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Madison Heights, Southfield

November 6, 2013

Bishop Foley football team takes aim at first district title in program history

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Foley senior David Balaze are searching for the program's first district title this weekend. The Ventures take on Southfield Christian Saturday night at 7 p.m.

MADISON HEIGHTS — Playoff appearances have come and gone.

Opening round wins have done the same.

But in the long history of Bishop Foley football, the program has never experienced a district championship, never tasted a spot in the regional round.

Sean Cobb and his 2013 squad look to change all that this weekend.

“We’ve talked so much about what a win this week and what a district title would mean to this program,” Cobb said Tuesday about his team’s Division 7 district final against Southfield Christian, set for 7 p.m. Saturday night at Hurley Field in Berkley.

“It would be huge. We have coaches on this staff who played here, and they know what’s on the line. This is something our guys desperately want.”

Foley (7-3) earned a spot in this weekend’s final thanks to a 42-10 victory against Royal Oak Shrine in the opener. The Ventures lost to Shrine 13-6 in the regular season, and after some early mistakes, trailed in the playoff game 3-0 right off the bat.

They then outscored the Knights 42-7 the rest of the game.

“I was a little surprised with the numbers we put up,” Cobb admitted. “We got down right away, but the kids really bounced back. They wanted that second crack at Shrine, and they made the most of it.”

Southfield Christian, on the other hand, improved to 9-1 in 2013 with a 27-14 victory against Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett.

The Eagles were also down in their game, trailing 14-0 with roughly six minutes remaining in the first half.

Once the offense got going, it never looked back.

“We were playing a 5-4 team that had nothing to lose, and they came to play,” Southfield Christian coach Larry Weiss said. “Once our kids realized that, they got themselves going. The seniors picked it up, and the rest of the guys followed suit.”

Cobb said he was able to watch some of Southfield’s playoff game and came away impressed with what the Eagles have to offer.

“They are athletic, and they are big,” he said with a laugh. “From the little bit we’ve seen, they are going to come hungry and come ready to play.”

After starting the season 3-2, Foley has won four of five games, and Cobb said there’s no real mystery to why.

“We’ve finally gotten healthy,” he explained. “Thankfully, we seem to be at full healthy heading into this one.”

He said he expects his offense to score, as it has in recent weeks.

“The key will be our defense,” Cobb said simply. “They have some playmakers on the offensive side of the ball, and if we can limit those guys, we’re going to be in great shape.”

Whichever team comes away with the victory, history will be made.

Southfield Christian’s win against Liggett was the first playoff victory in program history.

Foley, on the other hand, has been to a district final three times before this season.

“The guys know how big a win this could be,” Cobb said. “But you know what, Larry and his guys are thinking the exact same thing.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.