August 20, 2014 at 1:00 am

High school football preview: Western Wayne Athletic Conference

Tim Galloway)

Blue Division

Predicted order of finish

(Consensus of coaches)

2013 records in parentheses

1. Dearborn Fordson (7-3, 4-1), 2. Belleville (6-4, 4-1), 3. Dearborn (4-5, 3-2), 4. Redford Thurston (6-4, 3-2), 5. Dearborn Edsel Ford (2-7, 0-5), Dearborn Heights Crestwood (4-5, 1-4)

Top four players

■Fordson receiver/defensive back Jamil Sabbagh (5-foot-10, 185) can make things happen from multiple positions. He used his 4.4 speed to gain 1,500 all-purpose yards last year and return two punts for TDs and an interception for another score. He is committed to Central Michigan.

■Belleville middle linebacker/tight end Carlos Clark (6-1, 220) was a force on a stingy defense last season, getting in on 85 tackles while also making a key interception against league power Fordson. He has multiple offers, including one from Central Michigan.

■Fordson linebacker Abdallah Jaffal (6-2, 210) was a big reason the defense limited opponents to 13 points a game last season, earning a state playoff appearance. A tough, physical presence, Jaffal could play safety at the next level. Western Michigan, Ball State, Central Michigan and Cincinnati are interested in him.

■Dearborn two-way tackle Mohamed Abdallah (6-5, 285) reminds coach John Powell of former tackle Bearooz Yacoobi, now at Purdue. He expects Abdallah to be a force on both sides of the ball in his senior year. “Mohamed gets off the ball well and is very physical,” Powell said.

Top four story lines

■Look for Belleville to have more weapons on offense with the transfer of quarterback Askaree Crawford (6-1, 285) from Ann Arbor Skyline. Crawford has 4.5 speed and can make things happen at multiple positions. He could be moved over to receiver or running back with Luke Edwards and junior Connor Sampson returning at quarterback.

■Dearborn coach John Powell fully expects his team to return to the playoffs after a disappointing 4-5 showing. Dearborn, which had made the state playoffs in 10 of the previous 11 years, returns eight starters on offense and six on defense. He also expects big things from defensive end Yusuf Khalil and quarterback Albert Ferris (4.4 speed), who were injured most of last season.

■If quarterback Craig Gailliard can be more consistent, Edsel Ford has a strong chance of moving up in the standings. Gailliard has shown flashes of brilliance, including a five-TD game in a win over Sterling Heights when he returned two interceptions for scores, ran for two from his quarterback position and also scored on an 81-yard kickoff return.

■Belleville has an outstanding 1-2 punch at linebacker in Carlos Clark and junior Thayeransel Anderson (6-0, 230). Clark made 85 tackles and is getting numerous college offers, and Anderson should be soon. Coach Matt Davenport will be looking for them to step up in the opener against Ypsilanti Lincoln, to whom it has lost three straight.

Red Division

Predicted order of finish

(Consensus of coaches)

2013 records in parentheses

1. Dearborn Heights Robichaud (6-4, 4-1). 2. Romulus (4-5, 1-4), 3. Garden City (4-5, 3-2), 4. Livonia Clarenceville (12-1, 5-0), 5. Dearborn Heights Annapolis (4-5, 2-3), 6. Redford Union (1-8, 0-5).

Top four players

■Romulus defensive end Immanuel Stinson (6-4, 240) is a force, using his size and quickness to get 16 sacks last season. He is being recruited by Michigan State, Western Michigan and Toledo.

■Romulus running back Oscar Brown (5-8, 180) can bust loose for a touchdown every time he touches the ball with his sub-4.4 speed. He rushed for 800 yards despite suffering from a hamstring injury last year. He is being recruited by MAC and Ivy League schools.

■Clarenceville quarterback Jacob Kubiak (6-3, 190) did a great job of running the offense last year to help his team reach the Division 5 semifinals. He threw for more than 1,300 yards and 16 TDs and is being recruited by Division II schools.

■Garden City junior tackle Nick Edney (6-2, 280) is arguably the top offensive lineman in the division. He has great strength and speed (4.7 40) and is expected to open huge holes for his teammates to run through.

Top four story lines

■Romulus coach Thomas Patterson expects his team to challenge for the division title and earn a playoff spot after close losses to champion Clarenceville, Robichaud and Annapolis last year. “We’re stronger than ever and I feel we have a great shot this year at winning the division title,” said Patterson, who has three Division 1-caliber players in Stinson, Brown and receiver Darius Jackson.

■Robichaud reached the state playoffs last year, where it lost to Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, its season-opening opponent. Second-year coach Al Demps will be looking for big things from sophomores Keonta Massenburg (slot/safety, 4.4 speed) and quarterback Jairus Grissom.

■Clarenceville coach Ken Fry is looking at a “total rebuild” after losing 17 seniors from a 22-member team which finished 12-1, including a Division 5 state semifinal run. Quarterback Kubiak will have running back James Hill (6-2, 205) and receiver Elijah Bean to work with.

■Garden City coach Scott Murray, who brings back 16 starters including quarterback Kyler Hubbs, believes his team is the favorite to win the Red and can earn its first playoff appearance since 2011.