Drive for Detroit: Week 6 in Review

October 6, 2014

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Less than a month remains in the MHSAA football regular season, and 21 percent of the 11-player playoff field is filled after 53 teams earned qualifying wins during Week 6.

A number of others must turn their attention solely to the postseason after the whittling over the weekend of many league races to only a few remaining favorites. 

See below for some of the most significant stories we watched unfold during Week 6: 

Greater Detroit

Detroit Cass Tech 21, Detroit East English 16

Usually it’s the Cass Tech offense that gets the headlines. But in its toughest Detroit Public School League game of this season to date, the team’s defenders were the eventual heroes after the Technicians (6-0) went up two touchdowns early. East English (4-2) held Cass Tech to a season-low in points and scored the most the Technicians had given up since Oak Park put up 26 on opening night, but the Technicians held strong late to remain tied for first. Click for more from MLive-Detroit.

Also noted:

Walled Lake Central 38, Waterford Mott 20 – After two seasons of sub-.500 records, Walled Lake Central claimed a share of the Kensington Lakes Activities Association North title for the first time since 2010 while dropping second-place Mott to 4-2.

Birmingham Brother Rice 28, Orchard Lake St. Mary's 20 – The Warriors (6-0) claimed a share of their third straight Detroit Catholic League Central title in handing St. Mary’s (5-1) its lone loss.

Canton 40, Livonia Churchill 35 – Canton (5-1) claimed a share of its second straight KLAA South championship by dealing 2012 champ Churchill (5-1) its first loss.

Clinton 28, Morenci 26 – Clinton (6-0) stopped a 2-point conversion attempt during the final minute to extend its 24-game regular-season winning streak and deal Morenci (5-1) its first loss after its best start since 1997. 

Upper Peninsula

Ishpeming 20, Beal City 0

These Ford Field regulars have played in different divisions in recent trips, but met in Gaylord for one of the most intriguing games of 2014. The good news for Beal City is the Aggies held Ishpeming (6-0) to its fewest points since 2012. But the Hematites also notched their second straight shutout, holding Beal City (5-1) scoreless for the first time since 2010. Ishpeming’s winning streak is up to 27 straight. Click for more from the Mount Pleasant Morning Sun.

Also noted:

Iron River West Iron County 40, Calumet 26 – West Iron (6-0) pulled within a win of a second-straight West Peninsula Athletic Conference title by escaping improved Calumet (3-3), which is tied for second place.

Crystal Falls Forest Park 36, Felch North Dickinson 14 – This rivalry game was a little less fierce than usual, as the Trojans (4-1) made it three straight over the Nordics (3-3).

Marquette 13, Kingsford 8 – The Redmen (5-1) kept pace in the Great Northern U.P. Conference to set up a Week 9 championship game with undefeated Menominee.

Sault Ste. Marie 28, Gladstone 22 – The Blue Devils (3-3) have stormed back from an 0-3 start, while Gladstone (3-3) has gone the opposite after starting 3-0. 


DeWitt 16, St. Johns 10

The Panthers’ run of 32 straight league wins (dating to 2008) was on the line midway through the fourth quarter as DeWitt trailed by a point. But back-up quarterback Chase McPhee – in for injured starter and Division I college prospect Jacob Johnson – led the Panthers (6-0) on a go-ahead touchdown drive that helped them clinch a share of the Capital Area Activities Conference Red title while handing the rival Redwings (5-1) their lone loss. Click for more from the Lansing State Journal.

Also noted:

Olivet 69, Stockbridge 48 – The Eagles (5-1) are at least partial owners of the inaugural Greater Lansing Activities Conference championship, with second-place Stockbridge (4-2) now needing help from Maple Valley to gather a share.

Jackson Lumen Christi 35, Coldwater 24 – Lumen Christi (6-0) pulled within a win of claiming the inaugural Interstate 8 Athletic Conference title while dropping Coldwater (5-1) into a tie for second place.

Clare 43, Gladwin 36 (OT) – Clare (4-2) hasn’t had too many scares in winning seven straight Jack Pine Conference championships, but survived one from the Flying G’s (4-2) to hold on to a tie for first.

Stanton Central Montcalm 28, Remus Chippewa Hills 27 – The Hornets (4-2) broke open the Central State Activities Association Gold race by handing formerly first-place Chippewa Hills (5-1) its first loss. 

Southwest and Border

Three Rivers 25, Vicksburg 12

The Wildcats’ 0-2 start is becoming a distant memory as they work deeper into the Wolverine B Conference East schedule. Three Rivers (4-2) has won four straight and set itself up to play Plainwell this week to possibly decide the eventual league champion. Vicksburg (4-2), meanwhile, was one of the hottest teams in the state to start the season and beat Three Rivers in 2013, but has now lost two straight. Click for more from the Kalamazoo Gazette.

Also noted:

Berrien Springs 26, Paw Paw 8 – The Shamrocks (4-2) suddenly are in the Wolverine B West conversation, having now won more games this fall than in each of the last two and with this impressive victory over Paw Paw (3-3).

Portage Central 35, Niles 13 – Reigning champion Portage Central (4-1) remains in striking distance in the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference West if first-place Stevensville Lakeshore falters, while Niles (4-2) remains in position to make the playoffs with a couple solid wins down the stretch.

Stevensville Lakeshore 21, Portage Northern 13 – This was key for the Lancers (5-1), who fell to Northern (4-2) by two points last season.

Union City 18, Jonesville 16 – The Chargers (6-0) have bounced back nicely from last season’s 3-6 finish and are tied for first in the Big 8 Conference. 

Lower Up North

Cadillac 21, Gaylord 20

The Big North Conference race opened up a bit last week (see next result below), but nearly got a lot more interesting with Gaylord (4-2) continuing to push the traditional favorites. Reigning champion and first-place Cadillac hadn’t had alcall this close (except, perhaps, needing a goalline stand in 2013 against Traverse City Central) over its two-season run atop the standings. Click for more from the Cadillac News

Also noted:

Petoskey 16, Traverse City Central 13 – The Northmen (5-1) now get Gaylord, but look best to benefit in the Big North if Cadillac falters; Central (4-2) also is tied for second and gets Cadillac in Week 9.

Boyne City 50, Maple City Glen Lake 0 – Boyne City (6-0) looks good to not only win the inaugural Northern Michigan Football Conference Leaders title, but also finish the regular season perfect for the first time since 2001.

Oscoda 21, Lincoln Alcona 16 – The Owls (3-3) are in position for their best finish since at least 2000 after delivering Alcona (3-3) its third straight loss.

Whittemore-Prescott 26, Tawas 16 – Although not a league game, this was a good measuring stick locally for the Cardinals (6-0), who continued their surge against solid Tawas (4-2). 

West Michigan

Holland West Ottawa 28, East Kentwood 21

While solid, these two haven’t been much in the Ottawa-Kent Conference Red title discussion in a while – but West Ottawa (5-1) has earned the opportunity to match favorite Rockford for the championship in Week 9 if it can survive Grandville and Hudsonville over the next few weeks. East Kentwood (5-1), still off to its best start since 2004, has a similarly tough road as it seeks a sixth win for the first time since that season. Click for more from the Grand Rapids Press.  

Also noted:

Hudsonville 27, Grand Haven 24 – After two straight one-point losses, Hudsonville (4-2) got on the positive end of a close finish and handed Grand Haven (3-3) its third straight defeat.

Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern 44, Greenville 36 – Forest Hills Northern (6-0) earned the opportunity to face league co-leader Cedar Springs this week by dispatching another O-K Bronze contender in Greenville (4-2).

Hopkins 35, Grandville Calvin Christian 27 – Hopkins (5-1) paid back Calvin Christian (2-4) for a one-point loss in 2013 to remain in line for a fifth-straight O-K Silver title.

Lowell 20, Grand Rapids Christian 12 – The Red Arrows (6-0) continued to impress by claiming a close one over another O-K White power in Grand Rapids Christian (4-2). 

Bay and Thumb

Saginaw Swan Valley 14, Freeland 7

In what was and remains likely to be Swan Valley’s toughest regular-season game, the Vikings (6-0) showed plenty of mettle. The defense continues to rank among the most stellar in Michigan this season after giving up only one score to push this fall’s total points allowed to a mere 29 (Freeland, now 5-1, hadn’t scored fewer than 42). And of course standout running back Alex Grace showed, with 261 yards rushing and both of his team’s touchdowns. Click for more from The Saginaw News.

Also noted:

Burton Bendle 41, Flint Hamady 36 – The Tigers (3-3) have bounced back nicely from a 1-3 start, although Hamady (4-2) – itself impressive after going 0-8 a year ago – didn’t make this easy.

Frankenmuth 21, Birch Run 14 – The Eagles (5-1) likely now need help from Birch Run (5-1) against first-place Millington if the three are to share the Tri-Valley Conference East title.

Fenton 41, Clio 20 – The Tigers (6-0) remain tied for first in the Flint Metro League despite a challenge from much-improved Clio (3-3), which hadn’t won a game since 2009 before opening night.

Davison 34, Bay City Western 28 (OT) – The Cardinals kept their playoff hopes alive and also sit just a win back in the Saginaw Valley Association Blue standings. 


Rapid River 20, Cedarville 19

These two have built quite a rivalry in the Bridge Alliance Conference – Rapid River handed Cedarville its only regular season loss last season, beat Cedarville during the 2012 playoffs after losing to the Trojans by 60 five weeks earlier, and suffered their only regular-season loss to Cedarville during the 2011 season. Add this to the classics. Click for more from the Escanaba Daily Press.

Also noted:

Lawrence 52, Deckerville 20 – Lawrence (6-0) is again looking like a strong possibility to drive to at least the MHSAA Semifinals; Deckerville (5-1) also had entered undefeated.

Engadine 28, Posen 26 – The Eagles (3-3) got a needed boost, especially with undefeated Bellaire up next.  

PHOTO: Detroit Cass Tech improved to 6-0 with a 21-16 win over Detroit East English in Detroit Public School League play. (Photo courtesy of the Detroit PSL.)

1st & Goal: 2023 Week 6 Review

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

October 2, 2023

We have our first league champions of the 2023 football season, and setups for several deciding matchups to come over the next week or two.

MI Student AidExplanations of many of those make up most of our “Week 6 Review” – but with playoff selection now just three weeks away, you’ll notice our attention has become focused as well on those races for the 32 qualifying spots in our MHSAA 11-player divisions and top 16s that make the 8-player brackets.

The state rankings mentioned frequently below are Michigan High School Football Coaches Association polls. The playoff-point averages are tracked by the MHSAA and used to determine the postseason fields – and discussion of movement on those lists will be prevalent through the rest of the regular season.

Bay & Thumb

HEADLINER Almont 30, Croswell-Lexington 20 Almont set itself up to clinch a share of the Blue Water Area Conference title this week or next by moving into first place alone in this matchup of co-leaders heading into the weekend. The Division 6 No. 2 Raiders (6-0) also tied their win totals of both of the last two seasons as they made another move toward potentially their best finish since 2019. Croswell-Lexington (5-1), No. 8 in Division 4, will be rooting for Richmond this week and Yale next to deal Almont a loss that would set up a possible shared league title. Click for more from the Port Huron Times Herald.

Watch list Fenton 40, Linden 32 After sharing the Flint Metro League Stripes title with Linden and Swartz Creek last season, Fenton (5-1) clinched a share of this season’s championship and left Linden (4-2) holding out hope for a share if Flushing can upset the Tigers this week.

On the move Chesaning 28, Ovid-Elsie 19 Chesaning (5-1) can clinch a share of the Mid-Michigan Activities Conference title this week or next after stopping Ovid-Elsie (3-3) in its attempt to reset the standings. Marine City 36, Madison Heights Lamphere 13 Marine City (5-1) clinched a share of the Macomb Area Conference Silver championship with one more league game to play, sending Lamphere to 4-2. Grand Blanc 44, Lapeer 26 The Saginaw Valley Red is a two-team race with Grand Blanc (4-2) and Davison the only teams left undefeated in league play, and Lapeer (4-2) joining Saginaw Heritage with a second league loss and tied for third.

Greater Detroit

HEADLINER Macomb Dakota 31, Romeo 19 The Macomb Area Conference Red is one of the most monitored leagues in the state every season because of the powerful Division 1 contenders that traditionally emerge – and four have a chance to emerge as league champion this month. Romeo entered the weekend alone in first, but now four teams are 3-1 in league play with one game to go and co-champions guaranteed with those four teams facing off across two matchups this week. Click for more from the Macomb Daily.

Watch list Gibraltar Carlson 28, Trenton 23 Carlson (5-1) lined itself up to face Allen Park in Week 8 for some piece of the Downriver League title, as those two teams are left as undefeated in league play – although Trenton (4-2) could break things up a bit as the Trojans face Allen Park this week.

On the move Belleville 35, Westland John Glenn 8 Belleville (6-0) and Week 8 opponent Dearborn Fordson remain alone atop the Kensington Lakes Activities Association East after the Tigers dealt John Glenn (5-1) this first loss. Clarkston 44, West Bloomfield 36 After an 0-2 start, Clarkston (4-2) has won four straight and set itself up to face Lake Orion this week for a winner-take-all matchup in the Oakland Activities Association Red. The win also pushed the Wolves from 10 spots behind West Bloomfield (4-2) to three ahead on the Division 1 playoff points list. Detroit Voyageur 34, Detroit Edison 32 The Cougars (4-2) bounced back from a Week 5 loss to deal a second straight to Edison (4-2), which entered the week ranked No. 9 in the Division 6 coaches poll. The win also brought Voyageur back into the Division 6 playoff picture at No. 25 on the playoff points list after it had fallen back to No. 34.


HEADLINER Corunna 35, Goodrich 7 This has to rank at or near the top of the wins Corunna (6-0) has piled up over its recent resurgence, as it not only guaranteed the Cavaliers a share of the Flint Metro League Stars title but also handed the first loss to the No. 2-ranked team in Division 4. Corunna, ranked No. 5 in Division 5, led 28-0 at halftime on the way to its first win over the Martians (5-1) since 2016. Click for more from the Flint Journal.

Watch list Pewamo-Westphalia 27, Fowler 14 After losing its opener to still-undefeated North Muskegon, P-W has won its last five and sits atop the Central Michigan Athletic Conference standings with two league games to play. Fowler (5-1) had defeated the Pirates last season to create a three-way CMAC shared title between those two and Laingsburg.

On the move DeWitt 41, Grand Ledge 38 The last two meetings between these two have come down to seven points or fewer, with last year’s Grand Ledge win helping the Comets (5-1) share the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue title and this year’s DeWitt win knocking Grand Ledge out of first place while keeping the Panthers (3-2) in the mix. Beal City 30, Evart 16 The matchup for first place in the Highland Conference went to Beal City (6-0), which can clinch with another win over the next two weeks while second-place Evart (4-2) will need help to get a share. New Lothrop 34, Montrose 8 New Lothrop’s MMAC title hopes dimmed with a Week 2 loss to Chesaning, but the Hornets (5-1) are up to No. 9 in Division 8 playoff-points average with two wins over Division 6 schools and this one over the Division 7 Rams (4-2).

Northern Lower Peninsula

HEADLINER Charlevoix 30, Elk Rapids 7 The Division 7 No. 9 Rayders (5-1) continued to roll through Northern Michigan Football Conference Leaders play, clinching a share of the league title with their fifth-straight win overall this season. Charlevoix can finish the championship outright in Week 8 at Tawas, and its final three regular-season opponents are combined 3-15 – making a fourth-straight season reaching eight wins look like a growing possibility. Click for more from the Petoskey News-Review.

Watch list Petoskey 36, Cadillac 21 There’s definitely work to do over the next three weeks for Petoskey (4-2) to make the playoffs, but the Northmen have guaranteed their best finish since 2018 – the last time they’d defeated Cadillac (3-3). They sit No. 23 on the Division 3 playoff points list.

On the move Benzie Central 31, Boyne City 24 The Huskies (3-3) will need Tawas’ help to catch a share of that Leaders title, but in avenging last season’s 51-35 loss to Boyne City (2-4) they’ve moved closer to possibly earning their best finish since 2018. Lake City 28, McBain 22 (2OT) The Trojans (4-2) defeated McBain (4-2) by six points for the second-straight season, this time helping them hold steady at the No. 23 spot on the Division 6 playoff points list. Ogemaw Heights 47, Flint Powers Catholic 9 Ogemaw Heights (5-1) ran its winning streak to five as it heads into this week’s NMFC Legends decider against Kingsley.

Southeast & Border

HEADLINER Michigan Center 32, Grass Lake 27 Michigan Center’s next two weeks will be massive, but the Cardinals earned that billing. By avenging last season’s 36-29 loss to Grass Lake (4-2), Michigan Center (5-1) upped what’s at stake in this week’s matchup with Napoleon as those share the lead in the Cascades Conference East – and with third-place Manchester waiting in Week 3 with its only loss to Napoleon. Click for more from JTV.

Watch list Parma Western 21, Battle Creek Harper Creek 6 The Panthers (6-0) also have set up a matchup of league co-leaders, downing third-place Harper Creek (4-2) on the way to this week’s meeting with Hastings for first in the Interstate 8 Athletic Conference.

On the move Jackson Northwest 23, Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard 14 Northwest (3-3) has made massive strides the last two seasons, and this win has to rank up there as AAGR (5-1) had dominated its first five opponents. Adrian 22, Jackson 9 This Adrian win, along with Chelsea’s over Tecumseh, gave Chelsea a share of the Southeastern Conference White title – although if Jackson (4-2) defeats Chelsea this week, those two and possibly Adrian all could share the championship. Saline 43, Ann Arbor Huron 7 Saline (6-0) held onto its one-game lead in the SEC Red and sent Huron (3-3) into a third-place tie. The Hornets finish the league schedule with the seventh and eighth-place teams as they look to claim what would be a ninth Red title over the last decade but after finishing second a year ago.

Southwest Corridor

HEADLINER Constantine 50, Allegan 14 Five of six teams in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Lakeshore are .500 or better, and Constantine is leading the way at 5-1 and as one of three contenders that have started league play 2-0. The Division 6 No. 7 Falcons scored their season high in bringing some separation to the league standings by sending Allegan to 4-2. Click for more from the Kalamazoo Gazette.

Watch list Niles Brandywine 30, Dowagiac 7 Brandywine may be only 2-4, but the Bobcats moved up from No. 46 to 33 on the Division 7 playoff-points list by stunning Division 5 Dowagiac (4-2). Brandywine has another Division 5 opponent next in Benton Harbor.

On the move Berrien Springs 35, Buchanan 14 This win, combined with Brandywine’s over Dowagiac, put Berrien Springs (3-2) alone in first place in the Lakeland Conference – and after a 20-14 loss to Buchanan (3-3) last season cost the Shamrocks the league title. Richland Gull Lake 27, Benton Harbor 16 Gull Lake (4-2) already has bettered its record from a year ago, and with two wins over the next three weeks would post its best finish since 2009. Paw Paw 35, Edwardsburg 0 The Red Wolves (6-0) ended a 15-game losing streak against the rival Eddies (3-3) sending them out of first place in the Wolverine Conference while maintaining a tie for the top spot with Niles.

Negaunee's Ian Engstrom (5) tries to catch a pass just a little bit out of his reach.

Upper Peninsula

HEADLINER Menominee 44, Gladstone 26 One down, two to go as Western Peninsula Athletic Conference leader Menominee began a difficult three-game run against the three teams that entered the weekend tied for second in the league. Following Landan Bardowski among others, the Maroons (6-0) scored the most points Gladstone had given up in a game since 2017 – although Gladstone (4-2) also did some fine work offensively against a Menominee defense that had allowed just six points total over the first five weeks. Click for more from RRN Sports.

Watch list Marquette 38, Escanaba 20 After playing an old rival as part of a new league, Marquette (3-2) is tied for second in the Big North Conference but more notably has equaled last season’s win total and sits among the top 32 on the Division 3 playoff-points list for the second-straight week.

On the move Calumet 17, Houghton 16 The Copper Kings (2-4) broke a three-game losing streak and now have 10 spots to climb to qualify for the Division 6 playoffs, but with some valuable opportunities to do so. Iron Mountain 55, Manistique 14 The Mountaineers (6-0) clinched a share of the West-PAC Iron championship with another big performance; they have won all of their games by at least 40 points. Sault Ste. Marie 50, Maple City Glen Lake 7 Sault Ste. Marie (4-2) bounced back from a Week 5 loss to Marquette to hold steady among the top 32 on the Division 4 playoff-points list, while Glen Lake (3-3) remains among the qualifying group in Division 8.

West Michigan

HEADLINER Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central 20, East Grand Rapids 0 There was notable reshuffling in the Ottawa-Kent Conference White over the weekend, as the league has six teams 4-2 or better and four tied for first thanks in part to FHC’s shutout of the Pioneers. The Rangers (5-1), No. 2 in Division 3, now share the top spot with EGR (5-1), Lowell and Byron Center. Click for more from the Grand Rapids Press.

Watch list Spring Lake 35, Allendale 28 The O-K Blue has five teams at 4-2 or better, with Grand Rapids West Catholic alone at the top after Spring Lake (5-1) rebounded from a Week 5 loss to GRWC to hand Allendale (5-1) this defeat. But Spring Lake also just became Allendale’s biggest fan – Allendale gets West Catholic this week.

On the move Lowell 38, Byron Center 28 Matching Forest Hills Central, Lowell also fought back into the O-K Blue race as these two join FHC and EGR as 3-1 in the league and 5-1 overall. Muskegon 49, Zeeland East 14 The Big Reds (4-2) have won four straight to start the O-K Green schedule and set up this week’s meeting with co-leader Zeeland West. Impressive as well, Muskegon’s last three opponents, including East, are 4-2. Caledonia 30, Hudsonville 0 Division 2 top-ranked Caledonia (5-1) has followed up its loss to Rockford two weeks ago with two power-packed wins, in this one handing Hudsonville (4-2) its first shutout since 2012.


HEADLINER Adrian Lenawee Christian 73, Mendon 20 Lenawee Christian (6-0) put up 63 of those points in the first half, fully justifying its top ranking in Division 2 – and the Cougars could be considered the top team in all of 8-player as Division 1 top-ranked St. Ignace joined No. 2 Mendon (5-1) in losing for the first time over the weekend. Sam Lutz ran for four touchdowns and threw for four more for the Cougars, while Jack McCaw ran for 210 yards and three scores for Mendon. Click for more from the Adrian Daily Telegram.

Watch list Newberry 46, St. Ignace 40 Newberry (5-1) has won a playoff game each of the last three seasons and is hardly an unknown – but St. Ignace (5-1) had won all but one of its games this fall by double digits, making this an even more impressive result.

On the move Brown City 60, Mayville 0 This was another matchup of undefeated teams, and Brown City now sits alone atop the North Central Thumb League Stars with Mayville (5-1) and Kingston a game back. Crystal Falls Forest Park 36, Lake Linden-Hubbell 28 With Lake Linden-Hubbell (3-3) dealing Powers North Central a loss two weeks ago, the Great Lakes Eight Conference West has a different look at the top for the first time in a while with Norway leading the way but Forest Park (5-1) also in the mix if the Knights trip up. Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart 25, Fulton 18 The Irish (6-0) have a one-game lead on Portland St. Patrick in the Mid-State Activities Conference with this win over Fulton (4-2) joining a Week 3 one-pointer over the Shamrocks as key reasons why.

Second Half’s weekly “1st & Goal” previews and reviews 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 X (Twitter) @mistudentaid.

PHOTOS (Top) Grand Blanc's Jimmy Lacy (13) applies pressure as Lapeer takes to the air Friday. (Middle) Negaunee's Ian Engstrom (5) tries to catch a pass just a little bit out of his reach. (Top photo by Terry Lyons, middle photo by Cara Kamps.)