Goricki's prep picks: St. Mary’s defense sets for C.C. attack

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Orchard Lake St Mary’s has allowed 27 points the last four weeks.

The high school football season begins its stretch drive as teams aim for league titles and state playoff positioning.

For Orchard Lake St. Mary’s coach George Porritt, he’s got his sights set on Friday’s opponent — No. 3 Detroit Catholic Central (6-0, 1-0 Catholic League).

And it’s the defense for No. 13 St. Mary’s (4-2, 2-0) that will be in the spotlight.

“They have a terrific running game in (Nicholas) Capatina and he’s one of the best I’ve seen all year,” Porritt said of Catholic Central. “And then they have a quarterback in (Austin) Brown who makes them a double threat and, of course, they have an inside trapping game, so they’re really a triple-threat team.

“They’ve always been big and strong and they are bigger and stronger this year so it will be tough to stop one and they’ve got three things.”

St. Mary’s has allowed 27 points the last four weeks. Catholic Central is averaging 37 points.

“What’s been big for us is how our defense has been putting us in great field position for our offense,” said Porritt, whose team could see Catholic Central again in two weeks for the league title. “We’ve been able to rely on our defense since we have a lot of veterans there so that’s been a key for us.”

Pick: Catholic Central by 4.

Other top games

Rochester Adams (5-1) at Birmingham Groves (6-0), 7 p.m. Friday: The OAA White Division showdown for first matches Groves’ defense against Adams’ high-scoring offense. Groves is allowing an average of nine points while Adams scores 39. Adams by 1

Romeo (4-2) at Warren Mott (6-0), 7 p.m. Friday: Mott is hoping to knock off the defending Division 1 state champion for the right to play Utica Eisenhower next week for the MAC Red title. Mott is averaging 34 points. Mott by 2

Detroit King (5-1) at Detroit East English (4-2), noon Saturday: The winner moves to the PSL playoffs while the loser is likely headed to the sidelines. King’s 19-game winning streak was snapped last week (Cass Tech). East English lost to Cass Tech two weeks ago. King by 6