SMCC (8-1) is coming off of an impressive 49-20 win over Lansing Catholic Central while River Rouge (7-1) blasted winless Detroit Henry Ford 52-0. These teams last met in 1988 with SMCC winning that game 12-6. SMCC holds the all time series edge 9-2.
River Rouge returned to a repectable program in 2010 with the arrival of coach Corey Parker. The former Detroit DePorres and Eastern Michigan player has led the Panthers to 4 straight playoff appearances.
The Panthers have averaged over 50 ppg since an opening game shut out loss to state power Lowell. Rouge is led offensively by Juan Kemp and Justin Patterson. Defensively, Havert Beal and Kelan Reeder lead the defense which has pitched three consecutive shut outs.
SMCC continues to just do what they do. The Falcons run the ball effectively with a host of RB's led by Josh Czarniowski. The offense is led by signal caller Bryce Windham and averages 40 ppg on the season. Defensively, the Falcons have struggled the last four games but three of those games still resulted in victories.
This is a tough game to figure out. Rouge has been impressive against a schedule that resembles a JV team with the exception of week 1. SMCC's only loss came at undefeated Milan. It might take the Panthers a quarter to get going after playing teams that were a combined 0-26 the last three weeks. That may be too little too late for Rouge against this traditional state power. Pick: SMCC 36 River Rouge 18