Detroit News high-school football picks: Week 1

David Goricki
The Detroit News
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Detroit — Wayne State’s Adams Field is the place to be over the next few days if you’re a high school football fan with the Detroit Sports Commission Prep Kickoff Classic opening the 2014 season.

And one of the games to watch pits two of the top teams in the state — No. 2 Detroit Cass Tech against No. 5 Oak Park at 7 p.m. Friday — as well as two of the best running backs — King’s Mike Weber and Oak Park’s John Kelly.

Weber, who rushed for 1,659 yards last season before missing the state semifinals with an ankle injury, is looking for 2,000 yards before moving to Michigan next year.

And Kelly is hoping to do the same after going for 1,258 yards and 15 touchdowns last year.

But Weber will be the focus running behind a strong offensive line and the fact Rodney Hall takes charge of the Cass Tech offense for the first time.

“The key to our game will be the offensive line,” Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher said. “Rodney’s doing a great job, staying poised, and understands what it takes. He has to make it happen and I know he will. He just needs to let the game come to him.”

Other games to watch

All games 7 tonight unless noted

Macomb Dakota at Clarkston: Clarkston begins defense of its Division 1 state title and wants to get off to a better start than a year ago (lost to Rochester Adams). Dakota has a strong defensive line, led by Tony Balabani, Daniel Crawford and Colin Shock. Clarkston by 6

Lake Orion at Chippewa Valley: Lake Orion showcases a bigger line than a year ago for Matt Krause to run behind. Look for Chippewa Valley to gain some big yardage through the air with Sean Bunting, Kyle Muller and Stefan Claiborne. Lake Orion by 2

■U of D Jesuit at Harper Woods Chandler Park: Chandler Park will have a hard time slowing down dual-threat QB Ryan Brand, but expect Jesuit’s defense to have issues with Chandler Park’s passing attack. U of D by 6

Detroit Catholic Central at Muskegon, 7 p.m. Friday: This matchup features two outstanding linebackers in CC’s Jordan Jenkins and Muskegon’s T.J. Smith. CC by 1

Detroit King at Port Huron, 7 p.m. Friday: King had an easy time with Port Huron last year. QB Mikale Washington will be making his debut for King. King by 14

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s vs. Southfield at Wayne State, 4 p.m. Friday: Southfield has arguably the top secondary in the state. Southfield by 3

Pick: Cass Tech by 8

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