2019 Football Preview: Walled Lake Central

2018 Record: 2-7

By: C & G Sports Staff | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published August 1, 2019

Helmet provided by the michiganhelmetproject.org.


Last season’s record: 2-7

League: Lakes Valley Conference

Returning starters: Eight

First game: 7 p.m. Aug. 29 vs. South Lyon High

Offensive keys:
After a 2-7 campaign last season, Josh Perusse has taken control of the Walled Lake Central program.

The first-year coach is looking to build an offense that struggled to put points on the board last season. The Vikings scored 144 points and were shut out four times in 2018.

For Perusse, communication will play an important role in how his offense plays this season.

“We need to be masters of communication,” Perusse said. “If we are not talking, we are probably not doing our jobs correctly. We also need to make sure that we are distributing the ball to several players within our offense to keep defenses honest.”

Defensive keys:
Defensively, Perusse is hoping to keep things simple and allow his guys to make plays.

The Vikings allowed their opponents to score 393 points last season.

“We simply need to eliminate thinking so we can play fast and make tackles. That’s great defense in a nutshell,” Perusse said.

With just eight returning total starters from a season ago, Perusse is also looking at some competition for starting roles.

“Everyone is equally important to the team this season,” Perusse said. “We aren’t returning tons of experience. The competition during two-a-days is going to be legitimate, as our depth charts are far from set. In order to have success on the field, we will need all 11 players to contribute while on the field.”

Coach’s outlook:
The Vikings’ last playoff appearance came in 2017, and Perusse believes this team can get back there.

“We know that we have the potential to make the playoffs, but what we are focused on are the behaviors we need to adopt in order to make that happen. Our season outlook truly depends on the quality of every minute of practice this August,” Perusse said.

vs. South Lyon High (10-1) — 7 p.m. Aug. 29
Central is 2-2 all-time against South Lyon. Last year, the Lions cruised by the Vikings, picking up a 48-0 victory. Central’s last win against South Lyon came in 2017.

at Milford High (1-8) — 7 p.m. Sept. 6
The Vikings are 25-16 against Milford and won last year’s meeting 36-34. Central’s last playoff appearance was in 2017.

vs. Waterford Kettering (1-8) — 7 p.m. Sept. 13
Central squeaked out a 38-37 win against Kettering last season and is 9-3 all-time against the Captains. The Vikings scored 144 points and gave up 393 in 2018.

at South Lyon East (6-5) — 7 p.m. Sept. 20
The Vikings and Cougars have split two games, with East taking last year’s matchup 49-0. Central won the 2017 game 50-31.

vs. Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood (6-4) — 7 p.m. Sept. 27
Last season marked the first matchup between the two programs, and Cranbrook took home a 28-25 win. Cranbrook scored 201 points while giving up 160 last season.

at Walled Lake Northern (4-5) — 7 p.m. Oct. 4
Central holds a 9-6 edge in the series. Last year, Northern grabbed a 62-29 win over the Vikings.

at Waterford Mott (4-5) — 7 p.m. Oct. 11
Mott dominated Central last year, winning by a final of 42-0. Central was shut out four times in 2018.

vs. White Lake Lakeland (7-4) — 7 p.m. Oct. 18
Central is 14-7 against Lakeland, but the Eagles took last year’s matchup 45-0. Lakeland has won two of the last three games against Central.

vs. Walled Lake Western (8-4) — 7 p.m. Oct. 25
Western has a double-digit lead in the all-time series and has won the last eight matchups. The Vikings’ last win against Western was in 2010.

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