Three weeks have flown by and week four is upon us!
There are many great matchups this week but a couple have caught my eye...
The first one is the battle in the Catholic League between two perennial powers Birmingham Brother Rice and Warren De La Salle.
Well start with the home team, De La Salle comes off a big 40-19 win over Dearborn Fordson last week pushing their record to 2-1. The Pilots were strong on both sides of the ball which had to have made Coach Paul Verska very pleased. While star quarterback Shane Morris hasn't been off the charts through the first three games, running back Demorria Lilly has. Lilly ran all over the Fordson defense last week accounting for 227 yards and two touchdowns. On defense, De La Salle has been led by the play of junior linebacker Jared Wangler. He's made big plays all over the field throughout the season for the Pilots, including last week's interception return for a touchdown. His huge sack later in the game set up a Lilly touchdown. De La Salle will need Shane Morris to improve this week and give them more offensive balance if they are going to get the W against an always tough Brother Rice defense.
Brother Rice will look to continue their dominance that they displayed against St. Francis de Sales. The Warriors scored with ease in their 42-24 win. The offensive balance was the key as Cheyne Lacanaria threw two touchdowns, and three different running backs got in the end zone. Lacanaria was near perfect in his 17 throws that totaled 171 yards. The running game though, has been the big strength for this squad. They have totaled 462 rushing yards and scored eight touchdowns in the first three games. Defensively is where there needs to be some improvement in this week's matchup. They have given up 18.6 points per game to this point in the season, and while that may not seem like a lot, Coach Al Fracassa has to want that number to come down if they are to repeat as champs this season.
Lieutenant Dan's Prediction: Brother Rice 24, Warren De La Salle 21
Game number two on my watch list is an OAA matchup, as Southfield takes on Oak Park. Southfield rolled over North Farmington last week 44-0. They got out to a 37-0 halftime lead and didn't look back as the running clock was used for the entire second half. Jeremy Gates was the leader of the balanced attack, rushing for 87 yards and two scores. Jordan Cry, Southfield's star linebacker, had another strong game leading the defense with eight tackles and even scooped up a fumble and took it back 70 yards for a score. The Blue Jays will hope to get back star wide receiver Brandon Bean for this game as he sat out last week with an injury.
Oak Park, who is unbeaten on the season, has been one of the biggest surprises of this young campaign. They have beaten some very solid teams in Rochester Adams and East English Village Prep. In their 34-22 win over Adams last week Malik Washington rushed for 173 yards and four touchdowns. They also recovered an onside kick late in the game that ended the charge by Adams. Sophomore John Kelly has been a big surprise for this team as he has made plays on both sides of the ball. Kelly had a key interception to end last week's game. He will need to continue to be the x-factor if Oak Park is to beat a solid Southfield team.
Lieutenant Dan's Prediction: Oak Park 31, Southfield 17
Other Games to Watch: AA Gabriel Richard vs. Pontiac ND Prep, Oxford vs. Farmington, and Grosse Pointe North vs. Chippewa Valley