Elite Eight - Eight X-Factors to watch for in the Division 1-4 Football FinalsFootball  |
Marco Genrich (QB) – Detroit Catholic Central
Quite a time for a quarterback to make his first start of the season, but that’s the case for Genrich, who is in line to take the field in the Division 1 final at Ford Field as the Shamrock starting signal caller. After Austin Brown suffered a broken leg in Saturday’s semifinal, Catholic Central will now look to the sophomore signal caller to help lead the Shamrocks to their 11th state title in school history.
Jaren Mangham (RB) – Detroit Cass Tech
The Technicians have stars all over the offensive side of the ball with Mr. Football Finalist Donovan Peoples-Jones, Rodney Hall, Donovan Johnson and Jaylen Kelly-Powell. But, after proving to be a dangerous playmaker from the running back position throughout the season, look for Mangham to make a big impact from the running back position in the Division 1 Final for Cass Tech.
Dequan Finn (QB) – Detroit King
As the playoffs have gone on, Finn has continued to improve and has proven to be a legitimate threat along with receivers Ambry Thomas and Jaeveyon Morton and running back Kevin Willis. Going up against a tough Western defense, look for Finn to make a big impact throwing the ball and running the ball if the Crusaders are going to win a second straight Division 2 state championship.
Johnny Tracy (QB) – Walled Lake Western
Tracy didn’t have a big game with poor weather conditions in the semifinal, but look for him to come up with a big game in the Division 2 final on Saturday. All season long, the Western passing attack has been nearly unstoppable and Tracy has been a big reason why. Look for Tracy, along with receivers Cody White and Kam Ford, to make big plays through the air as Western tries to win its first title since 1999.
Andrew Ward (LB) – Muskegon
A two way player, Ward will be a big key for Muskegon on Saturday as the Big Reds will look to win their first state since 2008. Defensively, Ward will be one of the primary factors for the Big Reds as they try to stop a dominant St. Mary’s rushing attack. Offensively, Ward could find himself in a position to make big plays in the run game if the Eaglets are focused in on Muskegon quarterbacks Kalil Pimpleton and Ladarius Jefferson.
Josh Ross (LB) – Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
Much like Ward, Ross will have an opportunity to make a big time difference on both offense and defense on Saturday night. Going up against an explosive Muskegon offense, look for Ross to be relied upon heavily against the run and also to be asked to cover several different skill position players in the passing game. Offensively, Ross could be a difference maker in short yardage situations in both the run and passing game for the Eaglets.
Antonio Strong (WR) – Grand Rapids Catholic Central
Poor weather conditions prevented the Cougar passing attack from making a big difference in the semifinals, but inside Ford Field on Saturday, Grand Rapids Catholic Central could be in a position to make several big time plays in the passing attack. Look for at least some of those big plays to come from Strong, who has been nearly unstoppable in the passing attack and is also a key contributor on special teams.
Steve Mann (QB/WR) – Detroit Country Day
Mann spent the majority of the season playing quarterback, but has since played other positions due to injury, but still look for the senior to be a difference maker in more than one way on Friday night. Mann is more than capable of making a big play regardless of where he lines up on the field and expect him to do just that no matter where he plays in the Division 4 final.Tweet