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Southfield

October 3, 2012

Southfield High football keeping pace for playoff appearance

By Christian Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Southfield High coach Tim Conley talks with lineman Travis Debose in a game earlier this season.

SOUTHFIELD — For the Southfield High football team and its fans, the victory Sept. 28 against Oxford High was relatively easy.

The Blue Jays won 49-7, putting them at 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the Oakland Activities Association White Division.

In their previous five games, only one wasn’t decided by eight points or less, including two overtime victories.

Senior quarterback Tre Walton said the lessons learned in those close calls have paid off.

“You learn to never give up. Most of our games, we’ve had to come back from behind, and find a way,” he said. “It’s just all about not giving up and keeping that heart.”

Coach Tim Conley said the close battles come with the territory in the OAA White.

“You’re, basically, getting playoff football every week. Hopefully, we keep refining ourselves and make less and less mistakes,” Conley said. “That’s the one thing I notice about those teams that we used to play in the OAA (Red), they never made mistakes. You’re playing such good competition. You have to exact a lot out of practices and the kids’ mental preciseness.”

Against Oxford, the Blue Jays dominated from the beginning. Walton hit receiver Jacob Studdard from 12 yards out for the touchdown just over four minutes into the game.

From there, the Blue Jays never looked back, getting scores from receiver Ray Buford on a 60-yard pass from Walton; a 48-yard rushing score from Matt Falcon; a blocked punt recovered in the end zone by defensive end Lawrence Marshall; and a safety after Oxford recovered its own bad snap in the end zone.

With Oak Park High undefeated in the division and already having beaten Southfield, the Blue Jays’ chance of winning the division is slim, but the playoffs are there for the taking.

Southfield needs two wins in its final three games to earn the automatic bid.

Walton and Conley aren’t taking anything for granted.

“You have to take it one game at a time, because the competition is too good. It’d be disrespectful to our opponents if we focused on the playoffs,” Conley said.

Walton agreed.

“Every week, we know we have to have a great week of practice so we can perform on game day,” he said. “There are no easy games, and it’s not getting any easier. So we have to just keep getting better.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Christian Davis at cdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1062. Twitter Follow Christian on Twitter.