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November 18, 2012

The Stage is Set

Division 1
Detroit Catholic Central (9-4) 61.952 vs. Detroit Cass Tech (11-2) 84.778 - S 1:00 PM at Ford Field

DCC has been wanting this re-match all year. After getting embarrassed by Cass Tech in the Finals last year, they have been talking about revenge. Senior RB Anthony Darkangelo has been running all over opponents, but can CC stop Cass Tech's potent offense? Coach Mach is a brilliant coach, but does he have the personnel to cover the Cass receiving corps? They tried to match up man-to-man last year and got completely exposed. Will they move to a zone defense or risk getting shredded? Another epic showdown.

Division 2
Muskegon (12-1) 106.667 vs. Birmingham Brother Rice (11-2) 82.730 - F 1:00 PM at Ford Field

The defending State Champs (Brother Rice) have made it to Ford Field once again, and this time they face one of the most athletic teams in the state. It's going to be "grind-it-out" vs "thunder-and-lighting." These two teams have only played each other twice in the past ten years, and Muskegon took both of those games. Rice will have to rely on their big linemen like Griffin Anderson to control the line, and John Reschke to cover the run from sideline to sideline. Muskegon will use fullback John King to pound it up the middle and guys like Marcus Smith to break it to the outside.

Division 3
Grand Rapids Christian (12-1) 101.000 vs. Orchard Lake St Mary's (11-2) 93.222 - S 7:30 PM at Ford Field

GR Christian might have the most explosive offense in the state with QB Alex VanDeVusse and WR Drake Harris. They will definitely put the young and talented OLSM secondary to the test. They haven't done very well against the pass this year, so that will definitely be the difference. They'll have to figure out a way to match up, and GR Christian will have to figure out a way to stop Grant Niemiec. No other team has figured that out yet, so they've got their work cut out for them. We expect OLSM QB Matt Linehan to throw a little more than normal to keep things balanced.

Division 4
Grand Rapids South Christian (10-3) 67.000 vs. Detroit Country Day (11-2) 83.889 - F 7:30 PM at Ford Field

This is going to be a show. Both teams are solid all the way around and can put up points in a hurry. DCD beat Swan Valley 38-0 to advance, while South Christian took out a very strong Comstock Park squad. These teams are both playing on all-cylinders, so we're expecting this to be one of the best games of the weekend. It will be interesting to see what South Christian will do to slow down the DVD three-headed monster of juniors QB Tyler Weigers, RB Richard Wilson and WR Maurice Ways.

Division 5
Grand Rapids West Catholic (10-3) 76.333 vs. Portland (12-1) 91.444 - S 4:30 PM at Ford Field
West Catholic won it all in 2010, and made a strong run last year. Portland, on the other hand, hasn't made it out of Districts in years, and they've never played in a State Championship game. But, with wins over Flint Powers and Gabriel Richard, the Red Raiders have shown that they can beat anybody. West Catholic has TE Jordan VanDort, who is a match-up nightmare. We expect him to have a monster game.

Division 6
Ithaca (13-0) 87.111 vs. Constantine (11-2) 61.222 - F 4:30 PM at Ford Field

This is another re-match from 2011. Ithaca has won the past two Championship games so they are looking for a three-peat. Constantine probably feels like they learned a lot from last year, and will be ready with their dominating ground game.

Division 7
Ishpeming (12-1) 70.444 vs. Detroit Loyola (13-0) 96.000 - S 10:00 AM at Ford Field

I don't want to brag, but I predicted this one before the playoffs even start. Well, I guess I will brag. I predicted Keymonne Gabriel would go off for Loyola during the playoffs and he has. I predicted Ishpmening was the Sleeper Team of the division. I also predicted that Loyola would win it all, and I'm going to stick by that prediction now. Ishpeming is great, but they are about to face speed like they've never seen before. Ishpeming will put up a great fight, but I fully expect Loyola to run away with this one.

Division 8
Beal City (13-0) 84.444 vs. Harbor Beach (12-1) 69.222 - F 10:00 AM at Ford Field
Beal City won it all in 2009 and they haven't lost a game all season, which makes them a powerhouse program. Harbor Beach hasn't been to the Finals since 1991 when they lost to Muskegon CC, but they have been outstanding the past two seasons. Beating MCC this week showed everyone that they are legit contenders. Beal City has pretty much crushed everyone they've played this season except Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart, but they beat them twice. They are ready for anything. Often, the D8 games are blowouts, but his should be a great one.

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