Drive for Detroit: Week 8 Preview

October 11, 2018

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

Every fall we say it again: We can’t believe how quickly football season flies by.

But here we are in Week 8, midway through another October, heading into the home stretch for many and the most anticipated weeks for the most fortunate.

With two regular-season games to play, 117 of 256 11-player playoff spots are filled, and 83 more teams can clinch postseason berths this weekend. The Detroit Public School League begins its playoffs tonight and Saturday, while many other leagues across the state will either be finishing up their schedules and/or crowning champions over the next 72 hours. 

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 11 games this weekend including five mentioned below. Our “Drive for Detroit” previews are powered by MI Student Aid. 

Bay & Thumb

Roseville (5-2) at Port Huron Northern (6-1)

Both are undefeated in Macomb Area Conference Blue play heading into this winner-take-all league finale. The Huskies are attempting to take the next step after finishing second in the MAC Gold both of the last two seasons, while Roseville was one of three teams to share the Blue title a year ago – and is looking to also avenge last season’s 13-7 first-round playoff loss to Northern.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Midland Dow (5-2) at Mount Pleasant (7-0), Sandusky (7-0) at Harbor Beach (6-1), Fenton (5-2) at Swartz Creek (6-1), Haslett (6-1) at Goodrich (5-2).

Greater Detroit 

Warren DeLaSalle (6-1) at Detroit Catholic Central (5-2), Sunday

The Detroit area features league championship-deciding games Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with this a clash of MHSAA title contenders as well. Reigning Division 2 champion DeLaSalle has clinched a share of the Catholic League Central title after winning it outright a year ago by defeating the Shamrocks. The Pilots then beat DCC the following week as well in the Prep Bowl, and this weekend’s game could potentially be the first of two straight between these powers again.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Farmington (6-1) at Birmingham Seaholm (6-1), Walled Lake Western (5-2) at South Lyon (7-0), Riverview (6-1) at Grosse Ile (7-0), SATURDAY St. Clair Shores Lake Shore (6-1) at Warren Woods Tower (7-0).


Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary (6-1) at Ithaca (6-1) 

The Cardinals’ loss last week to Hemlock took some of the juice out of this one, but an MLS win would create a three-team share of the Tri-Valley Conference West championship between these two and the Huskies. Ithaca hasn’t lost a league game since 2009, and counting the share it owns already this fall has won 10 straight TVC West titles. The Cardinals’ defense has been especially impressive, giving up just over nine points per game, and it will need to come up big again as Ithaca’s offense remains on a scorching 45-ppg pace.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Pewamo-Westphalia (7-0) at Fowler (4-3), Lake Fenton (4-3) at Williamston (6-1), Climax-Scotts (3-3) at Breckenridge (7-0), Brighton (6-1) at Howell (4-3).

Northern Lower Peninsula 

Gaylord (5-2) at Traverse City West (5-2), Saturday

The Blue Devils can’t move into a first-place tie in the Big North Conference with a win in this one, but they can make the league race pretty messy. West is undefeated in league play, but a Gaylord win would give Traverse City Central and Petoskey opportunities to share or win the championship outright. The reigning league champion Titans have beaten Gaylord in 12 straight – but this is a better Blue Devils team than most during that string. A sixth win would tie Gaylord’s most in a season over the last 15.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Escanaba (5-2) at Traverse City Central (6-1), Kingsley (6-1) at Cheboygan (4-3), Boyne City (3-4) at Benzie Central (4-3), Elk Rapids (5-2) at Harbor Springs (6-1).

Southeast & Border

Springport (7-0) at Reading (7-0)

The Big 8 Conference title comes down to this, one of three matchups this week between 7-0 teams. Reading has won 16 straight league games, including a sweep of all seven in earning last season’s championship, but these two have split their last eight meetings. The Rangers might have the most statistically impressive defense in the state – they’ve given up just 19 points this season – and it will be key against a Springport offense averaging 45 points (although Reading averages 50).

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Monroe (6-1) at Saline (6-1), Clinton (6-1) at Ottawa Lake Whiteford (7-0), Hillsdale (7-0) at Brooklyn Columbia Central (6-1), Michigan Center (6-1) at Napoleon (5-2).

Southwest Corridor

Constantine (6-1) at Kalamazoo United (7-0)

Constantine’s loss two weeks ago to Schoolcraft has it sitting third in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Valley behind the Eagles and United. Those co-leaders meet in Week 9 – but Kalamazoo of course won’t look past tonight. The last two games between the Falcons and Titans have been decided by a combined seven points – although both in Kalamazoo’s favor. Constantine’s running attack may need to be the key to slowing down a United offense averaging 60 points per game.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Olivet (7-0) at Berrien Springs (6-1), Cassopolis (7-0) at Mendon (4-3), Mattawan (5-2) at Portage Central (5-2), Athens (3-3) at Three Oaks River Valley (4-3).

Upper Peninsula

Gladstone (3-4) at Marquette (3-4)

When it a matchup between two sub-.500 teams the best in a region? When both are fighting for playoff possibilities – and a league title. Thanks to one-point wins over Escanaba and Kingsford, the Redmen have all but wrapped up the Great Northern Conference championship. Gladstone has only the slimmest chance of ending up with a piece of the league title, but the Braves can still shake things up – and like Marquette must finish 5-4 to earn an opportunity for an at-large playoff bid.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Iron River West Iron County (5-2) at Gwinn (5-2), Rogers City (6-1) at St. Ignace (4-3), Munising (4-3) at Ishpeming (7-0), Negaunee (4-3) at Houghton (3-4).

West Michigan

Muskegon Mona Shores (7-0) at Muskegon (7-0)

With the reigning Division 3 champion Big Reds down the road, Mona Shores probably isn’t getting as much attention as it might elsewhere. But the Sailors can earn it tonight in this battle for a share of the Ottawa-Kent Conference Black title. Mona Shores gave Muskegon the latter’s closest game a year ago, losing by just 11. The Big Reds have proven themselves again this fall against some of the state’s elite – but the Sailors belong in that conversation too and have the enviable  opportunity to show it.

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Zeeland East (6-1) at Zeeland West (6-1), East Grand Rapids (5-2) at Grand Rapids Christian (5-2), Lake City (7-0) at Kent City (7-0), Grand Rapids West Catholic (4-3) at Grand Rapids Catholic Central (6-1).


Posen (6-1) at AuGres-Sims (7-0)

AuGres-Sims’ first season of 8-player football couldn’t be going much better, as it clinched a share of the Midwest Central Football Conference East last week and can finish the outright title tonight against second-place Posen (which is tied for that position with Hillman). The Wolverines have four shutouts and have given up a combined 30 points over their other three games. But Posen deserves it’s due too – its six wins are as many as the last two seasons combined, and the only defeat was by four to Hillman two weeks ago. An upset tonight would be one of the most memorable wins of the last decade for one of the state’s first 8-player adopters. 

Others that caught my eye: FRIDAY Rapid River (5-2) at Engadine (6-1), Peck (5-2) at Kingston (6-1), Suttons Bay (6-1) at Onekama (6-1), Ontonagon (4-3) at Crystal Falls Forest Park (4-3). 

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: Breckenridge charges ahead against Carson City-Crystal last week on the way to clinching the Mid-State Activities Conference title. (Click for 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.

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.

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.)