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2019 Football Preview: Ferndale High

2018 Record: 7-3

By: C & G Sports Staff | Woodward Talk | Published July 16, 2019

Last season’s record: 7-3
League: Oakland Activities Association Blue Division
Returning starters: 11
First game: 7 p.m. Aug. 29 at Birmingham Seaholm
Offensive keys:
With the return of running backs Jayshawn Adams, Kelvin Lileton Jr. and Tre’Jon Pickett — who coach Eric Royal said rushed for over 1,400 yards with 20-plus touchdowns last year — the Eagles’ rushing attack will likely be the key to their offensive success.

“I have to figure out a way to get all three of those guys the ball as much as I can,” Royal said. “So we’re doing some tweaks and some changes, which I’m really excited to see how it’s (going to) carry out.”

Joe Lewis-Estell is back at quarterback for Ferndale.
Defensive keys:
Daelin Martin is back at linebacker. This is his third season, and Royal’s expectations for him are high.

“He’s (going to) anchor our defense,” Royal said. “Big, strong, athletic kid. Can run sideline to sideline. And then I have pretty much my entire defensive secondary returning also.”
Coach’s outlook:
After qualifying for the playoffs in three consecutive seasons and going 22-8 during that span, Royal has lofty aspirations for the Eagles this year.

“Our main goal is to qualify for the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year in a row — never been done in the history of Ferndale High School,” Royal said. “No program has made it four consecutive years, so that’s been a big goal for us this offseason, is preparing to earn our six victories or more and qualify for the playoffs.”

at Birmingham Seaholm (7-3) — 7 p.m. Aug. 29
With a 53-8 victory last season, Seaholm has won 11 of the last 12 games played between the programs. In the last three meetings, the Maples have outscored Ferndale 110-8.
vs. Pontiac High (1-8) — 7 p.m. Sept. 6
After getting a 46-6 win last season, the Eagles are 5-1 all-time against Pontiac. Ferndale has outscored Pontiac 206-35 in the last five games played between the programs.
at North Farmington (3-6) — 7 p.m. Sept. 13
The Eagles won last season’s meeting 36-0. With that win, Ferndale is 4-4 all-time against North Farmington. The Raiders lost their last four games last season.
at Farmington High (8-4) — 7 p.m. Sept. 20
After losing to Farmington 10-7 last year, the Eagles went on to win their last six games of the regular season.
vs. Berkley High (2-7) — 7 p.m. Sept. 27
Ferndale snapped an eight-game losing streak against Berkley with a 20-7 win last season. The Bears didn’t score more than 14 points in seven of their last nine games last season.
vs. Allen Park High (9-3) — 7 p.m. Oct. 4
This is set to be the first game played between the two programs. With the exception of three seasons, Allen Park has qualified for the playoffs every year since 1999.
vs. Auburn Hills Avondale (9-3) — 7 p.m. Oct. 11
The Eagles beat Avondale 39-12 when the teams played last year. The Yellow Jackets scored more than 40 points five times last season.
at Royal Oak High (5-4) — 7 p.m. Oct. 18
The programs last played each other in 2017, with the Eagles coming away with a 42-31 victory. Royal Oak holds a 3-2 edge in the series.
at Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day (7-3) — 7 p.m. Oct. 25
The Eagles have beaten Country Day in each of the last two seasons, including 27-14 last year. With the exception of the 2017 season, Country Day has qualified for the playoffs every year since 2006.