Grosse Ile (10-2) vs. Marine City (12-0) @ Birminghaam Groves 1:00 pm Saturday: Grosse Ile is in the playoffs for the first time since 2004 and has made an improbable march to the semi-finals after finishing in 3rd place in the Huron League. Marine City has been one of the top ranked teams in Division IV all season. The Mariners have only lost 13 times in the last decade. Coincidently it was the Red Devils of Grosse Ile that ended Marine City's undefeated season in 2004 by defeating the Mariners in the Division IV Regional Final 26-15.
Grosse Ile has been led the last four seasons by senior QB Rob White. White has thrown for 16 TD's and has run for another 10 this season. Senior RB Alex Kish provides game breaking speed and has rushed for nearly 1400 yards and has scored 19 TD's. Junior Jordan Nellenbach is the X-factor for the Red Devils and has carried the ball for over 900 yards and has scored 10 TD's.
Defense has been the biggest area of improvement for the Islanders this season. GI has excellent team speed and an outstanding LB in senior Corey Groff. The All Huron League selection has picked up his game in the playoffs and will be counted on heavily against the Mariners deceiving straight T attack.
Marine City is in the middle of what perhaps is the schools greatest season in school history. Marine City won the 2007 Divison IV State Championship but finished 13-1 that season after an opening week 1 loss to Downriver opponent Melvindale. Offensively the Mariners run a T attack much like the Huron League's SMCC or Monroe Jefferson. Marine City is led by Central Michigan commitment and the coaches son Anthony Scarcelli. The 6'0" 190 lb senior RB has rushed for 1700 yards and 31 TD's. Senior RB Jamie Salisbury is a nice compliment to Scarcelli in the backfield. Salisbury has rushed for 940 yards and 11 TD's.
Defensively the Mariners are giving up 14 points per game but aren't afraid to get in a shootout with opposing teams. The defense is led by LB Aaron Loconsole. The 185 lb senior is averaging nearly 9 tackles a game. Senior LB J.J. Russell plays at 255 lbs and is the second leading tackler on the team.
Once again, Grosse Ile will be faced against a tradition rich football power. The Mariners road through the playoffs includes some wins over excellent teams. Marine City will most likely be the best team that the Red Devils will have faced all season. Pick: Marine City 31 Grosse Ile 21