play along: Predicting week 2 of the high school football season and recovering from a brutal first week
Week 1 of the high school football season was a rough one for my picks. I went a pathetic 6-6 (.500), suffering a beat down of relatively epic proportion to you -- the all-knowing readers -- who needed just a so-so 8-4 (.666) showing to beat me.
I lost because of my lack of faith in two local teams, Dexter and Skyline, who happen to play each other this week. Skyline quarterback Andrew Copp relished in my idiocy, sarcastically telling me "I like that prediction," with a wide smile on his face following his team's 28-25 win over Hartland.
As I told Copp, glad to be proven wrong.
A game that not only I, but 83 percent of you -- the all-knowing readers -- had wrong was Huron's 21-20 overtime loss to Salem, the Rocks' first season-opening win since 2005.
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
"We gotta convert and we gotta finish drives and we didn’t do that," Gildersleeve said. "We weren't putting it in the end zone and as a coaching staff we gotta do a better job of coaching them up, making sure they're in the best position to execute."
Huron's poor finishing, mixed with bad luck -- Huron kicker Ryan Embree's field goal attempt, which would have put the River Rats ahead 17-7 late in the fourth quarter, hit the crossbar -- was topped with a blocked extra point in overtime, which proved to be the game-winning play.
"When you don't take advantage of your opportunities, as we didn't in the first half, you end up n a dog fight, and when you get in a dog fight anything can happen," Gildersleeve said.
This week the River Rats travel to Lincoln to try to rebound against the undefeated Railsplitters. Calling a team "undefeated" after the first week of the season may be a little premature, but for a team that had only won a single season opener in the previous 12 years, the distinction is earned.
Gildersleeve said he won't let recent history dictate how his team approaches the game.
"Chris (Westfall) and his staff are doing a great job," Gildersleeve said. "They're much improved, fast and pretty physical."
Regardless, I'm thinking the River Rats' will get the better of the undefeated Railsplitters. Huron, 24-20.
*All games start at 7 p.m. unless noted.
Windsor Assumption at Father Gabriel Richard (1-0), 4:30 p.m.: I went to college (er...university?) in Canada, so I know the following: A) To rush the quarterback in a game of pickup football, they count down by saying "steamboat" instead of "Mississippi" or "apple;" B) There are three downs in Canadian football; and C) A touchback on a kickoff or punt in Canadian football is worth a point. What about any of those facts makes you believe these Canuckleheads can beat a team of red-blooded Americans? America 50-0.
Skyline (1-0) at Dexter (1-0): The toughest call of the week, in my humble opinion, because both team's weaknesses from a year ago were strengths in season-opening wins. Skyline's porous defense looked strong (for three quarters, anyway) and Dexter's turnover prone offense from a year ago was rolling with dual threat senior quarterback Michael Mioduszewski (184 yards, 3 TDs passing; 106 yards, 1 TD rushing) hitting on all cylinders. Skyline, 35-28
Manchester (1-0) at Napoleon (0-1): It's scary to think what the Manchester offense would have done last week without three interceptions by quarterback Nate Bossory (who threw for 314 yards regardless) and, by my count, six dropped passes. Manchester, 42-14.
Detroit Loyola (0-1) at Willow Run (0-1): May be a down year for traditionally-strong Loyola, which lost to traditionally-weak Oak Park last week, 14-12. But then again Oak Park has 1,213 students to Loyola's 312 and is now being led by veteran coach and four-time state championship winner Greg Carter. Loyola, 30-20.
East Lansing (1-0) at Chelsea (1-0): Bonus points to Chelsea for scheduling a quality non-conference opponent instead of a boring guaranteed win. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, bonus point won't help cover 6-foot-5 receiver Efe Scott-Emuakpor or run past Chris Hagan. East Lansing 20-17.
Monroe Jefferson (1-0) at Milan (0-1): The Bears put up 41 points last week, the Big Reds scored zero. Milan's defense won't give up as many points as Tecumseh did, but can the offense score enough to win? Jefferson, 14-10.
Ypsilanti (1-0) at Saline (0-1): The speed of Austin Sanders and Ypsilanti's receivers will be on full display on Saline's artificial turf. Saline kicker Dylan Mulder's ability to shorten the field for his offense and lengthen it for Ypsilanti may be the difference. Ypsilanti, 26-20.
Pioneer (0-1) at Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice (1-0): Brother Rice's running back trio of DeShun Brown, Devin Church and Brian Walker was scary good at the Big Day Prep Showdown last week, as were the big boys making the holes for them. Brother Rice, 38-28.
Last week/season record: 6-6 (.500); Readers' week/season record: 8-4 (.666).