This week’s top high school football playoff games:
Clarkston (7-2) at Romeo (8-1): It doesn’t get any better than this for a first-round playoff game, two-time defending Division 1 state champion Clarkston — ranked No. 15 in The News Super 20 poll — going up against arguably the top team in Macomb County, No. 9 Romeo which owns a victory over traditional power Macomb Dakota.
Clarkston has won all five games since running back Nolan Eriksen returned from an ankle injury which sidelined him the first four weeks of the season. He has run for more than 600 yards and Wolves coach Kurt Richardson has been pleased with the play of Alex Kessman, who has played quarterback since a Week No. 3 injury to the starter.
Detroit East English (7-2) vs. Warren DeLaSalle (6-3) at Wayne State: The teams were among the top 10 ranked teams in The News Super 20 poll for most of the season.
English suffered a 33-8 Week No. 6 loss to PSL rival Cass Tech after suffering a tough 20-15 loss to No. 1 King in Week No. 3.
DeLaSalle defeated East English 21-14 in the district final last year, moving on to win the Division 2 state championship. However, the Pilots have struggled in recent weeks, falling to Detroit Catholic Central 21-14 in OT, then to Orchard Lake St. Mary, 38-0 in the Catholic League title game Saturday night at Ford Field.
Plymouth (6-3) at Northville (9-0): This is a rematch of the KLAA Kensington Conference championship game won by Northville 23-20 in Week No. 8 at Plymouth.
Plymouth has yet to recover from the loss, suffering a one-sided, 61-14 loss Friday to Waterford Mott.
The big question is, can Plymouth slow down Northville quarterback Justin Zimbo, who threw for 190 yards and ran for 99 in the title game win?
Hartland (6-3) at Brighton (8-1): This is a rematch from Week No. 6 when Hartland handed Brighton its lone loss, 14-7, knocking out Brighton starting quarterback Grant Dunatchik in the first half.
Dunatchik returned from his high ankle and sprained MCL injury Friday in a 43-21 win over South Lyon after sitting out the previous two games. Brighton is led by running back Joey Clifford, who has rushed for more than 1,400 yards.
Farmington Hills Harrison (7-2) at Birmingham Groves (9-0): Yes, Groves is for real, just take a look at its 18-14 win Friday over Ann Arbor Pioneer and standout running back Antjuan Simmons, who has received more than a dozen offers from Major Power Five Conference teams the last month.
Muskegon (7-2) at Traverse City Central (9-0): Wow, suffer losses to No. 6 Muskegon Mona Shores (21-18) and No. 13 Detroit Catholic Central (15-12) and your first-round reward is a road game at Traverse City Central (9-0)?
Well, that’s the scenario for a Muskegon program which has played for the state championship at Ford Field the last three years, losing to Birmingham Brother Rice in Division 2 in 2012 and ’13, then coming up short against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s in last year’s Division 3 title game, 7-0.