2019 Football Preview: Center Line High

2018 Record: 6-4

By: C & G Sports Staff | Warren Weekly | Published July 19, 2019


Last season’s record: 6-4

League: Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division

Returning starters: 11

First game: 7 p.m. Aug. 29 vs. Hazel Park High

Offensive keys: 

Center Line High coach Ben Torres enters his fifth year guiding the Panthers. He said the team will be young on offense, but can be explosive. 

Senior wide receivers Jaden Davis and Isaac Pride, and senior offensive linemen Jacob Vega and Mau Lee have been tapped to lead the Panthers offense. Center Line is coming off its first playoff trip since 2005 and put up 24.1 points per game in 2018.

Defensive keys: 

Torres believes his secondary has a chance to make a lot of big plays this season. Center Line, Torres said, has strong depth in the defensive backfield.

The Panthers allowed 25.3 points per game last season. 

Coach’s outlook: 

The Panthers went 4-0 in the MAC Bronze last season to give the team its first outright division title since 1968.

“Last year was possibly the best season the program has had in 20 years,” Torres said. “We were able to win our league, so we’re excited about the opportunity to defend the (MAC Bronze) championship. Our guys understand the thing to do is maintain. It’s one thing to have one good season. It’s the special programs that go out and do it year after year. We want to be one of those programs.”


vs. Hazel Park High (2-7) — 7 p.m. Aug. 29
It’s a nondivisional matchup, but Center Line gets the first crack at new Macomb Area Conference squad Hazel Park. The Vikings move to the MAC after 25 years in the Oakland Activities Association.

vs. Sterling Heights High (1-8) — 7 p.m. Sept. 6
Center Line’s most lopsided win of 2018 came against Sterling Heights — a 49-12 win. The Panthers are still just 3-6 against the Stallions.

at Clawson High (6-4) — 7 p.m. Sept. 13
Center Line knocked off Clawson 37-19 last season going to 20-17-2 against the Trojans. Center Line has beaten Clawson in consecutive meetings after dropping five straight matchups.

at Clinton Township Clintondale (3-6) — 7 p.m. Sept. 20
Center Line is 3-11 all-time against the Dragons and hasn’t gotten a win in the series since 2005.

vs. Warren Lincoln (3-6) — 7 p.m. Sept. 27
The Abes lead the series 36-33. The Panthers won last year’s meeting 26-18 for their second straight victory in the matchup.

at St. Clair High (9-3) — 7 p.m. Oct. 4
The series between Center Line and St. Clair is tied 4-4 after the Saints’ 53-18 win last season. The Panthers’ three regular-season losses last year were to teams with a combined record of 27-9. All three also made the playoffs.

vs. New Haven High (0-8) — noon Oct. 12
Center Line knocked off New Haven 37-6 last season to take a 6-5 series lead. The Rockets were the only MAC team, out of 35, to not win a game in 2018.

at Madison Heights Lamphere (1-8) — 7 p.m. Oct. 18
Center Line skunked Lamphere 30-0 last season to improve to 14-9 in the series. The Panthers and the Rams have matched up every year since 2012.

vs. Marysville High (4-5) — 7 p.m. Oct. 25
Center Line knocked off Marysville High 19-13 in last year’s regular-season finale to lock up a playoff spot. It was the program’s first appearance since 2005.