Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Marine City/ Grosse Ile Preview

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

Thursday, November 10, 2011

GI/Pennfield Playoff Preview

Grosse Ile (9-2) @ Battle Creek Pennfield (11-0) Saturday 1 pm: Pennfield enters the game as Champions of the Kalamazoo-Valley Conference and have qualified for the playoffs for 13 straight seasons. The storied program from the "Land of Cereal" has a .700 winning pct all time and own a 1991 State Championship. Grosse Ile enters the Regional after defeating two PSL teams after qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

The Panthers are flying high after defeating Lansing Sexton 14-6 in the District Final. Sexton had defeated Pennfield last season 47-14 in the District. The Panthers are led offensively by senior QB Nicolas Acton along with senior RB's Nathan Wallace, Cole Whitney and Roy Herpin.

The Panther defense has only given up 90 points in 2011 and is led by LB Tyler Grimes, DL Josh Nicolaisen, and DE Levi Hamlin. The Panthers are extremely physical on defense and have been opportunistic on defense all season.

Grosse Ile will counter offensively with a diversified attack led by senior QB Rob White. The Red Devils boast two more playmakers in the backfield with senior RB Alex Kish and junior RB Jordan Nellenbach.

Defensively, the Islanders are led by LB Corey Groff who made seemingly every tackles in last week's District Final win over Detroit Douglass. A healthy Tyler Judd in the defensive secondary should help keep the Panther passing game off balance.

This should be an exciting game in what will most likely be a sold out venue at Pennfield. The Panthers uniforms and helmets match those of metro Detroit's famed Farmington Hills Harrison and that may not be a good thing for the Red Devils. Look for this to be a fun and entertaining game between two solid teams. Pennfield is eyeing an undefeated season but may have benefited last week with Sexton's QB and all everything Willie Dillard not playing. I'm calling the upset here. Pick: Grosse Ile 28 Pennfield 27

Saturday, November 5, 2011

I Can't Believe....

First let me say congrats to Grosse Ile.

I can't believe Grosse Ile won that game.

I can't believe Douglass had a 320 lb FB.

I can't believe the lights went out during the game.

I can't believe it took GI four plays to score a TD from the 2" line.

I can't believe Alex Kish ran down Javonte Simpson on a break away.

I can't believe that Douglass went for it on 4 and 3 on their own 9 yard line with 3:10 to go in the game and nursing a 22-14 lead.

I can't believe the ref threw a flag on a 60 yard scoring run by Douglass when the Red Devils stacked the line of scrimmage with 9 guys yet the flag occurred 12 yards down the field.

I can't believe Douglass threw a pass that resulted in an interception on 1st and 10 with 2:03 to go in the game while hanging on to a two point lead.

I can't believe Alex Kish ran 61 yards for the winning touchdown.

I can't believe Grosse Ile won that game.

I can't believe how much I ate at the Motor City Casino buffet after the game.

I can't believe Pennfield beat Sexton.

Congrats to Grosse Ile.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Night Playoff Scoreboard

Grosse Ile 26 Frederick Douglass 22
Battle Creek Pennfield 14 Lansing Sexton 6
Ecorse 32 Madison Heights Madison 14

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Playoff Preview

Grosse Ile (8-2) vs Detroit Frederick Douglass (9-1) Friday 7:00 pm @ Detroit Northwestern: This is the first ever meeting between the Red Devils and the Hurricanes. Grosse Ile's two losses came to the Huron League champion Airport and to cross river rival Riverview. Both of those teams were playoff qualifiers. The Hurricane's lone loss was to playoff qualifier detroit Henry Ford in week 4. The Canes avenged that loss with a 28-0 shutout of the Tojans in the PSL Division II Championship game.

Historically Frederick Douglass is hardly a football power. The school boast a paltry .277 winning pct and has only 1 playoff win in school history which came over PSL rival Detroit Southwestern last week 26-18. Meanwhile Grosse Ile is making their first playoff apprearance since 2004 when the Islanders advanced all the way to the Division 4 semi-finals. Grosse Ile has an overall playoff record of 5-7 but boast a winning percentage of .532 all time in the regular season.

The Grosse Ile Red Devils have a prolific offense that averages over 36 ppg. They are led be arguably the best QB in Huron League history in senior Rob White. White has thrown for 1,479 yards and 16 TD's this season with a QB rating of 122. White has also rushed for nearly 600 yards and 8 TD's. The devils are hardly a one man show on offense. Running backs Alex Kish and Jordan Nellenbach have combined for over 1800 yards and 26 TD's. Plowing the way for the high powered offense has been solid line play led by senior OT Vince Berardi.

While offense seems to be Grosse Ile's strong suit, the Devils biggest improvement has come on defense where they boast speed and athleticism. This season the Islanders have given up 18 ppg compared to the 2010 season of 34 ppg. The defense is led by senior LB Corey Groff and senior DB Tyler Judd. The defensive line has improved this season and is led by senior Joe Alongi and Berardi.

Detroit Douglass is led offensively by 6-1 190 lb junior QB Kory Peterson. The Canes are averaging nearly 30 ppg with much of the firepower coming from 200 lb junior RB Demetrius Stinson. Stinson learned the game playing for the famed Westside Steelers of the Police Athletic league. Stinson has carried for over 1300 yards and 16 TD's this season. The other back for the Canes is senior speedster Javonte Simpson. This tandem gives the Canes a solid tandem that has kept defenses off balance all season.

Defense is the strong side of the ball for Frederick Douglas this season and is the reason the Canes qualified for the playoffs. The defense gives up a meager 10 ppg and has recorded three shutouts this season. The defense is led by 240 lb MLB Marquise Steward while the defensive line is anchored by 320 lb DT Donovan Howard. Patrolling the secondary for the Canes will be sophomore DB Omari Taylor.

This will be an entertaining matchup that could include some offensive fieworks. Don't be surprised if this ends up a low scoring defensive struggle. Contrary to popular opinion the Canes are well coached and are a disciplined football team. Field conditions should be perfect on the beautiful Northwestern football field Friday Night. One thing to look at is both of Grosse Ile's losses have come on the road this season while the Hurricanes have not left the city of Detroit all season. Pick: Grosse Ile 21 Frederick Douglass 14