A Game for Every Fan: 11-Player Finals

November 24, 2015

By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor

You’ll recognize many of the teams playing for MHSAA 11-player football championships this weekend at Ford Field.

Of 16 finalists, 11 are previous champions. Seven of the 11 have won at least three titles.

Then there’s Romeo, Chelsea, River Rouge, Clinton and Pewamo-Westphalia. All are seeking their first MHSAA championship in the sport – with Romeo, Chelsea and River Rouge getting the opportunity to play for one for the first time.

See below for a look at all of the finalists who will take the field this weekend. The Division 8, 2, 6 and 4 games are Friday, with the odd-numbered divisions playing Saturday. Tickets cost $10 and are good for all four games on one day. Click for a full schedule.

The first three Friday games will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Detroit’s primary channel (check cable/satellite box listings for your specific channel) with the Division 4 game tape delayed at 11:30 p.m. on FSD but available live on FoxSportsDetroit.com. Saturday's games all will air live on Fox Sports Detroit. Audio broadcasts will be available on the MHSAA Network website.

Rankings below were voted upon by The Associated Press’ media panel but can be used only as a guide; the AP establishes divisions before the season for poll purposes, but many teams ended up in different divisions at playoff selection. Statistics are current unless noted.

Division 1

 12-1, No. 7
Co-coaches: Curt Rienas and Jason Couch, 13th seasons (90-43)
League finish: First in Macomb Area Conference White.
Finals history: Has never played in an MHSAA Final.
Best wins: 26-14 over No. 9 Macomb Dakota, 28-14 over No. 10 Clarkston in Pre-District, 34-14 over No. 8 Lapeer in District Final, 40-29 over No. 6 Detroit Catholic Central in Regional Final, 48-21 over No. 5 Grand Ledge in Semifinal.
Players to watch: QB Paul Hurley, 6-2/190, sr. (1,451 yards/23 TDs passing, 332 yards/3 TDs rushing); SE/DB Brad Tanner, 6-2/180, sr. (701 yards/13 TDs rushing, 564 yards/8 TDs receiving); TE/LB Mitchell Heimbuch, 6-3/220, sr. (676 yards/9 TDs receiving, 53 tackles/4 sacks/4 interceptions); DB Kade Messner, 5-10/175, jr. (62 tackles/2 interceptions).
Outlook: Romeo has advanced to its first MHSAA Final despite facing eight playoff teams and defeating seven – the lone loss was by three to Utica Eisenhower in the regular-season finale. No one’s individual numbers pop out, but as a team the Bulldogs run for 6.2 yards per carry and average nearly 12 per pass while giving up only 9.9 points per game. Heimbuch has reportedly committed to sign with Western Michigan University and is a force on both sides of the ball.

 11-2, No. 4
Coach: Thomas Wilcher, 18th season (141-59)
League finish: Second in Detroit Public School League East I.
Finals history: Division 1 champion 2012 and 2011.
Best wins: 16-10 over No. 9 Macomb Dakota in Regional Final, 48-41 over Canton in Semifinal, 33-8 over Division 2 No. 6 Detroit East English, 27-0 over Southfield.  
Players to watch: QB Rodney Hall, 6-3/215, jr. (2,232 yards/20 TDs passing, 1,053 yards/14 TDs rushing); TE/LB Timothy Walton, 6-2/225, sr. (108 tackles through 11 games); WR/DB Demetric Vance, 6-2/200, sr. (55 tackles/4 interceptions through 11 games); WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, 6-1/195, jr (1,141 yards/17 TDs receiving); RB/SS Jaylen Kelly-Powell, 6-0/190, jr. (53 tackles/2 interceptions through 11 games); OL/DT Michael Onwenu, 6-3/360, sr.
Outlook: Cass Tech is loaded with talent – leading a large group of college-bound players are Onwenu (Michigan), Vance (Michigan State) and Walton (Illinois), and Peoples-Jones and Kelly-Powell will have their picks as well. The Technicians' only losses were to Division 2 finalist Detroit King, twice. But all eyes will be watching to see if Hall trots onto the field – he missed the Semifinal win with an injury that reportedly was season-ending. Sophomore Aaron Jackson stepped in and accounted for three touchdowns.

Division 2

 12-1, No. 4 in Division 3 (regular season)
Coach: Noel Dean, 20th season (201-35)
League finish: First in Ottawa-Kent Conference White

Finals history: Three MHSAA titles (most recent 2009), two runner-up finishes.
Best wins: 49-34 over No. 2 Walled Lake Western in Semifinal, 36-7 over Division 3 (regular season) No. 5 Muskegon in Regional Final, 35-13 over East Grand Rapids, 28-14 over Grand Rapids Christian.
Players to watch: QB Ryan Stevens, 6-2/160, sr. (2,418 yards/31 TDs passing, 945 yards/16 TDs rushing); RB/LB Max Dean, 5-11/185, sr. (1,164 yards/17 TDs, 57 tackles/7.5 sacks); WR/DB Gabe Steed, 6-1/160, sr. (1,058 yards/17 TDs receiving); LB/RB Nathan Stephens, 5-10/185, jr. (55 tackles); TE/LB Alex Anschutz, 6-1/185, sr. (518 yards/10 TDs receiving, 39 tackles/5 interceptions).
Outlook: The Red Arrows are playing for a championship for the first time since finishing runner-up in 2011 and lost only to Walled Lake Western in the season opener – avenging that loss in the Semifinal. The skill positions are dominated by seniors who also helped the team advance to the Regional Final last season and navigate one of the most competitive leagues in the state again this fall – among those opponents, East Grand Rapids, although unranked, made the Semifinals in Division 3.

 13-0, No. 1
Coach: Dale Harvel, seventh season (60-19)
League finish: First in Detroit Public School League East I

Finals history: Division 2 champion 2007, two runner-up finishes.
Best wins: 42-6 over honorable mention Wyandotte Roosevelt in District Final, 12-10 over No. 9 Warren DeLaSalle, 20-15 and 26-12 (Regional Final) over No. 6 Detroit East English, 31-28 and 27-25 over Division 1 No. 4 Detroit Cass Tech.  
Players to watch: QB/LB Armani Posey, 6-1/200, sr. (1,829 yards/19 TDs passing); WR/DB Donnie Corley, 6-3/185, sr. (1,221 yards/14 TDs receiving); WR/DB Dontre Boyd, 5-10/160, sr. (563 yards, 5 TDs receiving); RB Martell Pettaway, 5-10/210, sr. (1,514 yards/22 TDs rushing); WR/DB Lavert Hill, 5-10/175, sr. (11 interceptions through regular season);
Outlook: From the season opener against reigning champion Warren DeLaSalle through last week’s Semifinal against Livonia Franklin, King has been arguably the most impressive team in the state regardless of division. The Crusaders have won big and close – four victories came by a touchdown or less. Hill has at least 13 interceptions and has scored on offense, defense and special teams, and Corley had nine interceptions through the end of the regular season. He’s one of the state’s most pursued college prospects; Pettaway has committed to West Virginia and Hills has committed to Penn State, among others who will play at the next level. 

Division 3

 12-1, No. 9
Coach: Brad Bush, 19th season (149-56)
League finish: Tied for first in Southeastern Conference White.
Finals history: Has never played in an MHSAA Final.

Best wins: 35-7 over No. 3 Coldwater in Semifinal, 29-16 over honorable mention Trenton in District Final, 35-12 over No. 10 Allen Park in Regional Final, 9-7 over Ann Arbor Pioneer.
Players to watch: QB Jack Bush, 6-2/175, jr. (1,797 yards/17 TDs passing, 9 TDs rushing); WR Bailey Edwards, 6-3/180, sr. (727 yards/8 TDs receiving); TB Trey Seitz, 6-1/185, sr. (875 yards/9 TDs rushing); OT Jay Packard, 6-3/275, sr.; LB Ryan Stasiak, 6-1/180, sr.
Outlook: Chelsea will play in its first championship game but has long been a contender; this was the 16th season in 17 that the Bulldogs made the playoffs, and they had won at least 10 game five other times over the last 16 seasons before setting a program record for victories this fall. The lone loss, to Ypsilanti Community, cost them the outright league title, but the 34 points given up that game were a season high for a defense allowing only 9.2 per game and held Coldwater’s celebrated running attack to only 119 yards on 37 carries in the Semifinal.

 11-1, No. 2
Coach: George Porritt, 27th season (245-67)
League finish: First in Detroit Catholic League Central.

Finals history: Six MHSAA titles (most recent 2014), six runner-up finishes.
Best wins: 14-7 over East Grand Rapids in Semifinal, 38-0 over Division 2 No. 9 Warren DeLaSalle, 14-7 over Division 1 No. 6 Detroit Catholic Central, 24-12 over Division 7 No. 6 Detroit Loyola.
Players to watch: RB/SS Justin Myrick, 5-10/190, sr. (1,049 yards/13 TDs rushing); RB/DB Ryan Johnson, 5-8/175, jr. (651 yards/11 TDs rushing); QB Brendan Tabone, 6-1/180, sr. (1,036 yards/5 TDs); OL/DL Cameron Kolwich, 6-5/270, sr. LB Josh Ross, 6-1/225, jr.
Outlook: St. Mary’s has rumbled into its fifth final in six years with seven straight wins including the avenging of its lone loss, to Warren DeLaSalle in Week 5. The Eaglets ride a strong running game, although one of three backs may need to take the lead Saturday – Johnson was the leading rusher in the Semifinal with Myrick out with an injury and senior Brandon Adams then also getting hurt during the game. Ross keys a defense that hasn’t given up more than 14 points in a game since the loss, and receiver Kaylee Hamler (569 yards/3 TDs receiving) is another standout junior.

Division 4

 11-2, unranked
Coach: Bob Buckel, fifth season (45-15)
League finish: Second in Saginaw Valley League Blue.

Finals history: Two MHSAA titles (most recent 2011).
Best wins: 41-0 over No. 10 Goodrich in Pre-District, 28-7 over Division 5 (regular season) No. 8 Richmond in the Regional Final, 21-14 over No. 1 Detroit Country Day in the Semifinal. 
Players to watch: QB Noah Sargent, 5-11/175 sr. (1,561 yards/18 TDs passing; 1,020 yards/15 TDs); LB Spencer Gomez, 5-10/195, jr. (69 tackles through 12 games); HB Reese Morgan, 5-10/185, sr. (981 yards/10 TDs rushing); NG Daurel Tolbert, 5-9/252, sr. (72 tackles/3 sacks through 12 games).
Outlook: Powers might not have been regarded as a title contender heading into the playoffs, and again while down two touchdowns in last week’s Semifinal win over Country Day. But the Chargers’ only losses were on opening night to Flushing and then to eventual Division 2 District champ Midland Dow in Week 5, and they’re lead by a championship-winning coach in Buckel, who has 211 wins over 33 seasons at four schools. Powers gave up only 60 points total in its 11 wins this fall.

 13-0, No. 1 in Division 3 (regular season)
Coach: John Shillito, 11th season (110-22)
League finish: First in O-K Green.

Finals history: Three MHSAA titles (most recent 2013).
Best wins: 38-28 over No. 4 Comstock Park, 28-21 over honorable mention Hudsonville Unity Christian in the Regional Final, 46-8 over Ada Forest Hills Eastern in the Semifinal, 42-34 over Oak Park.  
Players to watch: QB/DB Casey Brinks, 6-0/170, sr. (456 yards/4 TDs rushing, 576 yards/7 TDs passing); FB/DB Darius Perisee, 5-9/155, sr. (1,906 yards/29 TDs rushing); HB/LB Tyler Thompson, 6-1/200, sr. (925 yards/19 TDs rushing); HB/DB Dakota Geurink, 6-0/185, sr. (685 yards/8 TDs rushing).
Outlook: After losing to Muskegon in the Semifinal a year ago, West is back to try for its third title – and second perfect season – over the last half decade. The Dux have piled up 5,000 yards rushing with their Wing-T rushing attack, with fullback Perisee getting nearly 40 percent of those yards behind a line averaging 6-foot-1 and 247 pounds. The defense has progressively improved throughout the season and has given up more than one touchdown only once over the last seven games. Shillito is up to 266 wins over 32 seasons and four schools.

Division 5

 11-2, No. 6
Coach: Dan Rohn, ninth season (98-19)
League finish: First in O-K Blue.

Finals history: Three MHSAA titles (most recent 2014), two runner-up finishes.
Best wins: 24-14 over No. 1 Menominee in Regional Final, 42-13 over No. 4 Lansing Catholic in Semifinal, 21-14 over No. 9 Reed City in District Final, 28-14 over honorable mention Muskegon Oakridge in Pre-District, 45-28 over Division 4 honorable mention Hudsonville Unity Christian, 42-35 over Division 4 No. 4 Comstock Park.
Players to watch: QB Gaetano Vallone, 5-10/160, soph. (2,474 yards/28 TDs passing, 814 yards/12 TDs rushing); RB/LB Denny Alt, 5-10/175, sr. (1,364 yards/17 TDs rushing); OL/DL Carl Myers, 6-3/260, sr.; WR/DB Conner Nemmers, 6-1/193, sr. (928 yards/13 TDs receiving).
Outlook: No one can argue West Catholic doesn’t deserve a return to Ford Field after the Falcons downed three top-10 teams and an honorable mention to get to this weekend. This is West Catholic’s fifth straight appearance in a championship game – it is 2-2 with two straight wins over the last four trips. Vallone has continued to impress during his first season as the starter at quarterback, but the Falcons can attack a number of ways with Alt carrying the load and Nemmers a tough matchup on the receiving end of Vallone’s passes.  

 12-1, honorable mention
Coach: Corey Parker, seventh season (55-20)
League finish: First in Michigan Metro Athletic Conference Blue.

Finals history: Has never played in an MHSAA Final.
Best wins: 51-25 over honorable mention Algonac in the Regional Final, 28-26 over No. 5 Ida in the Semifinal, 41-12 over Romulus, 40-34 over Riverview.
Players to watch: QB Antoine Burgess, 5-10/180, sr. (1,484 yards/27 TDs passing, 1,040 yards/11 TDs rushing {rushing total does not include last week}); WR Aaron Vinson, 6-2/190, sr. (513 yards/11 TDs receiving); Alexander Carter, 5-10/205, soph. (1,076 yards/10 TDs through 12 games); OL Julius Laidler, 6-4/300, sr.
Outlook: River Rouge is no longer just a basketball school. The Panthers have been known statewide for hoops success from a half century ago, but they’ve won 10 or more football games three of the last four seasons and made the playoffs six straight, with this their first championship game appearance. River Rouge has its share of playmakers, but perhaps most notable and almost most noticeable are the guys in front of them. The Panthers’ offensive linemen average 6-1, 312 pounds.

Division 6

 13-0, Division 7 (regular season) No. 5
Coach: Scott McNitt, 31st season (195-109-1)
League finish: First in Tri-County Conference.

Finals history: Division 6 runner-up 2013.
Best wins: 14-10 over No. 4 Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central in Pre-District, 43-20 over No. 9 Madison Heights Madison in District Final, 49-20 over honorable mention Jackson Lumen Christi in Regional Final, 42-20 over Division 7 (regular season) No. 8 Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian in Semifinal, 36-18 over Division 8 honorable mention Ottawa Lake Whiteford.  
Players to watch: RB/LB Mathew Sexton, 5-11/170, sr. (2,247 yards/34 TDs rushing, 212 yards/4 TDs receiving, 99 tackles); QB Kaden Kelly, 6-3/160, sr. (680 yards/8 TDs passing); RB/LB Noah Poor, 5-9/180, sr. (1,029 yards/15 TDs rushing); OL/LB Ken DeShano, 6-0/200, sr. (101 tackles/6 sacks); TE/LB Blake Rogers, 6-0/175, sr. (79 tackles).
Outlook: Clinton’s run to its second championship game appearance rivaled Romeo’s in Division 1; the Redskins defeated the reigning champion in addition to multiple ranked and/or undefeated powers after emerging from a league that put four teams in the postseason. Sexton was the team’s second-leading rusher and tackler in the Final as a sophomore and is the player who receives the most attention, but as a team Clinton has run for 3,979 yards and 59 touchdowns with Kelly making key passes as opportunities have arisen.

 13-0, No. 1
Coach: Terry Hessbrook, 12th season (127-18)
League finish: First in Tri-Valley Conference West.

Finals history: Four MHSAA titles (most recent 2013), one runner-up finish.
Best wins: 56-14 over honorable mention Vassar in Pre-District, 42-6 over No. 6 Sanford Meridian in District Final, 28-19 over Division 7 (regular season) No. 1 Traverse City St. Francis in Semifinal, 38-0 over Division 7 No. 9 Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary.  
Players to watch: OL/LB Jace Demenov, 6-0/205, sr. (153 tackles); QB/DB Jake Smith, 6-1/170, sr. (1,342 yards/24 TDs passing, 1,632 yards/31 TDs rushing); WR/DB Grant Gimmey, WR/DB, sr. (284 yards/6 TDs receiving); WR/DB Spence DeMull, 6-4/175, sr. (364 yards/8 TDs receiving); RB/NG Jonah Loomis, 5-10/180, sr. (850 yards/15 TDs rushing, 84 tackles).
Outlook: A group of 17 seniors have unfinished business at Ford Field after last season’s defeat in the Final by Monroe St. Mary. Smith has been the key player over the last two seasons and took his game to another level this fall. But just as important Saturday could be Demenov, who is charged with leading a defense that must shut down Clinton’s dominating rush attack. DeMull was injured at the start of this season, but has steadily returned to his elite status and could be a tough matchup this weekend. 

Division 7

 13-0, No. 4
Coach: Jeremy Miller, third season (33-5)
League finish: First in Central Michigan Athletic Conference.

Finals history: Division 7 runner-up 2011.
Best wins: 30-0 over Detroit Loyola in Semifinal, 38-28 over No. 7 Saugatuck in District Final, 26-25 over Division 6 No. 9 Madison Heights Madison, 34-7 over Division 8 No. 9 Fowler.
Players to watch: RB/DE Jared Smith, 6-0/205, jr. (3,096 yards/52 TDs rushing); QB Jimmy Lehman, 6-3/200, soph. (654 yards/8 TDs passing through 12 games); FB/LB Nate Jandernoa, 5-11/220, sr. (348 yards/3 TDs rushing through 12 games); OL/LD Matt Fox, 6-1/295, sr.
Outlook: Pewamo-Westphalia is making its second trip to Ford Field in five seasons but this time on the legs of a record-break running back. Smith eclipsed the MHSAA single-season rushing touchdown record two weeks ago and the single-season yardage record last week, and has more than 5,000 yards combined over the last two seasons. Fox leads a line that averages 6-2, 259 pounds, and Jandernoa keys a defense that has given up three points total over the last two weeks and only 9.1 per game despite a schedule with seven playoff opponents.   

 12-0, No. 2
Coach: Jeff Olson, 24th season (182-79)
League finish: First in Mid-Peninsula Conference.

Finals history: Four MHSAA titles (most recent 2013), two runner-up finishes.
Best wins: 22-14 over No. 3 New Lothrop in Semifinal, 20-14 over Division 8 No. 2 St. Ignace, 22-16 over Negaunee, 32-8 over Calumet.
Players to watch: QB/DB Ozzy Corp, 6-5/205, sr. (644 yards/7 TDs rushing, 1,047 yards/7 TDs passing through eight games); RB/LB Isaac Olson, 5-10/175, jr. (662 yards/7 TDs rushing through eight games); TE/DE Thomas Finegan, 5-11/200, sr. (453 yards/3 TDs receiving, 7 interceptions through eight games); FB/LB Halen Carello, 5-8/180, sr.
Outlook: The Hematites are seeking their third MHSAA title in four seasons. Corp led a new group of contributors to Ford Field last season and they came up short against Detroit Loyola, but a number of those players returned to win nine games against playoff teams this fall including a pair each against rivals Ishpeming Westwood and Iron Mountain. Ishpeming played only eight regular-season games because it didn’t have an opponent Week 6, but total has given up 99 points – 8.3 per game – with five players back who had tackles in last season’s Final. 

Division 8

 13-0, No. 3
Coach: Josh Sawicki, third season (30-5)
League finish: First in Detroit Catholic League CD.

Finals history: Division 8 champion 2002, two runner-up finishes.
Best wins: 36-20 over honorable mention Ottawa Lake Whiteford in Semifinal, 32-6 over Division 7 (regular season) No. 9 Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Regional Final, 36-10 over Division 4 No. 9 Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood.  
Players to watch: QB Clay Senerius, 6-3/175, sr. (2,913 yards/34 TDs passing); WR/DB Devin Senerius, 6-2/170, sr. (1,288 yards/12 TDs receiving, 39 tackles/4 interceptions); RB/DB Chris Cartier, 6-3/180, sr. (1,264 yards/20 TDs rushing, 395 yards/7 TDs receiving, 66 tackles/4 interceptions); LB/WR Ryan Kostich, 6-1/210, sr. (352 yards/11 TDs rushing, 590 yards/9 TDs receiving, 158 tackles/6 sacks).
Outlook: Our Lady has set a program record for victories on the way back to the Finals for the first time since 2002, with Whiteford last week the first team to come within 25 points. The Lakers are led by their highest-scoring offense ever, with Senerius to Senerius a dangerous passing comboand Cartier and Kostich providing balance on the ground and as additional targets. Kostich, senior Gabe Nickels (147 tackles) and junior Kurt Romkema (74 tackles) do most of the cleaning up for a defense giving up 9.1 points per game.  

 10-2, No. 1
Coach: Steve Czerwon, third season (36-4)
League finish: First in Lakes 8 Conference.

Finals history: Ten MHSAA titles (most recent 2014), three runner-up finishes.
Best wins: 33-20 over No. 2 St. Ignace in Semifinal, 22-12 over honorable mention Frankfort in Regional Final, 48-13 over No. 6 Beal City in District Final, 
Players to watch: RB/DB LaTommy Scott, 5-8/185, jr. (1,191 yards/18 TDs rushing); QB/DB Christian Martinez, 6-2/180, sr. (770 yards/14 TDs passing, 426 yards/10 TDs rushing); RB/DB Logan Helton, 5-7/175, jr. (864 yards/11 TDs rushing); OL/DL Jacob Holt, 6-1/245, sr.; LB Nate Jones, 6-1/205, sr.
Outlook: A 26-game winning streak ended on opening night, but the Crusaders put themselves back into contention for a third straight MHSAA title with losses only to Division 5 honorable mention Muskegon Oakridge that evening and Division 4 No. 1 Detroit Country Day in Week 8. Holt leads the way for a strong set of runners – junior Walker Christoffersen is only the team’s third-leading rusher with 472 yards, but he had 192 and a touchdown in the Semifinal win. Holt and Jones were among contributors on last season’s defense but this fall are leaders of a unit giving up 13 points per game during the playoffs.

The MHSAA Football Finals are sponsored by the Michigan National Guard.

PHOTO: Ford Field has been home to the MHSAA 11-player Football Finals since 2005.


1st & Goal: 2023 Week 6 Review

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com 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.

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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.)