Goricki: Harrison's QB in spotlight
Anthony Giovanni was Farmington Hills Harrison's third-string quarterback when the state playoffs began earlier this month.
Now Giovanni will be in the spotlight when Harrison (10-2) takes on Muskegon Mona Shores (11-1) — ranked No. 7 in The News' Super 20 poll — Saturday afternoon at Howell.
First, standout three-year starting quarterback Jevon Shaw suffered an ACL injury in the 42-10 pre-district rout of Fenton.
Then, David Vinsky struggled to get points on the board in Harrison's 10-9 district title win over Walled Lake Western.
Harrison legendary coach, John Herrington, then went with Giovanni, a 5-foot-8 junior, who ran for 92 yards and two TDs and completed 4-of-5 for 90 in a 23-10 regional championship win over Flushing.
"He was the No. 3 quarterback, but he's also been our scout team quarterback, going up against our defense every week," Herrington said. "He's smart, a 4.0 kid who handles our offense well, and he didn't turn the ball over (against Flushing).
"Mona Shores has a good quarterback in Tyree Jackson (Buffalo) and good receivers, too. They beat Saline and Muskegon, both Final Four teams, so they're strong everywhere. We just have to hang on to the ball, play real good defense and hopefully gain an advantage in the kicking game." Mona Shores by 10
Other top games
Detroit Cass Tech (12-0) vs. Saline (11-1) at Troy Athens, 1 p.m. Saturday: Saline won its first regional title in school history. It has an excellent quarterback in junior dual threat Josh Jackson, the son of Michigan running backs coach Fred Jackson. Saline's biggest obstacle will be Michigan-bound running back Mike Weber. Cass Tech by 6
Warren De La Salle (9-3) vs. Southfield (9-3) at Novi, 1 p.m. Saturday: De La Salle and Southfield both have outstanding defenses, led by De La Salle's front line and linebackers and Southfield's strong secondary. Look for De La Salle's running game of Allen Stritzinger to be the difference. De La Salle by 2
Clarkston (12-0) vs. East Kentwood (11-1) at Brighton, 1 p.m. Saturday: Tony Kimbrough is doing a tremendous job as East Kentwood's first-year head coach. Kimbrough, who quarterbacked Western Michigan to its last Mid-American Conference championship in the late 1980s, has guided East Kentwood to its first semifinal appearance since 2002. Clarkston is the defending Division 1 state champion, winners of 25 straight, and quarterback D.J. Zezula will make the streak reach 26. Clarkston by 6 in OT
Orchard Lake St. Mary's (10-2) vs. New Boston Huron (11-1) at Dearborn, 1 p.m. Saturday: Orchard Lake St. Mary's is a traditional power, winning the Division 3 state championship in 2011 and playing in the title game in 2009, 2010 and 2012. New Boston Huron had never won a playoff game before this season, so Coach Dan Kalbfleisch feels his team has nothing to lose. OLSM by 12