- Jim Townsend
Playoff Round Two – High School Football Preview
As we move into November, and the second week of the high school football playoffs, both teams in our community are still in the action.
The Portland Raiders will host their league rival Lansing Catholic on Friday night. The Raiders beat the Cougars at Lansing Catholic 35-6 in week five, but as I said last week before the Ovid-Elsie game, beating the same high school football team twice in one year is no easy task. The Cougars have a high-powered offense, some extremely athletic players, and will come into this game ready for revenge.
The Cougars only other loss on the year was 14-8 to Detroit Country Day. The Raiders defeated Ovid-Elsie in round one 16-0 in a defensive battle.
Commenting on this week’s game, Raider Head Coach John Novara says, "It is always difficult to play a team twice in a season. Lansing Catholic is a well-coached athletic football team that will be looking for revenge. It is going to be important for us to maintain possession of the football and keep their athletes off the field. On defense we must eliminate their big plays and make sure that we play assignment football."
When asked for his prediction on this game, Buck Geno from “ESPN 96.1’s Game of the Week” said, “The road to Ford Field has passed the 1st exit; Portland sent Ovid-Elsie to an early departure with a dominating defensive performance. The Red Raiders shut out O-E 16-0. A first quarter TD was all that the Portland defense would need as they stymied the Marauder offense time and time again. This week's matchup has another familiar foe ready to resume battle with the Red Raiders - Lansing Catholic Central. In Week 5 the Raiders were very rude guests as they romped over the Cougars 35-6. This time around Portland hosts this battle of CAAC foes; kickoff is at 7:00 PM on Friday. Rematch games are always the toughest to play, but with the defense playing at an impenetrable level, LCC will look to simply best the 6 points they scored 5 weeks ago. Portland's run-first attack should be able to again punch holes in the Cougar defense; be ready to see a couple of wrinkles in the game plan if the need arises. Portland 24, Lansing Catholic 10.”
After a 44-6 victory over North Adams-Jerome in round one, the Shamrocks will host International Academy (Flint) on Saturday afternoon. The Phoenix come in with an 8-2 record, after the beat Battle Creek St. Philip last week last week 36-24.
The Phoenix offense has been on fire this season, scoring 50 plus points five times. The Shamrock defense will be key in getting the win this week.
When asked for his prediction on this game, Buck Geno from “ESPN 96.1’s Game of the Week” said, “The Shamrocks emerged victorious in the first step of their quest to reach the 8-man Finals with a 44-6 defeat of North-Adams Jerome. Next up are the Flames of Flint International Academy, who enter the contest at 8-2. Offense has been the name of the game for Flint International as they have scored 43.8 points per contest. Defensively they have given up 30.8 points/game, so the Shamrocks should have plenty of opportunity to put points on their side of the board as well. This game will kick off on Saturday at 2:00 PM to avoid conflict with the Portland HS contest on Friday night. Flint International poses a threat with their ability to score, but the competition they have played to this point has been inconsistent at best. This should be a higher scoring affair than most St. Patrick's fans may be used to seeing, but in the end the Shamrocks should be able to pull away as the game goes on. Portland St. Patrick's 62, Flint International Academy 34.”