In Play with Tom Markowski


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Top games: Showdowns in the PSL and Catholic League highlight week 5 action

By: Tom Markowski, September 24, 2015, 2:18 pm




The two biggest games in the state will be played this weekend, one on Friday and one on Saturday.

Warren De La Salle (3-1) will play at top-ranked Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (4-0) on Friday at 7 p.m. and No. 2-ranked Detroit Cass Tech (4-0) will face No. 3 Detroit King (4-0) at noon on Saturday.

There are few rivalries that can match the intensity of Cass Tech vs. King. The students at both schools simply don’t like each other.

And as big as these games are its quite possible we will see rematches of both in week nine.

Should the loser of the De La Salle-St. Mary’s game win the rest of its Catholic League Central Division games it would play the winner in the league championship game on Oct. 24 at Ford Field.

The same is true of the Cass Tech-King loser. Win the remaining Detroit Public School League games and that team would reach the PSL semifinals and a shot at a league title.

De La Salle’s loss was to King, 12-10 in the season opener. St. Mary’s’ closest game was a 24-21 victory at Mishawaka (IN) Penn on Sept. 11. Last season St. Mary’s defeated De La Salle 14-10 and lead the series 15-4.

Cass Tech won the last two in this series and three of the last four. Cass Tech’s closest game this season was a 27-0 victory over Southfield in the opener. King has had two close games this season and its defense has been outstanding (25 points in four games).

Picks: St. Mary’s by 6; King by 2.   



East Grand Rapids (3-1) at Grandville (2-2): A must-win game for both if they expect to make the playoffs. Grandville still have Hudsonville (3-1) and East Kentwood (4-0) on its schedule. East Grand Rapids has road games against Grand Rapids Christian (3-1) and Lowell (3-1). Pick: East Grand Rapids by 4.  


Jackson (3-1) at Grand Ledge (4-0): It’s a while since Jackson was relevant in the CAC Blue. Grand Ledge is averaging 37.5 points and one must like the Comets chances at home. Pick: Grand Ledge by 9.


Monroe (3-1) at Ann Arbor Pioneer (4-0): The winner remains on pace with SEC favorite Saline. Monroe has rebounded well from a season-opening loss to Howell. Pick: Monroe by 5.


Montague (4-0) at Whitehall (3-1): These neighboring schools play for the annual Red, White and Blue Bell and Montague is off to a flying start averaging 52 points a game. Whitehall’s only loss was to a 4-0 Traverse City Central team, 28-21. That must be considered a good loss. Whitehall won last year, 48-20, and leads the series, 36-35. Pick: Whitehall by 3.

Mount Pleasant (3-1) at Lapeer (4-0): Lapeer has smoked its first four opponents (177-15). Mount Pleasant’s defense has allowed 77 points and Lapeer should be able to move the ball with some consistency. Pick: Lapeer by 7.

Southfield (3-1) at Farmington Hills Harrison (3-1): The OAA White Division race heats up here. Both teams have played well defensively since the first week of the season. Offensively, Harrison has found more consistency by going with Anthony Giovanni at quarterback. Pick: Harrison by 4.

Warren Mott (4-0) at Clinton Township Chippewa Valley (3-1): Mott upset Macomb Dakota 32-27. Dakota defeated Chippewa Valley 28-24. So this should be easy to pick. Not quite. The MAC Red has been a bit unpredictable this season. Pick: Chippewa Valley by 6.

Sunday’s game

Birmingham Brother Rice (1-3) at Detroit Catholic Central (3-1), 1: The 71st annual Boys Bowl should see the end of Brother Rice’s three-game winning streak against C.C. The Shamrocks have dropped nine of the last 11 in this longstanding series and should be even more motivated on this afternoon. Coach Tom Mach is in his 40th season at C.C. and the school will honor Mach by dedicating the new turf in his name. Pick: C.C. by 16.


Last week’s record: 8-2.

Season record: 28-12.