Prep Kickoff Classic Game Recaps
Southeastern Michigan High School Football kicked off this weekend with the Detroit Sports Commission’s fifth annual kickoff event/showcase, the Prep Kickoff Classic held at Wayne State University. Previously called the Big Day Prep Showdown and held at Eastern Michigan, this year’s event was hosted at Wayne State to provide a large, centralized venue near Detroit to host the action.
And there was plenty of action to keep the packed crowd of 9,000+ at Wayne State attentive across the two day event.
Dearborn vs. Chippewa Valley
In a tale of two kickers, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley kicker Simo Szabolcs, who had missed two earlier field goals of 32 and 22 yards, nailed a game winning 23 yard field goal to defeat Dearborn, 17-14 with 5 seconds remaining.
In the early going, Chippewa Valley’s defense provided the offensive opportunities. Defensive back Jerry Taylor intercepted a pass and blocked a punt and Chippewa running back Graylyn Claiborne was able to capitalize on both of those turnovers by rushing for two touchdowns in the first half. Dearborn was able to get on the board before half time with a sustained drive and a rushing touchdown by quarterback Ajama Ollie (131 yards, 24 carries).
In the second half Dearborn quarterback Ajama Ollie was able to connect with tight end Sean McFairlane to tie the game at 14-14. Missed opportunities on both sides kept the game locked until the closing minutes. After a helmet to helmet penalty extended Chippewa Valley’s final drive, the game came down to the execution of kicker Simo Szabolcs, who was able to convert the field goal for the win.
Southgate Anderson vs. Woodhaven
Woodhaven quarterback Nick Maher racked up over 290 yards rushing including 100 yards of rushing and three touchdowns in the first half to lead Woodhaven over Southgate Anderson 33-19. In addition to Maher’s 84 yard touchdown scramble on the last drive, Woodhaven running back Garret Weirich also contributed a TD.
For Southgate it was all quarterback Tyler Hall and wide receiver Devin Tyra, who connected for touchdowns of 19 and 84 yards. After an active first half with big plays on both sides, neither team scored in the third quarter. Maher’s long touchdown in the fourth period proved the clincher for Woodhaven.
East Village vs. Oak Park
In a game where the running game dominated the clock, in the end it came down to Oak Park quarterback Malik Washington connecting with wide receiver George Williams in the final minutes to lead Oak Park to a 20-14 comeback win against East Village.
In the first half, East Village was able to score on a 2 yard run by Desmond King and an Anton Curtis passing touchdown to tight end Khalid Hill. Oak Park was also able to get on the board when quarterback Malik Washington connected with wide receiver George Williams. In the fourth, Oak Park quarterback Malik Washington capitalized on an East Village turnover on a short touchdown run to tie the game. Washington connected with wide receiver George Williams with only 5 seconds remaining for the game winning touchdown.
Port Huron vs. Utica Eisenhower
Quarterback Joe Zerafa connect twice with wide receiver Dan Chmielewski for touchdowns in the first half to lead Utica Eisenhower to a 35-14 win over Port Huron.
Running back Shane King also scored early and had a strong day for Eisenhower, who redeemed last year’s double overtime lost to Port Huron. King scored twice in the second half on a run as well as a 30 yard TD pass from quarterback Joe Zerafa . Port Huron quarterback Mark Chapman accounted for Port Huron’s only scores on two quarterback keepers.
Southfield vs. ML King
Despite a strong first half dominated by Martin Luther King’s physical and athletic running game, and a second half dominated by turnovers, Southfield took to the air in a dramatic comeback to beat King in double overtime, 21-20.
Running backs Anton Maddox and Raymond Mitchell both rushed for first half touchdowns for King, who led 14-6 at the half. With only minutes left in the fourth quarter Southfield quarterback Tre Walton connected with wide receiver Brandon Bean for a 20 yard touchdown, followed by a two point conversion to tie the game. Southfield quarterback Tre Walton again connected with wide receiver Brandon Bean for a touchdown in the second overtime.
King quarterback Javaun Williams threw a short touchdown to Mycial Allen to make it close but King’s Jeremiah Fuller missed the extra point to end the game.
Cass Tech vs. Brother Rice
In a matchup of two state defending Division 1 and Division 2 champions, Cass Tech controlled the line of scrimmage late in the second half to seal a 25-18 victory over Brother Rice.
Brother Rice got going early on a long drive that stalled on fourth and one but eventually resulted in a safety against quarterback Gary Hosey on the Technician’s next possession. Rice also scored on a field goal and touchdown pass from quarterback Cheyne Lancunaria to wide receiver Joshua Flye in the first half. However Cass Tech kept coming, with quarterback Jayru Campbell connecting with wide receiver Damon Webb twice in the end zone to keep the game tied at half.
Cass Tech took the lead in the fourth when linebacker Joe Journey recovered a fumble and took it in for a touchdown. After a game delay due to area fighting, Brother Rice powered back with a drive capped by a Brian Walker rushing touchdown. Rice missed the extra point, however, giving Cass Tech a 19-18 lead.
Running back Gary Hosey then broke for a 74 yard touchdown to give Cass Tech a 25-18 lead. Technician defensive back Damon Webb sealed the game for Cass Tech with an interception in the final minutes.