line during the Huskies' Week 3 win. (Click to see more from

1st & Goal: 2023 Week 6 Preview

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

September 28, 2023

Five showdowns of undefeated teams highlight this week's Michigan high school statewide schedule as we begin our second-half buildup toward the end of the regular season. 

MI Student AidFour shoud heavily impact league championship races, and the fifth merely will tell us how two more of the top 8-player teams in the entire state stack up among the elite.

If you're not watching in person, check out most of the matchups highlighted below, and several others, on Check in as well with the MHSAA Scores page for all of them as they come in. (Games below are Friday unless noted.)

Bay & Thumb

Croswell-Lexington (5-0) at Almont (5-0) - Watch

Just past halfway through the Blue Water Area Conference schedule, half the teams are 3-1 or 4-0 in league play – with these the co-leaders. Croswell-Lexington hasn’t played a game closer than 19 points this fall, but did lose last year’s meeting with Almont 37-26. The Raiders, meanwhile, have won the last two weeks by seven and one point, respectively – but opened the season with three straight shutouts as the stifling defense they’ve become known for has given up only 34 points total.

Keep an eye on these FRIDAY Lapeer (4-1) at Grand Blanc (3-2) - Watch, Linden (4-1) at Fenton (4-1) - Watch, Birch Run (4-1) at Freeland (5-0) - Watch, Madison Heights Lamphere (4-1) at Marine City (4-1).

Greater Detroit

Westland John Glenn (5-0) at Belleville (5-0) - Watch

Belleville’s 42-3 victory over Livonia Franklin last week was the team’s 30th straight, and the Tigers now own the state’s longest active winning streak with Powers North Central’s coming to an end at 41 on the same night. Belleville’s next challenger is John Glenn, which under second-year coach Jason Mensing has as many victories this fall as the last two combined and has nearly guaranteed its first winning season since 2014. Mensing guided his former team Ottawa Lake Whiteford through several memorable moments, and this will be the Rockets’ biggest so far under his leadership.

Keep an eye on these FRIDAY Gibraltar Carlson (4-1) at Trenton (4-1) - Watch, Romeo (3-2) at Macomb Dakota (4-1) - Watch, Lake Orion (5-0) at Rochester Adams (3-2) - Watch, Marine City Cardinal Mooney (3-2) at Clarkston Everest Collegiate (3-2) - Watch.


Goodrich (5-0) at Corunna (5-0) - Watch

The winner of this matchup clinches a share of the Flint Metro League Stars championship, similar to last season when Goodrich won the league and Corunna was second thanks to the Martians’ 42-7 win in their Week 5 matchup. Both arguably have been even better this fall. Goodrich has handed the only losses this season to Frankenmuth and Linden, and Corunna has given up only 31 points this season and no more than 17 in a game while scoring at least 38 every time out.

Keep an eye on these FRIDAY Evart (4-1) at Beal City (5-0) - Watch, Grand Ledge (5-0) at DeWitt (2-2) - Watch, Fowler (5-0) at Pewamo-Westphalia (4-1) - Watch, Montrose (4-1) at New Lothrop (4-1) - Watch.

Northern Lower Peninsula

Charlevoix (4-1) at Elk Rapids (2-3)

There’s more riding here than the initial glance my indicate. Charlevoix, with a win, would clinch a share of the Northern Michigan Football Conference Leaders title – its first since 2020 and after finishing second to Boyne City both of the past two seasons. The Rayders haven’t had a game closer than 13 points since falling to Traverse City St. Francis by one in their season opener. Elk Rapids got off to a tough start but has won two straight – both in shutouts – and is looking for its first win over Charlevoix since 2018.

Keep an eye on these FRIDAY Grayling (3-2) at Kingsley (4-1) - Watch, McBain (4-1) at Lake City (3-2), Ludington (3-2) at Manistee (4-1) - Watch, Cadillac (3-2) at Petoskey (3-2) - Watch.

Southeast & Border

Jackson (4-1) at Adrian (4-1) - Watch

Jackson has a chance to set up a Week 7 winner-take-all matchup with Chelsea for the Southeastern Conference White championship – a nice jump after finishing third last season. The Vikings haven’t defeated Chelsea since 2018 but lost by a respectable 17-0 last fall. But they can’t overlook Adrian, still enjoying its best season since 2016 despite falling to Chelsea 28-18 last week. The Maples would love to hand Jackson a loss tonight and cheer for the Vikings next week with a title share possible.

Keep an eye on these FRIDAY Michigan Center (4-1) at Grass Lake (4-1) - Watch, Flat Rock (4-1) at Milan (3-2) - Watch, Ann Arbor Huron (3-2) at Saline (5-0) - Watch, Hudson (5-0) at Blissfield (3-2) - Watch.

Southwest Corridor

Parma Western (5-0) at Battle Creek Harper Creek (4-1)

We’re halfway through the Interstate 8 Athletic Conference schedule, and this has emerged as an important matchup with Parma Western tied with Hastings for first and Harper Creek only a game back after falling to the Saxons 34-6 last week. The Beavers struggled to 3-6 a year ago but already have avenged 2022 losses to Battle Creek Lakeview, Battle Creek Central and Marshall – and Western defeated them 34-0 last season before Harper Creek went 2-1 to finish the fall. Western’s defense is a notable strength again, giving up only 37 points total this season despite taking on Dearborn Divine Child and Detroit Country Day over the first two weeks.

Keep an eye on these FRIDAY Paw Paw (5-0) at Edwardsburg (3-2) - Watch, Constantine (4-1) at Allegan (4-1) - Watch, St. Joseph (3-2) at Portage Northern (5-0) - Watch, Muskegon Catholic Central (3-2) at Schoolcraft (4-1) - Watch.

Upper Peninsula

Gladstone (4-1) at Menominee (5-0)

This is the first of three games that will tell a lot about Menominee’s season as the Maroons enter this stretch alone atop the Western Peninsula Athletic Conference Copper at 4-0 but with Gladstone, Week 7 opponent Negaunee and Week 8 opponent Kingsford all 3-1 in league play. While this is a new conference for the Maroons this season, they have plenty of history with Gladstone as both came from the Great Northern Conference – and Menominee had won three straight in the series before Gladstone’s 28-6 victory last fall. Gladstone’s lone defeat this year came Week 3 to Kingsford, 35-12.

Keep an eye on these FRIDAY Maple City Glen Lake (3-2) at Sault Ste. Marie (3-2) - Watch, Manistique (3-2) at Iron Mountain (5-0) - Watch, Marquette (2-2) at Escanaba (1-4) - Watch, Houghton (2-3) at Calumet (1-4) - Watch.

West Michigan

Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central (4-1) at East Grand Rapids (5-0)

We’ve been watching East Grand Rapids’ rejuvenation this fall with this among games circled for special attention, and Forest Hills Central’s 15-14 loss to Byron Center last week hardly lessens the intrigue. The Rangers are still among favorites statewide in Division 3, ranked No. 2, and East Grand Rapids is right behind them this week at No. 3 (while Byron Center is No. 2 in Division 2). The Ottawa-Kent Conference White title won’t be decided with this matchup, but it surely will be impacted – and the Rangers have defeated EGR all three times they’ve met since the Pioneers rejoined the division in 2020.

Keep an eye on these FRIDAY Allendale (5-0) at Spring Lake (4-1), Lowell (4-1) at Byron Center (5-0), Caledonia (4-1) at Hudsonville (4-1) - Watch, Zeeland East (4-1) at Muskegon (3-2).


Mendon (5-0) at Adrian Lenawee Christian (5-0) - Watch

Movement on the overall 8-player enrollment list have made this a matchup we’ll see just this once this fall, as Mendon – last year’s Division 2 runner-up – has moved to Division 1 and is ranked No. 2, while Lenawee Christian is top-ranked in Division 2 after winning Division 1 titles in 2020 and 2021 and reaching a Regional Final last year. Still, many 8-player eyes will be watching. The Cougars have given up just 32 points this season and no more than 12 in a game, and that defense should be part of the key matchup within the matchup because Mendon is scoring 52 per contest and coming off an 80-point performance.

Keep an eye on these FRIDAY Carson City-Crystal (5-0) at Coleman (4-1) - Watch, Brown City (5-0) at Mayville (5-0) - Watch, St. Ignace (5-0) at Newberry (4-1), Norway (4-1) at Ontonagon (4-1) - Watch.

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PHOTO Muskegon Catholic Central and Orchard View players reach to get a hand on the ball during their meeting this season. (Photo by Tim Reilly.)