Berkley High, Ferndale High football teams clash Oct. 12

By: Christian Davis | Woodward Talk | Published October 9, 2012

When the Berkley High and Ferndale High football teams get together, coaches from both squads know it’s going to be physical.

This year’s installment is at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 at Ferndale.

The past two meetings have been decided by seven points or less, both were wins by Berkley.

“It was a dogfight last year,” Berkley coach Jeff Burnside remembered. “They were really tough. They play a physical style of football, and they don’t make too many mistakes. They keep the game close and try to win it at the end.”

Berkley is 3-4 overall and 3-3 in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division. The Bears are averaging 28 points per game, but letting up 25.

The Bears are looking to bounce back after losing three of their last four.

“We’ve just had some fumbles at some very inopportune times,” Burnside said. “It’s just little plays here and there. When you’re playing your ‘murderer’s row’ ... Seaholm, Avondale and Lahser, little mistakes add up.”

Burnside believes the deciding factor against Ferndale will be the run game.

“We have to stop their power run game. They are very athletic and typically have strong offensive linemen. If they’re gashing us on the run, it’s going to be a long night for us,” he said. “For us, we just have to execute. We have to make sure we get to our blocks and stay on the blocks.”

Ferndale is 3-4 and 2-4 in the Blue. The Eagles have been inconsistent on both sides of the ball, and coach Ryan Dunlap hopes that changes against the Bears.

“Defensively, we will have to adjust to their multiple formations on offense and do a better job against the run than we have so far this season,” he said. “We are playing well and getting multiple stops inside our own 20, but we bend too much out in the rest of the field.”

Dunlap noted that his offense has been “polar opposite” of his defense. The unit has moved the ball well between the 20s, but runs out of gas in scoring situations.

“Drops have been a big issue for us, as has the inconsistent play of our offensive line,” he said. “Our focus has been in trying to get all 11 guys on the field to give maximum effort and play as one. When we do that, we are successful.”