Pigskin Preview: Birmingham Groves takes OAA Blue title hopes to Royal Oak High on Oct. 16

By: Alex Tekip | C&G Newspapers | Published October 14, 2015


Birmingham Groves travels to Royal Oak High School on Oct. 16 hoping to lock up the Oakland Acitvities Association Blue Division title. The Falcons are 4-0 all-time against the Ravens. 

Groves (7-0 overall, 6-0 OAA Blue) is coming off 47-14 win over Berkley (5-2, 5-1 OAA Blue) on Oct. 9, in which it scored 41 unanswered points in the first half and became the outright leaders in the OAA Blue.

Groves is a well-rounded team with a strong defense and prolific offense. Groves’ defense has given up only 44 points total on the season.  Senior defensive Nathan Lazor is coming off a career game in which he recovered a Berkley fumble and ran it for a 64-yard touchdown. Senior Ryan Flaherty, and juniors Nathan Wagner and Jake Zanolli are among other key members of the Falcons' defense. On the offensive side, running backs Cedric Boswell, a senior, and Ernest Allen, a junior, are a threat to any defense when the ball is in their hands.

Royal Oak (4-3, 4-2 OAA Blue) is having its best season in seven years under new head coach Ray McMann. The Ravens, coming off a 27-8 win over Hazel Park on Oct. 9, are currently tied with Southfield-Lathrup for third place in the OAA Blue, behind Groves and Berkley. 

Royal Oak is a team that likes to run the ball due to its two strongest players — Brendan Beerer and James Mack — being running backs.  Groves’ strength on offense is also its run game. For Royal Oak to succeed, it must find a way to use quarterback Bobby Green in an effective passing game. For Groves to succeed, it needs to use its strong defense to shut down Beerer and Mack.

Prediction: Groves defeats the Royal Oak and wins the OAA Blue champion. 

Historical data courtesy of www.michigan-football.com