Madison Heights Bishop Foley running back Kendel Taylor carries the ball during a game against Royal Oak Shrine earlier this year. Foley is set to play Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 on the road.

Madison Heights Bishop Foley running back Kendel Taylor carries the ball during a game against Royal Oak Shrine earlier this year. Foley is set to play Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 on the road.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Bishop Foley and Lakes football set to collide

By: Mark Vest | Madison - Park News | Published October 9, 2018

 Bishop Foley players John Stickney, left, and Zachary Proctor are pictured earlier this season. At press time, Foley was 5-1, giving the program its best record at this point in the season since 1992.

Bishop Foley players John Stickney, left, and Zachary Proctor are pictured earlier this season. At press time, Foley was 5-1, giving the program its best record at this point in the season since 1992.

Photo by Donna Agusti

EDITOR'S NOTE: Bishop Foley beat Marine City Cardinal Mooney 49-12 Oct. 5 at home. Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes lost to Clarkston Everest Collegiate 21-7 Oct. 5 on the road.

A Catholic High School League football game played under the lights on a Friday night in the fall.

Two divisional foes squaring off in a game in which there are potential playoff implications.

A team with a strong tradition of making the playoffs going against one that hasn’t been there in a while.

All of those factors could help add to the intrigue when Madison Heights Bishop Foley and Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes play at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 at Wisner Stadium in Pontiac.

At press time, Foley was 5-1 overall (1-1 CHSL Intersectional No. 2), which is the program’s best record at this point in the season since 1992. Foley was scheduled to play Marine City Cardinal Mooney (0-6) Oct. 5.

A win in that game would clinch a playoff spot for the Ventures, as six victories are required to automatically qualify for the postseason.

A loss would mean an automatic playoff berth is still on the line when Foley plays Lakes.

Even if Foley has already secured a postseason spot by Oct. 12, aside from a win against Lakes having potential to help the program earn a chance to host a playoff game — which would be the first time in school history, according to coach Brian Barnes — there is also the matter of going for a CHSL division championship.

“There’s a chance we could be playing them for a tie for first place,” Barnes said. “So, that would be pretty cool if things were to work out and that were to happen. … I have a ton of respect for their program and the history and tradition of their program. So, it’ll be an exciting league game.”

Lakes was 4-2 (2-0 CHSL Intersectional No. 2) and scheduled to play Clarkston Everest Collegiate (6-0 overall, 2-0 CHSL Intersectional No. 2) Oct. 5.

A win against Everest Collegiate would set the Lakers up to have an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth with a win against Foley.

A loss would make the game all the more imperative for Lakes, given that the program would still need two more victories to guarantee a playoff spot (teams can sometimes qualify for the playoffs with five wins, depending on strength of schedule and the number of teams automatically qualified).

Lakes has qualified for the playoffs more than 20 times since 1990, and coach Jason Albrecht would like to carry on the program’s winning tradition.

“What I said to the kids at the beginning of the year was we have a great tradition, but no one’s (going to) bow down just for tradition,” Albrecht said.

Albrecht added that this year is about “leaving a legacy for others to live up to.”

Foley has qualified for the playoffs just three times in the previous 10 seasons, with its last appearance coming in 2013.

Barnes is in his second season leading Foley’s program, and being in a position to be “relevant” is something he has aspired to.

A victory against Lakes, which has beaten Foley in eight of the 11 games played between the programs, including 41-20 last year, could help to accomplish that aspiration.

“To be able to go and beat those guys would be, I think, a program win that we could look back on and say, ‘The fact we were able to get past those guys was a big statement about where we’re going,’” Barnes said.

Prior to Foley’s Oct. 5 game against Cardinal Mooney, Barnes said running back Kendel Taylor was approaching 2,000 yards rushing.

And although Albrecht is aware of Taylor’s talent, he’s not the only Foley player he needs to concern himself with.

“They’ve got weapons across the board on offense,” Albrecht said. “To us, it’s all about execution across the board, whether it’s an offensive lineman blocking or a receiver running a route or a quarterback taking his drop. So, we talk about doing things the right way no matter what and just finishing what we started.”

Barnes is also aware of what his team will be up against when facing Lakes.

“They’re well-coached,” he said. “They’re disciplined on both sides of the ball. They don’t take themselves out of plays and stuff like that.”

Although Albrecht considers every CHSL game to be a big one, Oct. 12 could turn out to be Lakes’ most important one of the season.

“That should be a really good game,” Albrecht said. “Last year we played (them) tough. … They were a different kind of offense than what we’ve seen. … Knowing the kids that they have and the kids we have, (a) lot (of) great athletes. The coaching staff there has done a tremendous job since they’ve been there.”

Even with all the planning and preparation involved, the prospect of playing Lakes can be exciting for more than just Foley’s players and fans.

“I love it,” Barnes said. “This is why we do what we do. … This is one of those games. It’s kind of a measuring stick game.”