Here are 10 of the top high school football games to watch in Metro Detroit this season.
Clarkston at Macomb Dakota, 7 p.m. Aug. 27
Dakota has been the premier team in Macomb County the past several years and Clarkston is the two-time defending Division 1 state champion, carrying a 27-game winning streak into the season opener, including a 24-21 win over Dakota in last year’s opener.
Muskegon at Detroit Catholic Central, 7 p.m. Aug. 28
This has been an outstanding series with Muskegon coming away with a 21-14 win in last year’s opener. Muskegon advanced to the Division 3 state championship game, losing to Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. Catholic Central failed to make the playoffs after advancing to the Division 1 state title game the previous three years.
Rockford at Saline, 7 p.m. Aug. 28
Rockford is a traditional power, advancing to the state playoffs the last 20 years. Ralph Munger is just two wins shy of becoming the third coach to reach 300 victories and Saline will try to prevent win No. 299. Saline advanced to the Division 1 state title game, winning 12 straight after a season-opening 31-28 loss to Muskegon Mona Shores.
Detroit King vs. Warren De La Salle, 2 p.m., Aug. 29 at Wayne State
This is the state’s No. 1-ranked team in King going up against the Division 2 defending state champ in De La Salle. The teams could face each other again in the state playoffs.
Detroit Cass Tech vs. Southfield, 5 p.m., Aug. 29, at Wayne State
Freshman phenom quarterback Sam Johnson III will have an interesting debut, going up against one of the state’s top defenses in Cass Tech, which has a secondary made up of Division 1 talent in Demetric Vance (Michigan State), Donovan Johnson and Jaylen Kelly-Powell.
Macomb Dakota at Clinton Township Chippewa Valley, 7 p.m. Sept. 4
The last time the teams met, Chippewa Valley ended a 10-year, 16-game losing streak in the series with a thrilling 28-27 win in a Division 1 district-title game. Chippewa Valley standout Stefan Claiborne blocked a PAT with three minutes left for the difference and also blocked a field goal earlier in the game and scored a TD off a blocked punt.
Clarkston at West Bloomfield, 7 p.m., Sept. 11
It was a Week 2 classic when the teams played their OAA Red game last year. Clarkston came away with a 55-41 win, scoring 14 unanswered points during the fourth quarter to pull away. Clarkston quarterback D.J. Zezula, who accounted for 352 total yards, is gone, but MSU-bound quarterback Trishton Jackson returns for West Bloomfield.
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s at Warren De La Salle, 7 p.m. Sept. 25 at Wayne State
The Catholic League Central Division teams won state championships last season and have the talent to repeat this season. Expect both to pound the ball on the ground, but OLSM’s Kahlee Hamler could be the difference with his ability to break loose on special teams.
Detroit Cass Tech at Detroit King, noon, Sept. 26
Cass Tech dominated King, 39-7, the last time the teams played in the PSL title game with Donovan Peoples-Jones getting two TD receptions off passes from Rodney Hall. Both players are back. King should be much better with multiple transfers coming in, the biggest being Martell Pettaway, who elevates the running game.
Detroit Cass Tech at Detroit East English, 7 p.m. Oct. 2
East English pushed Cass Tech to the limit both times the teams played last season, falling 21-16 in Week 6, then 19-12 in the PSL semifinal after failing to protect a 12-0 fourth-quarter lead.