This week's top high school football playoff games
David Goricki of The Detroit News breaks down this week's top state high school playoff football games.
Top games this week
Macomb Dakota (7-3) at No. 4 Utica Eisenhower (10-0), Friday, 7 p.m.: Dakota’s offense is running on all cylinders since the return of standout running back Kaiser Carleton from a knee injury, averaging 47.5 points the last six games, including a 48-27 playoff-opening win over Clinton Township Chippewa Valley Friday to avenge a 40-38 Week 7 loss. Brett Droski threw for 355 yards and three TDs with Jaylen Hall grabbing six of the passes for 152 yards and two TDs. Carleton rushed for 133 yards and a TD.
Eisenhower averages 42.5 points this season, defeating L’Anse Creuse North 48-21 Friday. Eisenhower defeated Dakota, 26-13, in Week 2 to end a six-game losing streak in the rivalry. Dakota defeated Eisenhower in the districts the last two years, including 31-8 in the district final a year ago.
No. 19 Canton (8-2) at No. 5 Saline (10-0), Friday, 7 p.m.: Markus Sanders and Canton should give Saline its biggest test this season. Sanders has rushed for 1,535 yards this season to push him over the 6,000-yard mark for his career (6,030). He ran for 157 yards and three TDs in Canton’s 55-29 win over Northville.
Saline and Canton are familiar with one another, facing each other the last two years in the playoffs with Saline coming away with a 42-35 win two years ago on its way to the Division 1 state-title game. Canton dominated Josh Jackson, now at Virginia Tech, and Saline last year, 27-7.
Sanders rushed for 195 yards last season against Saline and had 184 yards in the loss two years ago.
Saline crushed Belleville 38-7 Friday behind the hard running of Connor Hibbard (171 yards, four TDs).
No. 1 Detroit Cass Tech (10-0) at No. 10 Dearborn (9-1), Friday, 7 p.m.: Mikey Phillips and Dearborn are playing at a high level, defeating rival Fordson, 28-23, in Week 8, then crushing Livonia Stevenson, 52-0, in a Division 1 opener Friday.
Phillips completed 13 of 16 passes for 200 yards and three TDs in the rout of Stevenson, also rushing for 70 yards.
Cass Tech dominated Fordson, 35-7, behind the big-play ability of five-star receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones and running back Donovan Johnson.
Standout Ali Fayad will have to put pressure on Cass Tech quarterback Rodney Hall for Dearborn to have a shot at the upset.
Top games last week
Walled Lake Western 31, South Lyon 30: Quarterback John Tracy completed 15 of 24 passes for 194 yards, including second-half TD tosses of 8 and 10 yards to MSU-bound receiver Cody White, to rally Walled Lake Western (10-0) from a 14-point second-half deficit to defeat South Lyon (5-5).
Carlos Zoratti threw for 161 yards and three TDs, but his pass on a two-point conversion to go for the win with 1:07 left was knocked away by Western linebacker Matt Alati.
Waterford Mott 28, Rochester Adams 21: Mott (6-4) won its first playoff game in program history without head coach Chris Fahr (MHSAA suspension). With interim coach Rick Bouch calling the shots, Keith Fields rushed for 205 yards on 37 carries, scoring four TDs to help Mott take a 28-0 lead in the Division 1 opener.
Four-year starting quarterback Kyle Wood (303 yards passing) rallied Adams (6-4) back, including a 98-yard scoring toss to Vince Gray. But Adams’ final drive ended when Chase Kareta was hauled down at the Mott 26 as time expired after a 41-yard completion.
Mott will play at defending state champion Romeo for the district title.
Oak Park 26, U-D Jesuit 17: Najee Trinity rushed for 167 yards on 33 carries, scoring on first-half runs of 4 and 9 yards for Oak Park (7-3).
Elijah Collins scored on an 85-yard run for U-D (6-3), which also had a 36-yard TD pass from Michael Sims to Victor Hill to pull within 19-17 with 5:44 left.
Oak Park punched its ticket to a district-final showdown with defending Division 2 champion Detroit King when Dylan Stackhouse scored on a 30-yard run with 1:37 remaining.