November 28, 2013 at 1:00 am

Tom Markowski

State football championship game appearance 'huge' for Clarkston

Clarkston — The first few days following Clarkston’s semifinal victory over Flint Carman-Ainsworth last week were so hectic for coach Kurt Richardson, he needed to re-focus and shut off the outside world.

“I did turn my phone off for a while,” he said. “So far, it hasn’t been too much of a distraction.”

Pretty impressive considering Clarkston’s first state championship appearance is likely the biggest sporting event this northern Oakland County town has experienced.

And its opponent at 1 p.m. Saturday at Ford Field is Detroit Catholic Central, which makes its fourth final appearance in the last five years and has won 10 state titles.

“It’s huge,” said Richardson, a Clarkston graduate (1971) and assistant before becoming coach in 1987. “Being a hometown boy, it’s special. Former players, guys I grew up with, so many people have called congratulating me.”

The pick: C.C. by 4

DIVISION 2 — Birmingham Brother Rice (13-0) vs. Muskegon (12-1), 1 p.m. Friday: A rematch of last year’s final won by Brother Rice. Muskegon’s triple option is sure to give Brother Rice problems. Brother Rice by 7

DIVISION 3 — DeWitt (13-0) vs. Zeeland West (12-1), 7:30 p.m. Saturday: DeWitt’s passing game should be in high gear. West has scored 30 or more points every game. DeWitt by 2

DIVISION 4 — Marine City (12-1) vs. Grand Rapids South Christian (12-1), 7:30 p.m. Friday: South Christian hasn’t allowed more than two touchdowns in each playoff game. Marine City surrendered at least three in its first three playoff games. South Christian by 6

DIVISION 5 — Menominee (13-0) vs. Grand Rapids West Catholic (9-4), 4:30 p.m. Saturday: West Catholic lost its first three games to teams that reached the semifinals. Menominee runs the single wing and has scored at least 47 points in each of its last seven games. Menominee by 6

DIVISION 6 — Ithaca (13-0) vs. Clinton (13-0), 4:30 p.m. Friday: Ithaca’s Travis Smith is the more prolific passer, but T.J. Baker has had a productive season for Clinton (24 touchdowns, one interception). Ithaca by 8

DIVISION 7 — Detroit Loyola (13-0) vs. Ishpeming (13-0), 10 a.m. Saturday: Loyola was a big favorite to beat Ishpeming in last year’s final and lost. Loyola by 10

DIVISION 8 — Beal City (13-0) vs. Muskegon Catholic Central (11-2), 10 a.m. Friday: C.C. played a more competitive schedule, but Beal City has steamrolled past its playoff opponents by a combined 195-33. C.C. by 5

tom.markowski@detroitnews.com

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