Royal Oak High’s Jacob Isaacson (13) looks to get past an Auburn Hills Avondale defender during a game earlier this year. The Ravens are headed back to the playoffs and will travel to Oak Park in the first round.

Royal Oak High’s Jacob Isaacson (13) looks to get past an Auburn Hills Avondale defender during a game earlier this year. The Ravens are headed back to the playoffs and will travel to Oak Park in the first round.

Photo by Donna Dalziel


Royal Oak High football part of the state playoffs for first time since 2006

By: Mike Moore | Royal Oak Review | Published October 24, 2017

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ROYAL OAK — His team held a 31-7 lead against Ferndale High on Sept. 29, and a fourth win on the season, was all but secure.

And then the bottom fell out.

Or blew out, to be frank.

The Royal Oak High football team allowed 35 unanswered points in that Week 6 game to Ferndale, eventually losing 42-31 to drop to 3-3 at the time, casting what appeared to be solid playoff hopes into a nightmare.

Some four weeks later, a certain dream is about to come true.

“This was something for the whole community,” Ravens coach Ray McMann said about his team and its playoff spot — one secured in a 17-0 victory over Monroe Jefferson last weekend. “This community has been eager for a playoff team for years, and now they have one.”

The Ravens’ victory over Jefferson was their sixth win of the season, automatically clinching a spot in the Division 2 field.

It’s the first time Royal Oak will see postseason action since going 7-2 in the 2006 season.

That team finished 8-3 after falling to Warren Cousino in a district final.

In 2007, the Ravens went 5-4 and narrowly missed the playoffs.

From 2008 to 2015, Royal Oak went 12-69 in a stretch that included four winless seasons and two years with just a single win.

“It was kind of surreal,” McMann said about the emotions when last week’s game ended. “I mean, we shook hands with Jefferson and looked over at all our fans on the field. It was parents, kids, friends, and coaches and everyone. It was just awesome.”

After falling to Ferndale, Royal Oak beat Farmington High 44-23 and Macomb Lutheran North 42-6 before beating Jefferson.

Next up is a D-2 predistrict game at 7 p.m. Oct. 27 at Oak Park High (6-3).

“That’s a very talented team,” McMann said. “They are fast and big, and we have to be ready for that. But you know what, we’ve played teams like that this year and won. It’s up to the kids to believe in themselves. Nobody expected us to be in this position, and here we are.”

For the first time in a long time.

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