Walled Lake,West Bloomfield,Orchard LakeOctober 23, 2013
Local teams gear up for final week of regular season
By Mike Moore
Western’s Torrez Nesbit (47) carries the ball during a 35-28 victory against Walled Lake Central. Western was 7-0 at press time. The Warriors end the regular season at Northville.
In the blink of an eye, or so it seems, the 2013 football regular season came and went.
With eight weeks in the books, local teams have just one contest remaining, yet plenty still rides on the line.
From playoff positioning to playoff lives, here’s a look at the remaining schedule for the local squads and just what’s at stake.
Every team’s eighth game was played after press time.
Walled Lake Western
At 7-0 through seven weeks, Western was a playoff lock with a chance to secure home field for a few rounds with wins in the final two weeks.
The Warriors faced Grand Blanc (6-1) after press time and close out the regular season at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at Northville High (6-1).
Western coach Mike Zdebski said he wasn’t sure if his team would be Division 1 or 2 come playoff time.
The Warriors reached the D-2 regional final a year ago before falling to eventual state champ Birmingham Brother Rice.
Walled Lake Northern
After a 2-2 start, Northern was 5-2 at press time and needed one win to secure a second consecutive playoff berth.
Last year was the first time the program had reached the postseason.
Northern faced Brighton High (5-2) in week eight.
The Knights travel to South Lyon High (5-2) at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 to close out the regular season.
Should they earn a win in either of their final two games, the Knights will likely be in the D-1 bracket.
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s
Things were less clear in Orchard Lake as the season hit its final two weeks.
Whether it was four straight trips to the state finals or just a brutal Catholic League schedule, something has caught up with the Eaglets this season.
Entering last weekend’s game against Davidson High, St. Mary’s was riding a three-game losing streak and was 3-4 overall.
However, the 2011 D-3 state champ would have a strong shot to make the playoffs if the season ended with two wins and a 5-4 record.
Given the schedule the Eaglets play — all four losses came to teams with a 5-2 record, or better — a pair of wins could extend the postseason streak to five years.
While St. Mary’s will not be part of the 2013 Prep Bowl, the team’s final game, set for Oct. 24 or Oct. 25, was still to be determined.
West Bloomfield High
After winning seven games the past three seasons, West Bloomfield began 2013 with a 39-12 win over Jackson High on the road.
The Lakers then stumbled three straight times.
Three wins later, and the first playoff berth since 2008 was begging to be snatched up.
West Bloomfield, 4-3 at press time, faced Pontiac High (0-7) Oct. 18.
While the final week’s crossover game could not be set until the Oakland Activities Association completed its first eight weeks, the Lakers will take on a team from the OAA White with what could be a chance to claim a playoff spot.
Walled Lake Central
It was a season of close calls for the Vikings, who were 1-6 at press time.
Despite the lopsided record, Central lost by single digits on three occasions this season, including a 35-28 setback to Western on Oct. 11.
The Vikings had two games remaining: an Oct. 18 game at home against Hartland High and then a 7 p.m. Oct. 25 game on the road at Hartland.
Official playoff positions will be announced Oct. 27.
The postseason kicks off Nov. 1.