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Top games around Michigan for Week 7 of the high school football season

By: Matthew B. Mowery, October 4, 2018, 1:00 pm

Here are some of the top games around the state in Week 7 of the 2018 MHSAA regular season. Several of the games will be featured on this week’s State Champs! recap show Sunday morning on Fox Sports Detroit. 

No. 9 Warren De La Salle (5-1, 2-0 CHSL Central) at No. 20 Davison (6-0, 4-0 SVL Blue)

A non-conference test for two teams that have extensive postseason aspirations. The reigning Division 2 champion, DeLaSalle has won five straight since a Week 1 loss to defending Division 3 champ Muskegon.

Defensively, Pilots have given up more than seven points just twice in six games — to Muskegon (36-21 loss) and to U-D Jesuit (41-20 win).

Pilots haven’t missed much of a beat with Nolan Schultz at QB, replacing the injured Anthony Stepnitz — he was 7-for-11 for 55 yards and a TD passing vs. St. Mary’s, ran nine times for two TDs. He was 7-for-11 for 141 yards, one touchdown and one interception vs. Jesuit, and ran three times for 24 yards and a TD.

He’s not going to put up Cannon Hall numbers, but that’s not his job.

Senior QB Cannon Hall has been spectacular for unbeaten Davison, running for three TDs in four of six games for Davison so far (and two in the other two games), and tossing two or more TD passes in four of six, as well.

For the season, Hall is 50-for-75 for 725 yards and 11 TDs passing and has carried the ball 89 times for 729 yards and 16 TDs. (HIGHLIGHTS WILL BE FEATURED ON SUNDAY’S SHOW ON FOX SPORTS DETROIT)

 

Frankenmuth (5-1, 4-0 TVC East) vs. Millington (5-1, 4-0 TVC East)

This is the battle for the divisional title in the Tri-Valley East, with Millington looking to knock off a Frankenmuth team that graduated a lot (including all five linemen) from the squads that made back-to-back trips to the Division 3 semifinals, losing by three to Menominee in 2016 and by four to Grand Rapids West Catholic last year.

Both have been powerhouses over the last decade. The Eagles are 65-11 since the start of the 2012 season. Millington’s had a run of its own, going 61-14 in that same span, and 93-19 since the start of 2009.

Frankenmuth has won three straight in the series.

If the Cardinals want a playoff berth, they need one more win, but face the Eagles, Alma (5-1) and Warren Michigan Collegiate (6-0) the rest of the way. Frankenmuth’s road isn’t much easier, facing Midland Bullock Creek and Freeland in the final two weeks. (HIGHLIGHTS WILL BE FEATURED ON SUNDAY’S SHOW ON FOX SPORTS DETROIT)

 

No. 19 Macomb Dakota (5-1, 2-1 MAC Red) at Romeo (5-1, 3-0 MAC Red)

In essence, it’s an elimination game for the Cougars, who already sit a game behind the Macomb Area Conference Red leaders, Romeo and Clinton Township Chippewa Valley.

It’s the Bulldogs, though, who have the best chance to stop Chippewa Valley’s push toward a MAC Red title. Still unbeaten in divisional play (Romeo’s only loss was by three points to Oxford in Week 1), the Bulldogs need to win to set up a winner-take-all battle with the Big Reds in Romeo in Week 8.

If Dakota wins, the Cougars can still get a share of the title, if they beat Utica Eisenhower and Romeo knocks off Chippewa Valley to forge a three-way tie.

The Cougars have lost two of the last three meetings vs. Romeo, last year by a 61-33 margin.

 

Dearborn Heights Crestwood (6-0, 5-0 Western Wayne) vs. Dearborn Heights Robichaud (6-0, 5-0 Western Wayne)

Robichaud, otherwise known as Tyrone Wheatley High, has matched its win total from last year, and clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 2015

Crestwood is coming off a 3-6 season, has had three winning seasons since 2002, and hasn’t won six games in a season since 2005 (6-4), its last playoff year. Along with 1991 and 2000, this will be the Chargers’ fourth playoff appearance in 59 seasons of football.

The Chargers will have a tough time keeping Robichaud’s passing attack in check.

Junior wideout Cameron Underwood (6-0, 150) recently took a visit to Cincinnati, and has 25 receptions for 572 yards and nine TDs.

Freshman quarterback David Williams threw for 341 yards and four TDs in 26-14 win over Redford Union, giving him more than 1,884 yards and 15 TDs on the season.

It’s a largely new conference alignment this year in the Western Wayne.

With Dearborn, Dearborn Fordson and Belleville leaving the Western Wayne-Red for the KLAA West, and Dearborn Edsel Ford going to the Downriver League, the remaining teams reshuffled into an eight-team conference.

An interesting dynamic going forward is that it looks like Crestwood will get a forfeit win over Livonia Clarenceville next week (Clarenceville forfeited last two, including game to Robichaud, and is planning a soccer homecoming on Oct. 12), while Robichaud has to play a 4-2 Garden City team that will be getting a forfeit win over Clarenceville this week. (HIGHLIGHTS WILL BE FEATURED ON SUNDAY’S SHOW ON FOX SPORTS DETROIT)

 

Oxford (4-2, 2-2 OAA Red) at Clarkston (6-0, 4-0 OAA Red)

The Wildcats started 3-1 for the first time since 2014, and just the second time since joining the OAA from the Flint Metro in 2010. They lost to both West Bloomfield by seven and Rochester Adams by nine, but still hold the only win over Romeo (5-1) so far this season.

The Wolves have given up double-digit points in just two games, a 28-25 win over West Bloomfield and a 30-21 win over Southfield A&T, averaging 12.8 points allowed per game.

Clarkston needs just one win in next two weeks — Oxford or Lake Orion — to clinch the OAA Red title. West Bloomfield (4-1) has Southfield A&T this week, and then is done with divisional play.

Surprisingly, for all their playoff success over the last five years, the Wolves haven’t won the league title outright since 2014. Last year, they finished tied for third with Bloomfield Hills behind West Bloomfield and Rochester Adams. In 2016, the Wolves shared the crown with Southfield A&T (both with one loss), and in 2015, West Bloomfield ran the table, beating Clarkston head-to-head for sole possession of the crown, reversing the result of the previous season.

 

South Lyon East (4-2, 4-1 Lakes Valley) at Walled Lake Western (4-2, 4-1 Lakes Valley) and South Lyon (6-0, 5-0 Lakes Valley) at Waterford Mott (4-2, 4-2 Lakes Valley)

Taken as a pairing, these two games will begin to sort out the mess that is the Lakes Valley Conference standings.

A win by Mott would likely leave the conference with three two-loss teams (Lakeland plays a winless Milford team this week) and two one-loss teams headed into Week 8, when South Lyon and Walled Lake Western square off.

If South Lyon wins, they’ll face off with either of the two teams — Western and East — that could make it through this week with one conference loss.

Got all that? Good. Quiz on Friday. (HIGHLIGHTS OF SOUTH LYON/MOTT WILL BE FEATURED ON SUNDAY’S SHOW ON FOX SPORTS DETROIT)

 

Fenton (5-1, 5-1 Flint Metro) at Flushing (4-2, 4-1 Flint Metro)

The Fenton Tigers have won or shared the Flint Metro title each of the last seven seasons, but both are chasing Swartz Creek (5-1, 5-0 FML) in the standings. Fenton has Swartz Creek next weekend to finish, while Flushing has Clio (1-5, 0-5) and Kearsley (2-4, 1-4).

Both these teams lost talented QBs to Grand Valley — Fenton Josh Czarnota (Flint area POY) and Flushing lost Cal Endicott — probably a part of early-season stumbles.

Flushing lost 16-13 to Swartz Creek in Week 2, while Fenton lost to Ortonville Brandon 26-21 in Week 1.

Last year, Fenton won the regular-season game (52-36), but Flushing won the playoff rematch, 28-21 in the district final.

 

Three Rivers (6-0, 6-0 Wolverine) at Edwardsburg (6-0, 6-0 Wolverine)

Eddies have a streak of four straight seasons with double-digit wins, making it to the semis in 2010, 2014, 2016, and to the finals last year (they lost to GRCC twice, Grand Rapids South Christian once and Muskegon once in those deep playoff runs). Since 2010, the Eddies are 85-14, and 70-7 in the regular season.

They’ve outscored their opponents 349-19 (that’s an average margin of victory of 55 points) and didn’t give up a score until Week 4.

Last team to beat the Eddies in the regular season? Three Rivers, 21-18. It was the first time the Wildcats had beaten them in six tries and it snapped a 34-game league winning streak (Eddies have won four straight conference titles). Edwardsburg got revenge with a 30-12 win in the D4 district finals.

Three Rivers’ defense has given up just 35 points, and only seven in the last four weeks. Jalen Heivilin — the Kalamazoo area POY last year — missed a couple of weeks with injury, but came back vs. Paw Paw two weeks ago.

 

Traverse City St. Francis (6-0, 4-0 NMFL-Legends) at Cheboygan (4-2, 3-1 NMFL-Legends)

St. Francis has already beaten Kingsley (43-8), the other title contender in the Legends Division in Tim Wooer’s return to the Stags’ bench. This week, they get the other 4-1 squad in the division, Cheboygan.

Kingsley plays Cheboygan next week, while St. Francis plays winless Kalkaska, before ending the season with a doozy of a non-conference game against New Lothrop.

The Gladiators have only given up 47 points on the season, and 30 of those came in wins over Glen Lake (50-12) and Benzie Central (55-18).

Cheboygan started 0-2, with its league loss coming in Week 2 against Grayling (32-26). The Chiefs haven’t made the playoffs since 2013, and were 9-26 over the last four seasons, before this year’s 4-2 start. They’ve been in the NMFL since 2016, after seven seasons as an independent, following the breakup of the Straits Area Conference, but haven’t really been a factor in the race either of the first two seasons.

 

Grass Lake (6-0, 5-0 Cascades) vs. Napoleon (5-1, 5-0 Cascades)

This is the matchup between the two unbeatens in the Cascades Conference, and may settle the race. Grass Lake has winless East Jackson next week, while Napoleon faces the league’s other 4-1 team, Michigan Center.

The Grass Lake Warriors were 5-4 last year, missed the playoffs, ending a streak of 12 straight postseason appearances.

Grass Lake has won at least a share of four of the last seven league titles, but hasn’t won it outright since 2011 (Addison won the league title last year, Grass Lake shared it with Napoleon in 2016, Manchester won it in 2015, 2014; GL/Manchester/Michigan Center split it in 2013, 2012).

 

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For this week’s Top 25 rankings, CLICK HERE.

For all the 6-0 playoff qualifiers and 5-1 teams on the brink, CLICK HERE.

 

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Fifteen more games to keep an eye on:

Grosse Ile (6-0, 5-0 Huron League) at Milan (5-1, 4-1 Huron League)

Dansville (5-1, 5-0 CMAC) at Pewamo-Westphalia (6-0, 5-0 CMAC)

Harbor Springs (6-0, 5-0 NMFL-Legacy) vs. Johannesburg-Lewiston (5-1, 3-0 NMFL-Legacy)

Iron River West Iron County (5-1, 4-0 West-PAC-B) vs. Ishpeming (6-0, 4-0 West-PAC-B)

Grand Rapids Catholic Central (5-1, 3-0 OK Blue) vs. Spring Lake (5-1, 3-1 OK Blue)

East Grand Rapids (4-2, 3-0 OK Gold) vs. Middleville (5-1, 3-1 OK Gold)

Lake Odessa Lakewood (5-1, 4-0 GLAC) vs. Olivet (6-0, 4-0 GLAC)

Detroit Mumford (5-1, 3-0 PSL Green) at No. 1 Detroit Cass Tech (6-0, 3-0 PSL Green)

Hemlock (5-1, 4-1 TVC West) vs. Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary (6-0, 5-0 TVC West)

Beaverton (5-1, 5-0 Jack Pine) at Clare (5-1, 4-1 Jack Pine)

Dearborn Fordson (5-1, 4-1 KLAA East) at Livonia Franklin (4-2, 4-1 KLAA East)

Breckenridge (6-0, 5-0 MSAC) vs. Carson City-Crystal (6-0, 5-0 MSAC)

Muskegon Oakridge (6-0, 5-0 West Mich. Conf.) vs. Montague (5-1, 5-0 West Mich. Conf.)

Muskegon Mona Shores (6-0, 3-0 OK Black) at Jenison (4-2, 2-1 OK Black)

Marine City (5-1, 2-1 MAC Silver) at St. Clair (4-2, 2-1 MAC Silver)