Goricki's prep picks: Churchill faces test vs. Northville
Livonia Churchill junior quarterback Drew Alsobrooks had a debut to remember, throwing for more than 300 yards and rushing for 65 yards while also kicking two field goals in a 53-13 rout of Monroe last week.
Now, Alsobrooks and Churchill have a bigger challenge on their hands when they travel to Northville Thursday night.
Northville was a 30-point winner (44-14) over a perennially strong Dearborn program.
“Drew’s a smart kid with a strong arm and has good knowledge of our system,” Churchill coach Bill DeFillipo said of Alsobrooks, who threw for four touchdowns, ran for two scores and kicked field goals of 25 and 32 yards. Martell Dooley had touchdown receptions of 48 and 39 yards and Deon Pitchford had six catches for 127 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown reception.
Churchill now is in the same division with Northville after the Kensington Lakes Activities Association went to 14 teams from 24 this season, and DeFillipo is looking forward to the game.
“Northville’s big up front and they’re running more of an option attack instead of a spread this year with an athletic quarterback (Jonathan Michalak),” DeFillipo said.
Michalak rushed for 120 yards in the win over Dearborn.
Look for Northville to have a major advantage with senior kicker Jake Moody, who connected on a 57-yard field goal in the opening quarter.
Pick: Northville by 3
Macomb Dakota (1-0) vs. Utica Eisenhower (1-0) at Utica, 7 p.m. Friday
Eisenhower snapped a six-game losing streak in the rivalry last season, defeating Dakota during the regular season, 26-13, then again in the postseason, 42-7. Returning standout quarterback Max Wittwer led Eisenhower to a 24-7 upset win over Oak Park Saturday. Junior quarterback Mark Tocco showed he is also a very good dual-threat quarterback in Dakota’s 31-24 upset win over three-time defending Division 3 state champion Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.
Pick: Eisenhower by 4
Bloomfield Hills (1-0) at West Bloomfield (0-1), 7 p.m. Friday
The teams played in the opening round of the Division 1 state playoffs last season with West Bloomfield coming away with a 31-14 victory, knocking Ball State-bound quarterback John Paddock out of the game in the second quarter with a 14-7 lead. Paddock returns as does West Bloomfield standout quarterback Bryce Veasley and Wisconsin-bound receivers Taj Mustapha and A.J. Abbott who will be trying to bounce back from a 19-14 loss to Walled Lake Western.
Pick: West Bloomfield by 8
Plymouth (0-1) at Canton (0-1), 7 p.m. Friday
The teams lost their openers, making the rivalry game that much bigger to avoid an 0-2 start, something that Canton experienced last year before rebounding to earn its ninth straight state playoff appearance. Canton won last year, 21-14.
Pick: Canton by 6
Mishawaka Penn (Ind.) at Birmingham Brother Rice (1-0), 7 p.m. Friday
Penn has been one of the top teams in Indiana for decades, but has struggled putting up numbers during its first two weeks, scoring just seven points in each game for a 1-1 record. Brother Rice is coming off an impressive 26-7 victory over U-D Jesuit.
Pick: Brother Rice by 6