Harper Woods High football coach Rod Oden talks with his players during an Aug. 14 scrimmage hosted by Southfield A & T. Oden joins the Pioneers after a stint at Detroit East English Village Academy, where he went 46-20 from 2012 to 2017.

Harper Woods High football coach Rod Oden talks with his players during an Aug. 14 scrimmage hosted by Southfield A & T. Oden joins the Pioneers after a stint at Detroit East English Village Academy, where he went 46-20 from 2012 to 2017.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


2018 Football Preview: Harper Woods High

2017 record: 3-6

By: C & G Sports Staff | Advertiser Times | Published August 20, 2018

League: Michigan Metro Athletic Conference Blue Division
Returning starters: N/A
First game: 7 p.m. Aug. 23 vs. Dearborn Divine Child

Offensive keys:
Last season, the Pioneers averaged 20.4 points per game but were shut out twice and held to six points in their regular-season finale.

The offense did show signs of firepower, scoring 44 and 56 points in two of its wins. 

The Pioneers last finished a season with a positive scoring margin in 2012. 

Defensive keys: 
Harper Woods struggled to stop opponents in 2017, allowing 38.5 points per contest. The team allowed at least 49 points three times and was beaten 86-0 by River Rouge High in Week 6. 

The 347 total points allowed last season by the Pioneers is the second most in program history.

Coach’s outlook: 
Harper Woods coach Rod Oden did not respond for comment.


Schedule:
vs. Dearborn Divine Child (10-2) — 7 p.m. Aug. 23
It’s the first meeting between the Pioneers and Falcons. Divine Child has gone 20-5 over the past two seasons. Harper Woods is 1-5 in its last six season openers. 

at Detroit Voyageur (5-4) — 7 p.m. Aug. 31
Voyageur is coming off of only its second winning season since the program started in 2009. Last season, the Cougars beat Harper Woods 24-20.

vs. Melvindale A&T (1-8) — 7 p.m. Sept. 7
Harper Woods is 3-0 in this series, including last year’s 44-32 victory. It was the second most points the Pioneers scored in a game all of last season, only behind the 56-14 victory over Mount Clemens High.

at Warren Michigan Collegiate (12-1) — 7 p.m. Sept. 14
The Cougars made a run all the way to the Division 6 state semifinals last season. These programs haven’t met since 2015 when Collegiate rolled 54-6. This game will be played at Madison Heights Bishop Foley. 

vs. Detroit Edison (2-7) — 7 p.m. Sept. 21
The Pioneers are 2-0 against Edison. The victories came in 2012 and 2013 by a combined score of 90-12.

vs. River Rouge High (10-3) — 7 p.m. Sept. 28
On the way to the D-4 state semifinal last season, the Panthers beat Harper Woods 86-0. Prior to that meeting, River Rouge beat the Pioneers 50-0 in 2015.

at Detroit University Prep (5-4) — 7 p.m. Oct. 5
The Pioneers lead the series 5-3, but it was Prep with the 28-24 victory last season. 

vs. Hamtramck High (0-9) — 7 p.m. Oct. 12
The Cosmos did win six games last season before later having to forfeit each of the victories. Overall, Harper Woods is 32-15 in the series.  

at Ecorse High (7-3) — 7 p.m. Oct. 19
The Raiders were victorious 26-6 last season against Harper Woods on the way to the playoffs. The Pioneers last qualified in 2009.

Schedule courtesy of www.mhsaa.com, historical data from www.michigan-football.com and helmet provided by www.michiganhelmetproject.org