The 2015 regular season on the gridiron wraps up this weekend

By: Mike Moore | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published October 21, 2015

 Senior wide receiver Mike Nelson and the Walled Lake Northern football team were 5-2 at press time, needing one win to clinch a playoff spot.

Senior wide receiver Mike Nelson and the Walled Lake Northern football team were 5-2 at press time, needing one win to clinch a playoff spot.

Photo by Sarah Purlee


For prep football teams, what began during the hottest days of summer will conclude in the brisk fall air nearly three months later.

For a select few, though, the end is just the beginning.

This Friday and Saturday brings about Week 9 in the high school football season, which officially ends the 2015 regular season.

It also begins the selection process of determining which teams are playoff eligible and exactly where the postseason games will take place.

So, with one week left, here’s a quick look at who the five local teams have remaining on their schedules.

Records are up to date through Week 7.

All Week 8 games were played after press time.

Playoff ready
When the MHSAA released its playoff points through seven weeks of the regular season, no team had more than Walled Lake Western.

The Warriors’ 107.429 playoff points was tops in the state, thanks to its schedule and its 7-0 record.

“The key for us is continuing to improve as we close the year out,” coach Mike Zdebski said last week. “That’s the biggest thing. We believe we control how we play. If we play to our ability level, we feel like we can beat just about anyone.”

The Warriors faced Hartland High (5-2) last weekend and close the year out against Detroit Delta Prep Academy for Social Justice (2-4) at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 at home.

Should the Warriors finish the season 9-0, they would likely have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Neutral-site games begin in the semifinals.

“We’re good enough to (make it to Ford Field), but you have to play that way on that given day,” Zdebski said.

The Warriors will likely play in Division 2, but could be in D-1 depending on the number of eligible teams.

“We have that potential, and that’s the first thing. I think the guys understand how they need to play and how they can potentially play to make a long run,” Zdebski said.

In D-3 action, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s is also in the playoffs, holding a 6-1 record.

The Eaglets had a bye in Week 8, but at press time did not know its final opponent, as it depended on who won the Catholic Central-Warren De La Salle contest.

The guys in red and white are either headed to the Catholic League’s Prep Bowl or a crossover with a Public School League team.

“We’re fired up knowing we’re in the playoffs,” coach George Porritt said. “It’s tough to have a bye week this late in the season, but the kids are handling it well.”

The only blemish on the Eaglets’ record so far was a 31-8 loss to De La Salle on Sept. 25.

“I like the way we’re playing right now,” Porritt said. “The defense has really stepped it up the past few weeks. I think the offense is moving the ball, but we have to work on finishing a little better.”

The Eaglets won last year’s D-3 title.

And speaking of unblemished teams through seven weeks, West Bloomfield High was a perfect 7-0 heading into last weekend’s tilt with Rochester Hills Stoney Creek (3-4).

The Lakers close out the season Oct. 23 in an Oakland Activities Association crossover game. The team’s 101.714 playoff points will likely lead to a home playoff game.

On the bubble
Following a 34-31 setback to Western, Walled Lake Northern bounced back with a 35-27 victory against White Lake Lakeland on Oct. 9, earning its fifth win of the season.

The Knights (5-2) were two wins away from earning a guaranteed playoff berth with a game against Brighton High (6-1), played after press time, and this weekend’s trip up north to take on Traverse City West (3-4) at 4 p.m. Oct. 23.

A win in either game puts the Knights in the playoffs for the third time in program history (2012, 2013), but given their schedule, there’s a chance they’d earn an at-large berth with a 5-4 finish.

Looking to the future
Walled Lake Central went 9-3 last year, reaching a D-1 regional final.

The success didn’t carry into this fall, though, as the team was 1-6 through Week 7.

The Vikings faced Milford High Oct. 16, and close the 2015 season at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 at home against Haslett High.