8 key high school games to watch in Metro Detroit this week

Wyandotte Roosevelt bears down on title; Cass Tech vs King in DPSL semi's

By John Hetzler

For Wyandotte Roosevelt, the key to a good offense is a good defense. And vice versa.

Everything’s clicking for the undefeated Bears, who head into a showdown against 7-0 Gibraltar Carlson with the Downriver League championship up for grabs.

“We’re excited as can be,” Roosevelt coach Ron Adams said. “It’s a great opportunity for our coaches, players, fans, and program.”

The Bears have dominated opponents this year, averaging 42.3 points per game, and they have given up only 26 points all season. The Bears have scored that many points in all but one game this year.

“The key offensively is good defense,” Adams said.

Linebackers Allen Woodward, Andrew Murasky and Preston Grew set the tone with a big assist from linemen Hunter Sauve and Nick Robinson.

Add to the mix a strong kicking game led by Josh Castillo, whose kickoffs often result in touchbacks, and the offense often has benefited from good field position.

The Bears have taken advantage thanks in part to senior quarterback Richie Miller.

“He’s grown a lot as a player,” Adams said. “He’s done a good job running the offense. He has the toughness you need in a quarterback.”

Adams said Miller has become more patient in the pocket, allowing him to connect for several big passing plays.

Miller has several capable receivers, paced by senior Ryley Stewart. And the offense has balance with Woodward, whom Adams calls a “workhorse,” at running back.

Roosevelt has qualified for the state playoffs for the 12th consecutive year, but the Bears still have to contend with Gibraltar Carlson for the Downriver League crown.

Carlson has proved just as impressive this year, equaling Roosevelt’s point total (296) through the first seven games.

The Marauders also have claimed their first playoff appearance since 2009, according to michigan-football.com.

“They have a lot of athleticism,” Adams said.

Coaching countdown

Farmington Hills Harrison coach John Herrington needs one victory to become the state’s leader in career victories.

With Harrison’s victory over Oak Park last week, Herrington tied former Birmingham Brother Rice coach Al Fracassa for first place in MHSAA history with his 430th win.

Herrington can surpass Fracassa with a victory over Berkley on Friday. The Bears are 1-6 this season. 

Other games to watch

Detroit Cass Tech vs. Detroit Martin Luther King. The defending Division 1 state champion, Detroit Cass Tech, takes on the two-time defending Division 2 state champion, Detroit King, in the Detroit Public Schools League semifinal matchup. The game will be played Saturday at 2 p.m. at Detroit Northwestern.

Algonac at Richmond. The winner claims the Blue Water Area Conference championship. Richmond is undefeated, and Algonac enters with a 6-1 record. The Muskrats haven’t lost since an opening week setback to Marine City.

Detroit Catholic Central at Warren De La Salle. The two top teams in the Catholic League Central Division battle for first place. Detroit Catholic Central has won three in a row, and both teams are 5-2.

Troy at Oak Park. The winner records its sixth win of the season and clinches a playoff spot. Troy defeated Birmingham Seaholm 13-2 last week, while Oak Park tries to rebound after having its five-game winning streak snapped in a 17-14 loss to Farmington Hills Harrison.

Grosse Pointe North at Roseville. The host Panthers can wrap up first place in the MAC Blue Division and their first playoff berth since 2011 with a victory. GPN can spoil Roseville’s party and claim a share of the league championship.

Hazel Park at Ferndale. Hazel Park looks to claim the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division championship and a spot in the playoffs. Ferndale, which already has qualified for the postseason, looks to stake a claim to the league title, too.

Numbers to know

One: The number of overtime games in Week 7. Redford Thurston defeated Redford Union 42-40 in 2OT.

37: The number of undefeated teams remaining this season.

114: The number of points scored in Clare’s 68-46 victory over Sanford Meridian Early College, the most in Week 7.

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