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Top 25 HS Football Teams – Brother Rice takes over top spot; Clarkston No. 2

By: Tom Markowski, October 5, 2014, 12:00 am


1. Birmingham Brother Rice (6-0): The passing combination of quarterback Alex Malzone and receiver Grant Perry is the state’s best. The defense has greatly improved since the opener and the schedule, finally, lets up the next two weeks (Detroit Country Day, U-D Jesuit).

2. Clarkston (6-0): The Wolves won their 19th straight game last week (37-20) and while coach Kurt Richardson wasn’t completely pleased with his team’s play no coach wants his team to peak in the sixth week.

3. Muskegon (6-0): The Big Reds have shutout their last two opponents and should have no trouble with Zeeland East (1-5) this week.

4. Detroit Cass Tech (6-0): The Technicians looked beatable on Saturday as they slipped past Detroit East English Prep (21-16). Quarterback Rodney Hall left the game in the second half (shoulder injury) but coach Thomas Wilcher said Hall should be ready this week (at Detroit Mumford).

5. Detroit King (6-0): It’s unlikely coach Dale Harvel (heart attack) will return to the sidelines in the near future. Look for the Crusaders to continue to play with the fire Harvel has instilled.

6. Oak Park (5-1): The Knights go for their fifth shutout of the season against Birmingham Seaholm this week. Coach Greg Carter has been able to rest his starters in recent weeks (Oak Park has outscored its last three opponents 134-10).  

7. DeWitt (6-0): The Panthers played witout star quarterback Jacob Johnson (concussion) last week and their defense was outstanding (16-10 victory over St. Johns). Look for Chase McPhee to start at quarterback again against Owosso.

8. Macomb Dakota (5-1): The Cougars, like Clarkston, didn’t play up to form last week (28-19 win over Romeo). In the next two weeks they’ll face one of Macomb County’s top offensive teams (Macomb L’Anse Creuse North) and defensive teams (Sterling Heights Stevenson). 

9. Lowell (6-0): Defensively, the Red Arrows met last week’s challenge (20-12 victory over Grand Rapids Christian) head on. There’s still work to be done on the offensive side.

10. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (5-1): The Eaglets played well last week (28-20 loss to Birmingham Brother Rice). They can clinch a spot in the Prep Bowl (against Brother Rice) with a victory at Detroit Catholic Central this week. 

11. Lansing Sexton (6-0): The Big Reds are improving week to week. It’s 28-0 victory over Holt last week was most impressive.

12. Zeeland West (6-0): Doesn’t look like any team can slow this offensive machine (60-20 win last week over Hamilton) down.  

13. Midland Dow (6-0): Dow overcame adversity last week (trailed for the first time this season, 13-7, before defeating Bay City Central 31-13) and that should provide valuable experience as the season progresses.

14. Lapeer (6-0): The Lightning outscored their last two opponents 132-0. A win over Midland (3-3) on Friday and Lapeer clinches a share of the Saginaw Valley Red Division title.

15. Canton (5-1): The Chiefs’ offense came alive in the second half (26 points) last week in a 40-35 victory over Livonia Churchill. No concern for a letdown this week with rival Plymouth on tap.

16. Dearborn Fordson (6-0): The Tractors’ last-minute victory over Warren De La Salle (28-24) could be the game that lifts Fordson to its first 9-0 season since 2009. Monroe (4-2) stands in the way in week nine.

17. Muskegon Mona Shores (5-1): After pounding Zeeland East 61-20 the schedule gets more demanding over the next three weeks for the Sailors. Muskegon Reeths-Puffer has defeated Mona Shores each of the last two season and the Rockets (3-3) are next.

18. Caledonia (4-2): Play time is over. The Fighting Scots now face East Grand Rapids, Lowell and Grand Rapids Christian in consecutive weeks. 

19. West Bloomfield (5-1): The Lakers can clinch just their third playoff appearance with a victory this week but they’ll have to do it against a physical and 5-1 Oxford team.

20. Rockford (5-1): Nice bounce back win last week for the Rams after that inexplicable 42-0 loss to Caledonia. The Rams should have no trouble this week with Grand Haven before finshing with two 5-1 teams, East Kentwood and Holland West Ottawa.

21. Walled Lake Central (5-1): Central’s defense has played well since the Vikings lost 43-28 to Northville in week two. This unit will be tested against Walled Lake Western, which has scored over 40 points four times this season.

22. Holland West Ottawa (5-1): This is the hottest team in the O-K Red Division. The Panthers have won five straight but the largerst margin of victory was just 11 points (18-7 over Grand Haven).

23. Oxford (5-1): The Wildcats haven’t been 6-1 since 2008. Their only slip up came against Clarkston.

24. Sterling Heights Stevenson (5-1): The Titans have been one of the big surprises this season. Coach Kevin Frederick has pumped new life into this program.

25. Farmington Hills Harrison (5-1): A favorable schedule promises to have the Hawks at 7-1 when they face an OAA crossover, likely against Oxford or West Bloomfield.