2017 Football Preview: Center Line High

Warren Weekly | Published August 4, 2017

Center Line High
Team name: Center Line High Panthers
Last season’s record: 2-7
League: Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division
Returning starters: 12
First game: 7 p.m. Aug. 25 at Madison Heights Bishop Foley

Offensive keys:
Third-year coach Ben Torres said he expects the offensive line to be strong this fall.

“They’re aggressive,” Torres said. “We’ve got some good guys coming back. They’re hungry and ready to get after it.”

Center Line put up 12.2 points per game last season.

Junior quarterback Nick Hastings, junior running back Diante Taylor, senior wide receiver Zak Senyko and senior offensive lineman Jaylin Glenn will lead the group.

Defensive keys:
Torres said the defensive line, led by Glenn, will anchor the unit.
Senyko, Taylor and Hastings — all defensive backs — are expected to contribute too. 

Coach’s outlook:
“We were extremely young last season,” Torres said. “I think having so many experienced players back will help us this year. We’re excited about the progress we’ve made in the offseason.”

2017 Schedule:

at Madison Heights Bishop Foley (3-6) — 7 p.m. Aug. 25
Foley beat Center Line 35-13 in last year’s opener. That marked the first time the teams had squared off. Center Line’s last season-opening win came in 2009 against New Haven High.

vs. Clinton Township Clintondale (5-5) — 6 p.m. Aug. 31
Clintondale moved to 10-3 all-time against Center Line with a 38-6 win last season. The Dragons have won the last five meetings by an average of 29.8 points per game.

at Port Huron Northern (6-4) — 7 p.m. Sept. 8
Northern beat Center Line 28-6 last year — the teams’ first-ever meeting. Northern made the state playoffs in 2016 despite being outscored on the season 194-182. Center Line put up 12.2 points per game in 2016.

at St. Clair Shores Lakeview (6-4) — 7 p.m. Sept. 15
Lakeview beat Center Line 39-8 last season, but the Panthers lead the series 20-6-3. Center Line allowed 31.6 points per game last season.

at Madison Heights Lamphere (0-9) — 7 p.m. Sept. 22
Center Line beat Lamphere 21-14 in Week 5 last year for its first win of the season. The Panthers hold a 13-8 series edge over Lamphere and have won two straight in the series after losing three in a row. The Rams in 2016 were outscored by 22.2 points per game.

vs. Detroit Leadership Academy (3-6) — 7 p.m. Sept. 29
This is the second season as a varsity program for Detroit Leadership Academy. Two of its three wins last season came via forfeit, as the team was outscored by 300 points overall in 2016.

vs. New Haven High (4-5) — noon Oct. 7
The Rockets downed the Panthers 36-24 last fall to take a 5-4 series lead. New Haven has won three of the last four matchups.

at Warren Lincoln (4-5) — 7 p.m. Oct. 13
The Week 8 matchup is the 68th between the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division foes. Lincoln leads the series 36-31 and won last year’s matchup 44-14. Lincoln has won seven of the last 10 meetings.

vs. Eastpointe High (1-8) — 7 p.m. Oct. 20
Center Line beat Eastpointe 18-6 last season in the teams’ first meeting. Center Line is 3-7 in its last 10 regular-season finales. The Shamrocks are 1-9 in regular-season finales since 2007.