Inkster (0-0) at Zeeland West (0-0)
East meets West, literally as the Vikings travel to the lakeshore to battle the Dux. Inkster of course, brings a talented roster which features wide receiver Cameron Gordon, running back Alan Freeman and junior quarterback Devin Gardner on offense. However, all those skill players can’t do it without the hogs up front and that is where the Dux should have the advantage. Can the Wing-T offense control the clock and keep the explosive Viking offense off the field? I think too many new faces to break in for the Dux, but their physical style of play plus a big boost from the home crowd should make this a close game.
PREDICTION: Inkster – 26, Zeeland West – 18
Detroit Cass Tech (0-0) at Detroit Central (0-0)
It’s put up or shut up time for Cass Tech as the most scrutinized team in the state opens up their 2008 campaign. They will be facing a physical Central team, who will look to stack the box against Cass’ running game. However, we will get to see the new spread offense in place for the Technicians and they will simply have too many athletes in space for Central. The team speed will be the difference and Cass should be able to put up some points in this one.
PREDICTION: Detroit Cass Tech – 35, Detroit Central – 12
East Grand Rapids (0-0) at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (0-0)
This highly anticipated rematch of the thrilling state title game from a year ago should be an exciting one. The question I have is how East will do with a new quarterback facing a tough OLSM defense in week one. He’ll have outstanding tailback Joe Glendenning behind him and big tight end Chris Blair underneath. However, the Eaglets have a ton of experience and talent and QB Robert Bolden should be even better now that he has another year under his belt. I see OLSM getting their revenge in another close one.
PREDICTION: OLSM – 28, EGR – 21
Unity Christian (0-0) at Allendale (0-0)
Another revenge game as the Falcons are looking to redeem their loss from last year’s opener. All summer, Allendale has preached about this game, so Unity won’t catch them off guard again, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be close. Unity returns a lot of experience, but Allendale is going to give them a heavy dose of Hersey Jackson and the senior should carry his team to victory.
PREDICTION: Allendale – 35, Unity Christian – 21
Detroit Country Day (0-0) at Birmingham Seaholm (0-0)
This is a good matchup and there will be quite a bit of talent on the field. Seaholm has a strong defense lead by DE Mitch Kessel and linebackers Jeremy Altman and Adam Fenton. However, Country Day brings a ton of explosiveness on offense with running back O’Neill Swanson and wide receiver Bennie Fowler. Ultimately, I think Country Day has the more balanced team and they will come out on top.
PREDICTION: Detroit Country Day – 20, Seaholm – 14
Detroit Crockett (0-0) at Flint Powers Catholic (0-0)
This is a tough game to call and I expect it to be a battle throughout. Crockett brings a talented roster with them but they are going up against a tough, hard nosed FPC team with a great target in junior tight end Patrick O’Brien. However, Crockett has a strong line lead by Aaron McCord, an experienced, smart quarterback in Tony Lippett and speedy tailback Khyran Major. The experience Crockett has should help them win a close one.
PREDICTION: Detroit Crockett – 17, Flint Powers Catholic - 14
Flint Southwestern (0-0) at Midland Dow (0-0)
This early Saginaw Valley battle has Southwestern coming into town to take on quarterback Kyle Partlo and the Chargers. Partlo is a fine athlete but he will need some help from his line if they are to win this game, especially with DE/LB DeMarkus Bracy on the other side. Southwestern has quite a collection of athletes. No Mark Ingram level running back, but transfer quarterback Cameron Stover and last year’s starter Anthony Kemp provide experience and athleticism and they have the better arsenal than Partlo.
PREDICTION: Flint SWA – 30, Midland Dow – 20