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Top 25 Michigan HS football teams after Week 8 of 2018 season: Muskegon moves up to No. 1 after knocking off Mona Shores

By: Matthew B. Mowery, October 15, 2018, 3:30 am

Week 8 saw some big changes in the rankings, with another previously unbeaten team taking its first loss, and a trio of teams dropping out after taking their second or third losses. A few teams clinched titles or shares of them, none more impressively than the team that’s now at the top, after handily winning a top-10 showdown. 

Here are the new rankings, headed into the final week of the regular season:

1 Muskegon (8-0, 5-0 OK Black) — If there was ever a time to pre-empt a No. 1 team that is coming off a win, it’s now. Muskegon — which had already beaten the teams ranked fourth (King) and seventh (De La Salle) in last week’s poll — pounded another top-10 team on Friday, earning the boost to the top spot. The Big Reds beat then-No. 8 Mona Shores, opening up a 28-7 lead, and then pulling away after the Sailors cut it to six, 41-35, at the start of the fourth, scoring the game’s final two touchdowns to win 55-35. Quarterback Cameron Martinez ran for 352 yards and six scores — both school records in the modern era — as the Big Reds posted 589 rushing yards as a team. That’s one-third of a mile, for those who want a visual representation. Three players topped the 100-yard plateau, and a fourth came up 4 yards short. Only Reeths-Puffer stands between the Big Reds and a second straight unbeaten regular season, as well as outright possession of the OK Black title. (Last week: 2) Up next: vs. Muskegon Reeths-Puffer

2 Cass Tech (8-0, 4-0 PSL Green) — The Technicians find themselves where they started the season (No. 2) through no fault of their own. Cass Tech did what it had to do in Saturday’s PSL A semifinal, thrashing an overmatched Detroit Renaissance team, 40-0, and have given up seven points in their last 24 quarters of play. Lew Nichols ran for a touchdown, and Jaren Mangham two, while Jordan Lowe had two scores and 134 yards on five carries. They’ll get to state their case to reclaim the No. 1 spot on Friday, when they get the much-awaited showdown with No. 4 Detroit King in the league championship game. (Last week: 1) Up next: vs. No. 4 Detroit King in PSL A title game, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Detroit Renaissance.

3 Belleville (8-0, 7-0 KLAA East) — Julian Barnett continued his roll since returning to full health, returning a kick for a score, and catching a touchdown pass, as Belleville beat Livonia Franklin, 56-6. Christian Dhue-Reid ran for two touchdowns and passed for two touchdowns for Belleville, which gets a rematch with Brighton in the KLAA title game. (Last week: 3) Up next: vs. No. 18 Brighton in KLAA championship game

4 Detroit King (7-1, 5-0 PSL Black) — The Crusaders beat Detroit Western, 57-0, in the PSL playoff semifinals, setting up a date with arch-rival Cass Tech in the PSL title game. King won last year’s league playoff meeting between the two teams, 17-7, before beating East English Village 21-0 in the title game. (Last week: 4) Up next: vs. No. 2 Detroit Cass Tech in PSL A title game, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Detroit Renaissance.

5 Clinton Twp. Chippewa Valley (8-0, 9-0 MAC Red) — David Ellis had to share the kick return glory with Carde Johnson, as both returned kickoffs for scores in the second half, as the Big Reds beat Romeo, 41-34, to clinch their first outright MAC Red crown ever (Chippewa Valley shared MAC Red titles in 2001, 2002, but hadn’t won an outright league title since 1975, in the St. Clair Area Conference.) Tommy Schuster threw a fourth-quarter TD pass to Marcel Lewis, and Ja’Von Kimpson added a rushing touchdown late. (Last week: 6) Up next: at Utica.

6 East Kentwood (7-1, 5-0 OK Red) — The Falcon defense picked off five passes, as East Kentwood beat Hudsonville, 48-3, to clinch a share of the OK Red Division title. Kionte Blakely had touchdowns on five of his 11 carries, finishing with 163 yards. (Last week: 9) Up next: vs. Rockford.

7 Clarkston (7-1, 5-1 OAA Red) — Jake Jensen ran for a touchdown and thew for another, as Clarkston beat Lake Orion, 24-14, to clinch the OAA Red title outright for the first time since 2014. (Last week: 11) Up next: vs. Oak Park.

8 Saline (7-1, 5-0 SEC Red) — The Hornets defense forced three turnovers, and gave up just one touchdown, as Saline beat Monroe, 28-6, to clinch its fifth straight Southeast Conference Red title. The Hornets have given up just 12 points in the last four games, and 83 all year long. Andrew Arbaugh threw for two scores, while Brendan Munday ran for two, and caught another. (Last week: 12) Up next: at Grand Blanc.

9 Lapeer (8-0, 5-0 SVL Blue) — Jalen Kirkland ran for 217 yards and a touchdown, and Brady Apple ran for the go-ahead score, as the Lightning beat White Lake Lakeland, 26-14, to stay undefeated. Cody Fick had a pair of field goals, and Austin Smith recovered a fumble in the end zone for Lapeer, which has a showdown with Davison for the division title upcoming. (Last week: 13) Up next: vs. No. 24 Davison.

10 Oak Park (7-1, 6-0 OAA White) — Phillip Stewart ran for two scores and 205 of his 275 total yards in the second half, as the Knights nearly erased a four-score halftime deficit, but the hole was too big, as they dropped their first game of the season to West Bloomfield, 27-21. (Last week: 5) Up next: at Clarkston.

11 River Rouge (7-1, 4-0 Michigan Metro Blue) — Recorded a 1-0 forfeit win over Melvindale AB&T (Last week: 10) Up next: vs. Southfield A&T.

12 Muskegon Mona Shores (7-1, 4-1 OK Black) — Without much from running back Sincer’e Dent, who played sparingly (6 yards, one TD) due to ankle and shoulder injuries, it fell on quarterback Caden Broersma to keep pace with Muskegon. He threw for 196 yards and a score, and ran for 63 and another TD, as the Sailors got within six points, 41-35, at the start of the fourth quarter, but couldn’t sustain it, losing 55-35. The Sailors still have a shot at their fourth regular season of one or fewer losses in the last five years. (Last week: 8) Up next: vs. Fruitport

13 Novi Detroit Catholic Central (6-2, 2-1 CHSL Central) — Quarterback Marco Genrich ran for 84 yards and a touchdown, and threw for 127 yards in his first full game back from a broken wrist, leading CC to a 10-7 win over No. 7 Warren DeLaSalle. The win sets up a replay next week for the Catholic League title, a scenario that was in jeopardy a week ago, after a loss to Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. The Shamrocks are starting to get healthy at just the right time to make a run. (Last week: 14) Up next: vs. Warren De La Salle in CHSL A-B championship at Ford Field, 7 p.m. Saturday.

14 Warren De La Salle (6-2, 2-1 CHSL Central) — The Pilots lost the battle of the line of scrimmage in Sunday’s Boys Bowl, and couldn’t get much going offensively, losing to Novi Detroit Catholic Central, 10-7. De La Salle’s big-play threat, Josh DeBerry, shook free once — thanks to a collision of DBs — for the Pilots’ lone score. (Last week: 7) Up next: vs. Novi Detroit Catholic Central in CHSL A-B championship at Ford Field, 7 p.m. Saturday.

15 West Bloomfield (6-2, 4-2 OAA Red) —  Linebacker Lance Dixon had 105 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries helping fill in for the injured Donovan Edwards, and added a sack and a blocked punt, as the Lakers built a 21-0 halftime lead and held on to beat previously undefeated Oak Park, 27-21. C.J. Harris threw a TD pass to Tyrone Bolden, and Tre Mosley returned an interception for a touchdown in the win, which clinched a playoff berth for the Lakers. (Last week: 15) Up next: vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s

16 DeWitt (8-0, 6-0 CAAC Blue) — The Panther defense held St. Joseph’s offense scoreless (the only TD was on a kick return) winning the non-conference matchup, 39-10. Blake Gatfield ran for three scores for DeWitt, which can clinch the CAAC Blue title outright with a win in Week 9. (Last week: 19) Up next: at Lansing Waverly

17 Zeeland East (7-1, 5-0 OK Green) — After falling behind 14-0 and 28-20 at the half, the Chix scored 28 straight points to eventually beat cross-town rival Zeeland West, 48-34. Gabel Taylor threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more, while Josh Fusco ran for 122 yards and two scores. It’s not the last conference test for the Chix, who now have to take on a one-loss Hudsonville Unity Christian squad for the OK Green title. (Last week: 18) Up next: at Hudsonville Unity Christian

18 Brighton (7-1, 7-0 KLAA West) — After missing the rivalry game a year ago, with an injured shoulder, Will Jontz ran for 217 yards and three scores, as Brighton won the Battle for Livingston County by beating Howell, 31-20, and regaining the Little Brown Jug trophy. The Bulldogs clinched the KLAA West Division outright with the win, and will face KLAA East champ No. 3 Belleville — the same opponent as Week 1 — in the league championship on Friday. (Last week: 21) Up next: at No. 3 Belleville in KLAA championship game.

19 Mt. Pleasant (8-0, 6-0 SVL Red) — The Oilers rallied from a 10-0 deficit to beat Midland Dow, 14-10, clinching at least a share of the Saginaw Valley League Red Division title. Jackson Ostrowsky threw for one touchdown and ran for another in the win. Mt. Pleasant’s defense has allowed 54 points in eight games. (Last week: 22) Up next: at Saginaw Heritage

20 South Lyon (8-0, 7-0 LVC) — The Lions built a 21-0 first-quarter lead, and held on to beat Walled Lake Western, 29-19, to clinch the Lakes Valley Conference title. Ian Goins had 118 yards and two scores for South Lyon, which offset the 119 yards and two scores by Western’s C.J. Brown. The only team standing between the Lions and their first 9-0 regular season since 1995 is cross-town rival South Lyon East, which beat South Lyon for the first time in 11 tries last season. (Last week: 23) Up next: at South Lyon East

21 Jackson (8-0, 7-0 SEC White) — Exziar Edwards had two early touchdowns before leaving the game early, but it was plenty as Jackson beat Pinckney, 57-7, for the first 8-0 start in program history. Micah Cretsinger had 128 yards rushing and two scores, and caught another touchdown for the Vikings. (Last week: 24) Up next: at Lake Fenton

22 Grosse Pointe South (8-0, 6-0 MAC White) — Five different players ran for touchdowns, and Grosse Pointe South scored on eight of nine possessions, beating Grosse Pointe North, 54-0, to clinch a third straight MAC White Division title, and its first 8-0 start since 1983. The stingy South defense, which has posted four shutouts and allowed 43 points on the season, recorded a safety, four sacks and a fumble recovery. (Last week: 25) Up next: vs. Romeo

23 Dearborn Fordson (7-1, 6-1 KLAA East) — The Tractors have played their way back into the rankings, finishing second in the KLAA East Division, behind No. 3 Belleville — their only loss on the season to date. Fordson has won two straight, including Friday, when James Wheeler scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, and Ali Saad added a fourth-quarter field goal, as the Dearborn defense and rainy conditions conspired to slow down Fordson’s normally prolific offense. (Last week: NR) Up next: vs. Canton in KLAA crossover.

24 Davison (7-1, 5-0 SVL Blue) — The Cardinals are another team that was in the rankings before, but probably didn’t deserve to drop out after a tough-luck loss, but now they’re back, just in time for the league-title showdown with the Lapeer Lightning. A week after the offense was stifled by Warren De La Salle, Cannon Hall threw for 213 yards and three scores and rushed for another touchdown in a 63-6 dismantling of Saginaw Arthur Hill on Friday. Mike Jamerson ran for 126 yards and three scores on just seven carries. (Last week: NR) Up next: at No. 9 Lapeer.

25 Birmingham Seaholm (7-1, 6-0 OAA Blue)/Birmingham Groves (6-2, 6-1 OAA White) — Maybe it’s a cop-out to put both in, but both sides of the upcoming Battle for Birmingham have proven worthy of the spot. A one-win team a year ago, Seaholm’s only loss so far this season was by three on the road at No. 20 South Lyon, while Groves’ only two losses came in the first two weeks of the season, to No. 10 Oak Park and No. 15 West Bloomfield. They’ll play Friday to see who gets to keep the spot, going into the playoffs. Chase Mentag ran for 203 yards and a score, as Seaholm beat Farmington, 21-0, to clinch the OAA Blue title. Groves is coming off a 25-6 win over Farmington Hills Harrison which clinches second place for the Falcons in the OAA White. Damonte McCurdy had two rushing touchdowns, while Khalil Dawsey returned a kickoff 90 yards for a score. (Last week: NR) Up next: Seaholm at Groves


Dropped out: No. 16 Walled Lake Western (5-3, 5-2 LVC); No. 17 Macomb Dakota (6-2, 3-2 MAC Red); No. 20 Farmington Hills Harrison (5-3, 4-2 OAA White).


Ten others to keep an eye on: Saginaw Swan Valley (8-0, 5-0 TVC Central); Grand Rapids Catholic Central (7-1, 5-0 OK Blue); Jackson Lumen Christi (8-0, 7-0 Interstate-8);  Pewamo-Westphalia (8-0, 7-0 CMAC); New Lothrop (8-0, 7-0 MMAC); Edwardsburg (8-0, 8-0 Wolverine Conf.); Madison Heights Madison (8-0, 5-0 MAC Silver); Traverse City St. Francis (8-0, 6-0 NMFL-Legends);  Dearborn Heights Crestwood (8-0, 7-0 Western Wayne); Calumet (8-0, 6-0 West-PAC-A)


For Week 1 rankings, CLICK HERE

For Week 2 rankings, CLICK HERE

For Week 3 rankings, CLICK HERE

For Week 4 rankings, CLICK HERE

For Week 5 rankings, CLICK HERE

For Week 6 rankings, CLICK HERE

For Week 7 rankings, CLICK HERE