Drive for Detroit: Week 7 Preview

October 4, 2018

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half

We’re into October, and the drive continues on as we begin turning our attention toward the playoffs beginning at the end of this month.

But let’s not be in too much of a rush.

Today we preview a number of matchups that could again end in league title celebrations – and mention a number of other neighborly clashes that may have nothing to do with league title and playoff pursuits, but will still be memorable.

That said, It just so happens that most of the nine games we glance at below include a mix of all of the above.

All games below are tonight unless noted. Check out the MHSAA Score Center for the full schedule and results as games are completed. will broadcast eight games including Frankenmuth/Millington mentioned below. Our “Drive for Detroit” previews are powered by MI Student Aid.

Bay & Thumb

Millington (5-1) at Frankenmuth (5-1)

The noticeable difference heading into the latest chapter of this annual showdown is both teams have a loss – Frankenmuth fell in Week 2 to Tri-Valley Conference Central leader Saginaw Swan Valley, and Millington fell in Week 1 by three points to Ohio’s Sylvania Southview. Otherwise, it’s business as usual with this TVC East finale deciding the league title for the seventh time in eight seasons – and with the Eagles on a three-game winning streak against their rival.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Warren DeLaSalle (5-1) at Davison (6-0), Richmond (4-2) at Almont (6-0), Fenton (5-1) at Flushing (4-2), SATURDAY Lapeer (6-0) at Flint Carman-Ainsworth (3-3).

Greater Detroit

Dearborn Heights Robichaud (6-0) at Dearborn Heights Crestwood (6-0)

Both have plenty to celebrate. Robichaud was 1-8 just two years ago, rebounded to 6-3 last season but went 2-3 in the league, and now is facing Crestwood for the Western Wayne Athletic Conference title. Crestwood last week clinched its first playoff berth since 2005 and with a seventh win would have its most victories since 2000. After a four-year break, these teams met again last season with Robichaud a 34-26 winner – but Crestwood hasn’t given up more than 20 points in a game this fall.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Detroit Mumford (5-1) at Detroit Cass Tech (6-0), Detroit Denby (5-1) at Detroit Martin Luther King (6-0), Waterford Our Lady (4-2) at Clarkston Everest Collegiate (6-0), Macomb Dakota (5-1) at Romeo (5-1).


Breckenridge (6-0) at Carson City-Crystal (6-0)

Breckenridge football was reborn with its move to the Mid-State Activities Conference in 2016, and the Huskies are 18-0 in league games heading into this weekend’s MSAC finale. Two of those wins came against the Eagles, who formerly battled mostly Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart for league superiority. Breckenridge got the win in this matchup by just a point last fall, 27-26, and this season hasn’t given up a point since Week 1. Carson City-Crystal and its tough running game most likely will need to get on the board at least a few times if it’s to secure its first league championship since 2013.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Lake Odessa Lakewood (5-1) at Olivet (6-0), Beaverton (5-1) at Clare (5-1), Dansville (5-1) at Pewamo-Westphalia (6-0), Mason (3-3) at Williamston (5-1).

Northern Lower Peninsula

Johannesburg-Lewiston (5-1) at Harbor Springs (6-0)

After losing by just seven points to Manton on opening night, Johannesburg-Lewiston has been biding its time to pounce in the league race. The Cardinals have given up only 35 points over the last five weeks and two weeks ago won big against Gaylord St. Mary, which beat them for the Northern Michigan Football League Legacy title a year ago. Harbor Springs has its most wins since going 6-4 in 2000, including an impressive one against Frankfort in Week 2 – but must avenge last year’s 50-8 loss to Johannesburg-Lewiston to secure that league title tonight.  

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Muskegon Catholic Central (3-3) at Manistee (6-0), Elk Rapids (4-2) at Frankfort (4-2), Petoskey (3-3) at Gaylord (5-1), Kingsley (5-1) at Maple City Glen Lake (3-3).

Southeast & Border

Grass Lake (6-0) at Napoleon (5-1)

Grass Lake has shared or won outright four Cascades Conference championships this decade, but stepped back a year ago going 3-4 in the league and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2004. That’s almost a distant memory, as the Warriors need only 14 more points to outscore last year’s team and defensively are on pace for their best performance in more than a decade. Grass Lake defeated 2017 co-champions Addison and Michigan Center the last two weeks and now gets the third team that shared last year’s title – Napoleon, which has bounced back from an opening night loss to get back into the hunt and won last year’s meeting with the Warriors 45-8.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Grosse Ile (6-0) at Milan (5-1), Hillsdale (6-0) at Ida (5-1), Pittsford (6-0) at Adrian Lenawee Christian (5-1), Ottawa Lake Whiteford (6-0) at Sand Creek (4-2).

Southwest Corridor

Three Rivers (6-0) at Edwardsburg (6-0)

These are the two best teams in Michigan we’ve barely mentioned this season – because in the Wolverine Conference, every team plays nine league games and these two have dominated the league thoroughly. Edwardsburg has scored at least 41 points every week this fall and given up 19 total; Three Rivers has been slightly less dominant offensively but given up only 35 points and only seven over the last four weeks. Three Rivers broke Edwardsburg’s 34-game league winning streak last season, although the Eddies did still go on to claim the conference title and then defeat the Wildcats in a District Final on the way to finishing Division 4 runner-up.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Kalamazoo United (6-0) at Delton Kellogg (5-1), Hartford (4-2) at Cassopolis (6-0), Portage Northern (4-2) at Battle Creek Central (4-2), Fennville (5-1) at Lawton (3-3).

Upper Peninsula

Ishpeming (6-0) at Iron River West Iron County (5-1), Saturday

Three Western Peninsula Athletic Conference small-school division games remain for both of these teams, but this one very well could decide the league title. Only once this season have the Hematites had a game closer than 10 points. The Wykons took a tough Week 4 loss to West PAC large-school leader Calumet in Week 4, but minus that game have given up only 13 points over their other five. This is the first meeting of these teams since 2014, when Ishpeming ended West Iron’s season in the playoffs for the third time this decade.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Houghton (3-3) at Calumet (6-0), Escanaba (4-2) at Gladstone (3-3), Gwinn (4-2) at Norway (3-3), Ishpeming Westwood (4-2) at L'Anse (3-3).

West Michigan

Montague (5-1) at Muskegon Oakridge (6-0)

This West Michigan Conference rivalry is alive and well, with the teams splitting the last four meetings and Montague winning the most recent 40-0 a year ago on the way to the league title. This likely will decide the championship as well; after losing to still-unbeaten Reed City on opening night, Montague has outscored its first five league opponents on average 58-7. Oakridge has outscored its league opponents only 57-12 on average.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Spring Lake (5-1) at Grand Rapids Catholic Central (5-1), Middleville Thornapple Kellogg (5-1) at East Grand Rapids (4-2), Rockford (3-3) at Hudsonville (5-1), Holton (5-1) at Kent City (6-0).


Mesick (3-3) at Brethren (4-2)

These two are relative newcomers to 8-player football, Brethren in its third season and Mesick in its second. But the headway made has been fast and impressive. Brethren can clinch a share of the West Michigan D League championship tonight and also tie its highest win total since 1990. Mesick made the playoffs for the first time last season since 1995, and with a win tonight can create a three-team tie at the top of the league standings with one WMDL game to play (Manistee Catholic Central would join them in first with a win over reigning champion Marion). Mesick won this meeting 30-14 a year ago.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Morrice (6-0) at Genesee (4-2), Mayville (4-2) at Deckerville (4-2), New Haven Merritt (3-3) at Caseville (4-2), SATURDAY Bellevue (5-1) at Battle Creek St. Philip (4-2).

Second Half’s weekly “Drive for Detroit” previews and reviews are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Student Financial Services Bureau 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, including various student financial assistance programs to help make college more affordable for Michigan students. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 savings programs (MET/MESP) and eight additional aid programs within its Student Scholarships and Grants division. Click for more information and connect with MI Student Aid on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

PHOTO: Clare, here against Beal City during a Week 1 win, is among teams chasing first place in their respective leagues this weekend. (Click for more from

MHSAA, MHSFCA to Provide Spring Evaluation Camps for College Football Hopefuls

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

March 27, 2023

The Michigan High School Athletic Association, in partnership with the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA), will be hosting first-ever Spring Evaluation Camps to provide athletes with aspirations of playing college football opportunities to show their skills and abilities to college coaches at one of five locations.

The one-day camps will take place between May 15-18 at Jenison High School, DeWitt High School, Jackson High School, Brighton High School and Detroit Country Day High School. The MHSAA’s involvement will allow for the opportunity for Division I college coaches to attend, and representatives from college football programs at all levels are expected.

Athletes who will be juniors or seniors in Fall 2023 may register to participate via a link on the Football page.

“This is an attempt by the MHSAA to help our athletes get exposure during the spring evaluation period in a way that does not intrude on spring sports,” said Brad Bush, an MHSAA assistant director and past high school and college football coach. “We are working with the MHSFCA to help put together a first-class experience for the athletes and college coaches.”

Cost is $20 per player, and each registrant will receive a shirt to wear based on the athlete’s graduation year and registration number so college coaches in attendance can monitor their camp performance. College coaches also will receive registration information for each athlete in attendance.

All athletes must have a coach from the athlete’s school staff present at the camp, and that coach must be a member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.

MHSFCA executive director Andrew Pratley called the Spring Evaluation Camps a tremendous opportunity for high school athletes in Michigan.

“We are very excited with the partnership with the MHSAA that allows our kids the opportunity to wear a helmet and do drills in front of college coaches in the spring at a minimal cost,” Pratley said. “College coaches are thrilled, and it's a unique opportunity to have the rules waived by the MHSAA at these events only in order to showcase the tremendous talent all over the great state of Michigan.”

The Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) has been devoted to the promotion of high school football since its inception in March 1972. The MHSFCA has more than 2,500 members and provides several educational and development opportunities for members and their athletes, including an annual coaching clinic, an annual leadership conference for coaches and potential team captains, and the annual summer East-West All-Star Game for graduated seniors. Additionally, the MHSFCA’s Leadership Development Alliance is in its third year of training coaches and offering veteran members of the association as mentors.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.3 million spectators each year.