Salem coach Kurt Britnell is excited to see how his defense will perform against Canton’s explosive offense after upsetting Brighton, 10-7, last Friday.
Salem (2-1) will play host to rival Canton (2-1) — just a parking lot separates the schools — Friday night with Canton entering the game on a 14-game winning streak in the series.
Britnell talked of the win over Brighton, saying: “I think the big thing for us is we hung in there, played disciplined, fundamental football, just played really good, solid team defense.
“Everybody did their job and tried not to do too much and played mistake-free for the most part which is huge in high school football.
“Brennan McNeal and Alex Howie on the inside really anchored the defense and our linebackers, Parker Selby, Sean McCormack, Ryan McAuliffe and Dez Dewberry, those guys played really well.”
Next up is Canton, led by standout running back Steven Walker who ran for 342 yards (12 carries) and five touchdowns (runs of 47, 66, 48, 75 and 68) in a 54-6 rout of Hartland Friday, scoring all of its points during the first half.
“We have to stay gap sound and tackle everybody,” Britnell said of going up against Canton’s wing-T offense.
Pick: Canton by 8
Utica Eisenhower (3-0) at Clinton Township Chippewa Valley (3-0), 7 p.m. Friday: This is the MAC Red showdown and arguably the top game in the state this week. Eisenhower is the defending MAC Red champion and has an outstanding dual-threat quarterback in Max Wittwer. Junior Tommy Schuster (6 TD passes, 1 INT) has played well at quarterback for Chippewa Valley, but look for Eisenhower defensive end Henry Janeway to be a disruptive force and the difference in this one. Pick: Eisenhower by 4.
Clarkston (3-0) at West Bloomfield (1-2), 7 p.m. Friday: West Bloomfield was put in the role of OAA Red Division favorite with an offense led by quarterback Bryce Veasley and Wisconsin-bound receivers Taj Mustapha and A.J. Abbott. Look for Clarkston to pound the ball on the ground with a strong offensive line and the 1-2 running back punch of Michael Fluegel and Josh Cantu. Pick: Clarkston by 2.
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (0-3) at U-D Jesuit (1-2), 1 p.m. Saturday: If you look at the records, the game doesn’t look that special, but St. Mary’s needs to put some wins together if it hopes to make the state playoffs, entering with a 5-4 record last season before going on to earn its third straight Division 3 state championship. The journey begins this weekend. Pick: St. Mary’s by 10.