Football Preview: Pontiac Notre Dame Prep

2017 record: 8-3

By: C & G Sports Staff | Rochester Post | Published August 7, 2018

Last season’s record: 8-3
League: Independent
Returning starters: N/A
First game: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 24 vs. Detroit Northwestern Collegiate Prep

Offensive keys:
On their way to the playoffs last season — marking the second berth in three years and fifth in the last seven — the Irish averaged 32.9 points per contest. That was the best offensive output for the program since 2013. The club will need to mirror those totals facing a schedule that features seven opponents that had a winning record last season.

Defensive keys:
NDP only allowed 12.6 points per game last year, which was the best for the school since 2011. The Irish posted six shutouts. A stingy defense will be helpful as the school plays several teams for the first time, including Muskegon Catholic Central, Corunna High and Noblesville Guerin Catholic from Indiana.

Coach’s outlook:
Coach Pat Fox did not respond for comment. 


Schedule:
vs. Detroit Northwestern Collegiate Prep (0-9) — 7:30 p.m. Aug. 24
Last year marked the first meeting between these two sides. NDP earned a 42-0 victory in the contest, topping a program that was shut out in seven games last season.

at Muskegon Catholic Central (8-2) — 7 p.m. Aug. 31
This will be the first meeting between the two programs. It will be nearly a three-hour drive for the Fighting Irish, with the schools sitting 186 miles apart. Catholic Central has made the playoffs each of the last seven seasons.

at Corunna High (5-4) — 7 p.m. Sept. 7
This will be another first-time affair, but with a unique caveat. After years of participating in the Catholic League, NDP left two years ago and is now an independent. While the Irish remain without a league membership, they will take on the three schools from the Genesee Area Conference Red Division this season to help fill their schedule. Corunna aims for a fourth straight winning season.

at Goodrich High (8-2) — 7 p.m. Sept. 14
Dubbed the Martians, Goodrich also hails from the GAC Red. The club rebounded from a 0-9 mark in 2016 to finish 8-1 in the regular season last year and earned a playoff spot. Ironically, Goodrich met NDP in the first round of the playoffs. NDP won 27-23.

vs. Lake Fenton High (8-2) — 7 p.m. Sept. 21
Last year the GAC Red had eight member schools. This year there are only three, with Lake Fenton rounding out the league schedule for NDP. It will mark the first time these two programs have met since the pair clashed in the season openers of 1986 and 1987.

vs. Noblesville Guerin Catholic (Indiana) (6-4) — 3 p.m. Sept. 29
Yet another first-time meeting awaits NDP in Week 6. Guerin Catholic will make the trek from Noblesville, located just north of Indianapolis, for a Saturday afternoon affair. The club reached the first round of the Indiana state playoffs last season.

at Waterford Kettering (2-7) — 7 p.m. Oct. 5
These two sides met for the first time in Week 7 last year. NDP earned a 17-0 victory. Kettering has only managed a combined nine victories in the past three seasons.

vs. Portland High (10-2) — 7 p.m. Oct. 12
In Week 8 last year, these two teams clashed for the first time, with Portland picking up a 29-27 win. Located northwest of Lansing, Portland has gone a combined 30-4 in the last three seasons.

at Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (7-5) — 7 p.m. Oct. 19
These two programs battled in the regular-season finale last year as well, marking the first meeting. NDP won 28-14. St. Mary Catholic Central has only missed the playoffs three times since 2000.