Only 68 teams left in this year's state tournament and this week has some highly anticipated game's that everyone will be excited to see.
One of the top matchup's of the week takes place on Friday night as Macomb Dakota travels to Lake Orion.
Dakota comes off a big, 42-17, dismantling of longtime rival L'Anse Cruise North last Friday night in their District Championship showdown. The Cougars played well in all facets of the game last week, and continued what they have done all year, score a lot of points and play solid defense. Dakota got down early but came charging back with a huge second half. Defensive back Mustafa Abdur-Rahman played a stellar game taking back a kickoff for a touchdown. Abdur-Rahman also blanketed the Crusaders receivers all night, intercepting two passes. The win over L'Anse Cruise gave Dakota its 10th district championship in school history. The Cougars will need to continue their hot play this week and start much faster if they are to win in Lake Orion.
The Dragons played a hard fought defensive battle last week defeating Utica Eisenhower, 10-7. Ike got up on them early and held the lead until 1:58 left in the game. That's when a great play call by Lake Orion changed the momentum. A 32 yard halfback pass from Corey Ester to Chaz Miller set up a 4 yard touchdown run by quarterback Derek Delaura. The Dragons were able to hold on from there and take the district crown. Coach Chris Bell was proud of the way his team handled the tough game and battle for four quarters. He will need better play from the offense though if they are able to keep up with the scoring of Macomb Dakota.
I see this one being a defensive struggle, where the team who makes the fewest mistakes comes out victorious. I think Lake Orion, at home, will get it done.
Lieutenant Dan's Prediction: Lake Orion 13, Dakota 7
Another of this week's hard hitting matchups will take place Saturday afternoon, as Detroit East English Village Prep travels to Orchard Lake St. Mary's.
East English scored 63 points in their blowout win of St. Clair. St. Clair didn't stand a chance in this one, as the Bulldogs put up points all over the field. Star running back and North Illinois commit, Desmond King did all of his work early, amounting for 155 yards and four touchdowns on just 10 carries. Nate Boulware also had a big game for East English scoring two touchdowns, including a 65 yard punt return. The Bulldogs still have that awful taste in their mouth from their loss to King in the city final, which has caused their strong play. It will need to continue this week as OLSM's defense is one of the best.
St. Mary's has been under the radar all season long, but have played some great football throughout. It continued last week as they downed Avondale, 49-14. They showed their always dominate running game in this one, led by Senior fullback Grant Niemiec. Niemiec accounted for 153 yards and three scores. The defense continued its great play allowing only seven points until late and never gave Avondale room to breathe. They will need to continue that blueprint this week if they are to stop the ultra-talented Bulldogs.
I see this one similar to the way OLSM played Cass Tech earlier this season, with strong defense and controlling the line of scrimmage. OLSM pulls this one out.
Lieutenant Dan's Prediction: St. Mary's 20, East English 10