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Football

Published November 17, 2015

BEVERLY HILLS — After cruising to a pair of playoff victories in the first two rounds, the Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day football team was in a fight to the end in the regional round.

Facing a Milan High team that was 9-2, the Yellowjackets needed a workman's effort, and running back Larry Penson was certainly up for the task.

The Country Day junior carried the ball 22 times, stacking up 136 yards and scored on a 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, earning C & G Player of the Week honors.

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Published November 14, 2015

BEVERLY HILLS — After a pair of lopsided playoff victories, maybe this was needed.

Even if it was a stress-filled 48 minutes of football.

“We can definitely be better,” Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day football coach Dan MacLean said of his team’s 20-13 win late Saturday afternoon against Milan. “We left some plays out there. We had some tough penalties, but if you’re going to stay alive this time of year, these are the kinds of wins you need.”

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Published November 13, 2015

C&G Newspapers

MACOMB — A matchup of two of the top Division 1 programs turned into a battle of wills with Detroit Cass Tech outlasting Macomb Dakota 16-10 in a regional final Nov. 13 at Dakota.

Cass Tech (10-2) advances to take on Canton High (10-2) in a state semifinal at 1 p.m. Nov. 21 at a site to be determined. The win gives Cass Tech its sixth straight regional title. Dakota (9-3) was looking for its first regional championship since 2007. Canton High beat Saline High 27-7 Nov. 13 to advance to the state semis. Saline entered that game at 10-0.

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Published November 13, 2015

BERKLEY — Livonia Franklin football is rolling into the Division 2 semifinals.

The Patriots beat Berkley High 38-6 Nov. 13 for the regional title on the back of a 276-yard rushing performance by Jacob Clark.

“It was the line, nothing else. Give them all the credit,” Clark said. “This gives us great confidence heading into the next round.”

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Published November 12, 2015

Two weeks into the football state playoffs, two local teams with state-title aspirations were still alive and well.


Just how much longer their journeys toward Ford Field last is still to be seen.


In the Division 2 playoffs, Walled Lake Western improved to 11-0 with a 34-21 victory against Beverly Hills Groves in the district final.


Western played host to Midland Dow (10-1) in the regional round Nov. 14, after press time.

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Published November 12, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — On a team of young talent, he may have been the brightest star.

At least that’s what the coaches in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division thought of Madison Heights Madison’s Lance Mitchell.

After rushing for more than 1,600 yards this season, the junior was selected as the Silver Division Most Valuable Player when the coaches met to pick the best of the best from the conference in 2015.

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Published November 11, 2015

BEVERLY HILLS — In previous years, this was an annual matchup.

Country Day against Cranbrook, for 29 straight years, to be exact.

But times have changed, and coaches have changed — from one school to the other.

But maybe, with both teams enjoying plenty of success, and the most recent meeting Nov. 7 in a Division 4 district final, times can change again.

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Published November 11, 2015

Fresh off the program’s first district championship, Berkley High welcomes in Livonia Franklin in a Division 2 regional.

Last week, Berkley beat Southfield High 28-20 with a defense that forced five turnovers and an offensive attack that controlled the tempo of the game.

The Bears look to do that once again, this time against the Patriots, which beat Jackson High 63-35 for their district title.

After starting the season 2-3, Franklin is on a seven-game winning streak and in that time has scored at least 30 points each game.

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Published November 11, 2015

STERLING HEIGHTS — The Sterling Heights Parkway Christian football team took on Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes in a Division 8 district final Nov. 6, after press time.

To get to the district final, the Eagles (7-3 at press time) downed Melvindale AB&T 35-12 in a pre-district game played Oct. 30. Our Lady of the Lakes entered the district final at 10-0.

Sterling Heights Stevenson saw its season end in a 20-16 loss to Dearborn Fordson Oct. 30 in a D-1 pre-district. The Titans ended the season at 7-3.

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Published November 11, 2015

C&G Newspapers

And then there were eight — in every division, that is.

The state playoffs have reached the regional round, which means 256 teams have been cut down to just 64.

The Detroit Catholic League lost two more teams in district finals, with Cranbrook and Notre Dame Prep each bowing out, but still have three remaining.

Here’s a look at who’s left.

This week’s winners earn a spot in next weekend’s state semifinals.

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Published November 11, 2015

C&G Newspapers

In two weeks, the 2015 state football playoffs have been dwindled down to 64 teams from 256.

The field now includes just two Macomb County teams and only one squad from the C & G coverage area — the Macomb Dakota Cougars. Romeo High (10-1) is the other Macomb County team still alive in the state playoffs.

This special edition of Five for Friday focuses on Dakota’s regional final matchup with another state power — Detroit Cass Tech.

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Published November 9, 2015

BERKLEY — Berkley High football coach Chris Sikora called it “surreal.”

Receiver Nolan Givan said it was “unbelievable.”

The Bears had just beaten Southfield High 28-20 for a Division 2 district championship Nov. 6 at home when those words were spoken.

“We were underdogs from the beginning, but it just goes and shows what heart and hard work can do,” Givan said. “No matter what size you have or talent, as long as you put in the work, magical things can happen.”

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Published November 9, 2015

Macomb Dakota senior Brendyn Pittman was more than up to the challenge when called into duty by his coaches prior to a Nov. 6 district final against Utica Eisenhower.

Pittman, a three-year varsity player who primarily plays linebacker, was called on to play running back in the Nov. 6 game. The senior rushed for 159 yards and three touchdowns in Dakota's 31-8 win over Eisenhower. His performance, along with helping keep his team's season alive, has earned Pittman C & G Player of the Week honors.

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Published November 9, 2015

MADISON HEIGHTS — After guiding the Madison Heights Madison High football team to an 8-1 regular season and a 21-6 victory against Warren Michigan Collegiate in the Division 6 pre-district, coach Drake Wilkins was suspended Nov. 2 for the team’s district final against Clinton High as he was being investigated by the district for “possible unprofessional conduct,” as Superintendent Randy Speck said last week.

On Nov. 9, Speck said Wilkins had officially resigned as a teacher and coach with the district.

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Published November 6, 2015

All four Warren prep football teams saw their seasons end in the pre-district round of the 2015 state playoffs.

Warren Mott fell 39-7 to Detroit Cass Tech in a Division 1 game Oct. 31. The Marauders ended the season at 6-4.

Warren De La Salle saw its season end in a 25-21 loss to Detroit East English Village Academy in a D-2 matchup Oct. 30. The Pilots ended the season at 6-4.

Warren Fitzgerald fell 48-14 to Redford Thurston in a D-3 showdown Oct. 30. The Spartans ened the season at 6-4.

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Published November 6, 2015

WARREN — A lot of football coaches make sure themselves and their players live by a simple motto: ‘Faith, family, football.’

One coach has decided it’s time to put one of those ahead of the others.

Warren De La Salle football coach Paul Verska, who in 2014 led the program to its first state title, made his intentions known to his team after its 25-21 loss to Detroit East English Village Academy in an Oct. 30 playoff game.

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Published November 6, 2015

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — The Clinton Township Clintondale football team is becoming somewhat of a staple in the state playoffs.

The Dragons made their 12th playoff trip in the last 17 years last week. In 15 of the last 17 years, the team has finished .500 or better. Clintondale also had a run of 20 straight regular-season wins from 2011 to 2014.

Clintondale saw its season end in a tough 38-0 loss to Algonac High in a Division 5 pre-district playoff game Oct. 30 at Algonac. The Dragons ended the season at 5-5.

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Published November 5, 2015

After suffering through a 26-25 overtime loss to Pewamo-Westphalia in the season opener, the Madison Heights Madison football team seemed to find itself.

Eight weeks later, the Eagles were wrapping up the regular season with an 8-1 record and a spot in the state playoffs for the 11th consecutive season.

Despite a roster that starts three sophomores and a collection of starting juniors who were on the junior varsity team in 2014, Madison hosted Warren Michigan Collegiate in a Division 6 pre-district and rolled to a 21-6 victory.

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Published November 5, 2015

Detroit East English vs. Grosse Pointe South: Division 2 district playoff game scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 6 at South.

South beat Sterling Heights High 41-7 in its opening-round playoff game, while East English knocked off last season's Division 2 state champion Warren De La Salle 25-21.

East English, which is part of the Detroit Public School League, has an overall record of 8-2. The Bulldogs have won four consecutive games.

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Published November 5, 2015

Since arriving at Madison Heights Madison High to take over the football program in 2008, coach Drake Wilkins has guided his squad to the playoffs each and every season, including 2015.

But when the Eagles take the home field Friday night for a Division 6 district final against Clinton High, Wilkins will not be on the sideline.

“He’s not coaching Friday,” Madison Athletic Director Jimmy Brown said Thursday morning. “The district made the decision. The district decided that’s what was supposed to happen.”

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