Ferndale High football qualifies for the playoffs with win against Berkley High

By: Mark Vest | Woodward Talk | Published October 12, 2018

 Ferndale High junior Jayshawn Adams carries the ball during a game against Berkley High Oct. 12. With a 20-7 victory, Ferndale qualified for the playoffs for the third consecutive season.

Ferndale High junior Jayshawn Adams carries the ball during a game against Berkley High Oct. 12. With a 20-7 victory, Ferndale qualified for the playoffs for the third consecutive season.

Photo by Mariusz Nowak

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BERKLEY — It was a night of accomplishments for Ferndale High’s football team Oct. 12 at Hurley Field in Berkley.

 

With a 20-7 win against Berkley High, the Eagles (6-2 overall, 4-2 Oakland Activities Association Blue Division) qualified for the playoffs for the third consecutive season, won their fifth straight game and snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Bears (2-6 overall, 1-5 OAA Blue).

 

While all those feats are good ones, making the playoffs is what was on Ferndale coach Eric Royal’s mind following the game.

 

“That was our main goal of the season,” Royal said. “Winning six and extending your season is our main goal. So, we check that box. … I’m happy that we made the playoffs.”

 

All of the scoring took place in the first half, and it was two turnovers from Berkley that helped the Eagles secure another playoff spot.

 

In the first quarter, Ferndale junior Tre’maine Lee recovered a fumble and ran the ball into the end zone for the first score of the game.

 

The Eagles led 8-0 after a two-point conversion.

 

Berkley’s lone touchdown of the game came via a 58-yard run from senior Jeremiah Watkins in the first quarter.

 

Ferndale went on to answer back with a 74-yard run by junior Tre’Jon Pickett.

 

The Eagles led 14-7 after a failed two-point conversion.

 

The last score of the game came in the second quarter when Pickett ran the ball in from 3 yards out, which was followed by another failed two-point conversion.

 

That touchdown came after Lee had recovered a fumble.

 

Prior to its three-year run of making the playoffs, Ferndale hadn’t qualified for the postseason since 2008.

 

A prime reason for the program’s turnaround could be the expectations that Royal has placed on players who choose to suit up for the Eagles.

 

“When I was their age, I didn’t work half as hard as they do,” Royal said. “We really push our boys hard all-year round, through the offseason. Since I took over the job as head coach, we lift weights very hard, we condition very hard; we hit the classroom very hard. (We’ve been) building a winning culture in our program from day one. Now, we’re starting to reap a lot (of) those benefits.”

 

This is the second consecutive season that Berkley hasn’t made the playoffs.

 

From coach Sean Shields’ perspective, “time” is the key to getting the program turned around.

 

“Coming in, in April, and trying to piece this together this fast, it’s (going to) be nice to have a full offseason and get boys going in the weight room, getting guys used to a system and everything along those lines,” Shields said. “It’s just basically time.”

 

Up next, Ferndale plays at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 away against Redford Thurston.

 

The Bears play at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at home against Troy High.

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