2019 Football Preview: Orchard Lake St. Mary’s

By: C & G Sports Staff | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published July 19, 2019

Helmet provided by michiganhelmetproject.org


Last season’s record: 3-6

League: Catholic High School League Central Division

Returning starters: 15

First game: 7 p.m. Aug. 29 at Macomb Dakota

Offensive keys:
After collecting three straight Division 3 state titles from 2014 to 2016, St. Mary’s has missed the playoffs the last two seasons.

Lack of offense over the last two years has been a big problem for the Eaglets. In 2017 and 2018, St. Mary’s scored a combined 406 points.

During their three-year run of state championships, the Eaglets never scored less than 390 points in a single season.

In 2019, St. Mary’s will have eight returning starters on offense, and coach George Porritt believes the offensive line will play an important role this year.

“We got a lot of seasoned guys there now, and we’ve got some depth there, where we haven’t had that, so I think that can help our running game a little bit,” Porritt said.

Defensive keys:
The Eaglets return seven players from last year’s group that allowed opponents to score just 230 points.

The last time the Eaglets allowed more than 230 points in a season was back in 2007.

And with experience at a lot of key positions, Porritt believes his defense could be strong again this season.

“The secondary’s all seniors, linebackers got experience, so that D-line’s got to jump out right away, and then our defense will be pretty strong,” Porritt said.

Coach’s outlook:
Porritt likes the depth he has on his team and is looking to get the Eaglets back in the playoffs.

“We better be motivated. We’ve had a couple down years,” Porritt said. “Now we got some depth coming back, so I think that’s a plus for us.”

at Macomb Dakota (8-3) — 7 p.m. Aug. 29
It’s the third straight season opener for these programs. Dakota has come out on top each time by seven points or less.

at Angola High (Indiana) (12-1) — 7 p.m. Sept. 6
This will be the first meeting between the two programs. Angola’s only loss last season came in the regional championship round of the playoffs. St. Mary’s is 2-3 all-time against programs from Indiana.

vs. Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy (3-4) — 7 p.m. Sept. 13
The Eaglets are 2-0 all-time against Chandler Park Academy. The most recent win came back in 2015, when they prevailed 56-26.

at Walled Lake Western (8-4) — 7 p.m. Sept. 20
This will be the second meeting between the two programs. In the first matchup back in 2005, St. Mary’s cruised to a 48-10 win.

vs. Warren De La Salle (12-2) — 7 p.m. Sept. 27
St. Mary’s owns a double-digit lead in the all-time series, but De La Salle has won three of the last four meetings.

vs. Birmingham Brother Rice (7-4) — 7 p.m. Oct. 5
Last season, Brother Rice defeated St. Mary’s 24-21, and the Warriors have won the last two matchups. In 2017, it was by a score of 21-17.

at Novi Detroit Catholic Central (7-4) — 7 p.m. Oct. 11
St. Mary’s beat Catholic Central 31-29 last year, but the Shamrocks hold a 16-13 all-time series lead.

at Dearborn Divine Child (4-5) — 7 p.m. Oct. 18
The Eaglets have owned Divine Child over the years, holding a 16-2 record against the Falcons. Last season, St. Mary’s rolled to a 42-14 win.

at TBA Prep Bowl or crossover — TBA Oct. 25
Last season, West Bloomfield High defeated St. Mary’s 13-10 in a Catholic High School League crossover game. It was the first meeting between the two schools.

Schedule provided by mhsaa.com and historical data provided by michigan-football.com.