Congrats to the OC football squads at Clarkston, Birmingham Brother Rice, Birmingham Detroit Country Day, Orchard Lake St. Mary's, and Madison Heights Madison, who all brought home district championships on Friday night with big time wins. Each of these teams - representing the county's elite - brought the the thunder on the field and came away with decisive victories along with the requisite hardware.
First off, i lwant to say I ove the fact that Rice's Adam Gorski and DCD's Brett Bukari both booted FG's in Friday's games and then will suit up for their respective school's soccer teams and compete for a state championship on Saturday afternoon. Gorski and Bukari are top of the line competitors and first class gentlemen athletes who deserve commending for their ardent dedication to their schools. Way to go Adam and Brett - Keep getting your "Deon Sanders" on and doing your school colors proud. Two State Titles in the same season? Its possible and would be quite an impressive feat.
St. Mary's continued to show why its a lot better than its .500 regular season record would indicate with the 35-21 road defeat of previously unbeaten Melvindale. The Eaglets treacherous regular season schedule is finally baring fruit with two straight commanding playoff performances - the Melvindale win and the demolishing of Detroit Central last week. Ernest Thomas once again showed why he's one of the most versatile football players in the state and a valued recruit for the Pac-10 UCLA Bruins, scoring three rushing TD's on offense for the second consecutive week and holding down things on the defensive side of the ball for the Eaglets in back-to-back stalwart outings.
Speaking of impressive road wins by Catholic League powers, Brother Rice went on the road and clobbered a very good RH Adams team 24-7. After struggling for much of the second half of the year with a stagnant offense, the Warriors have switched things up - mixing in several alternate formations with some added new personnel- and is starting to fly right once again. A running game that had looked to have hit a brickwall while the team ended the regular season on a three game losing slide, is showing signs of major life. Rice ran for over 200 against a stout Adams "D". Junior Running Backk, Jimmy Pickens (also a highly-recruited and bellringing strong safety), one of the hardest runners in the area, bruised and banged his way to a game-high 115 yards on 22 carries to go along with one rushing score. Frankie Popp helped Rice jump in front of Adams early with two well-placed TD passes in the first half - a pair of 18-yarders to starting wideouts Kevonte Martin-Manley and Nate Saldivar-Garcia. Breaking out of a minor slump himself, Popp carved up the opposing Highlanders secondary for 122 yards through the air., while connecting on 7-of-13 throws.
Country Day made fast work of Madison Heights Lamphere trouncing the Rams 45-6 and hoisting its third straight district title trophy. Joe MaClean scored the Yellowjackets first two td's of the game - one on "D", the other on "O" - and standout junior field general Josh Harris delivered the pill perfectly all night long. Junior tailback Lee Bailey put in two rushing scores and the boyz in blue and gold erupted for 25 points in the second quarter.
Clarkston remained undefeated by handedly taking care of Romeo 21-3. Senior QB Tyler Scarlett showed why he's one of the best around by lighting-up the Bulldogs "D" for 170 yards and 3 tds, while connecting on 11-of-20 of his passing attempts. Scarlett also proved an elusive double-threat, sprinting for 88 yards on 16 carries via a number of well-executed qb sneaks and scrambles. His 40-yard scoring bomb to Derek Booker in the first quarter got the scoring started and the Wolves never lookd back from there, limiting Romeo all-state RB Ben Brown to only 85 yards on the ground.
Madison trucked Capac 25-7 and got TD's from Tony Lowry and Valdez Showers - both on 1-yard scoring plunges.