Now, that was a week of football. Three Oakland Activities Association games were decided by three points or less in week three (that’s a lot of threes!) and one of those games went into double overtime.
Let's take a look at the triumph and heartbreak on the field this week ...
Quote of the Week: “I’ve always said if we are going to put a stamp somewhere, it’s going to be on the defensive side of the football,” Lahser head coach Dan Loria said. His Knights certainly did that in week three by shutting out Seaholm 20-0 on the road.
Stat of the Week: Berkley and Groves combined for 75 points in week three. The schools only scored 70 points combined in the first two weeks of the season.
Player of the Week: Lahser cornerback Nate Cole helps put the spotlight on defense this week.
Cole gets the nod after some great defensive performances with two key interceptions and a fumble recovery that he returned 65-yards for a touchdown. He ran back his second interception to the 8-yard line against Seaholm, which set up another score. He was a broken tackle away from scoring 14 of the Knights' 20 points on Friday.
Honorable Mentions – Jake Vento (QB; Harrsion), Keon Collier (RB; Groves); Mitch Robinson (QB; Avondale); Connor Mohr (RB; Farmington); Bryan Green (RB; Farmington); Kevin Miller (RB; North Farmington)
Out of Bounds: It’s hard to overcome one major injury to a starting player, let alone three. But that’s exactly what West Bloomfield did on Friday night at Royal Oak.
The Lakers lost starters Bijan Dees, Cortez Hardrick, and Jalen Campbell in the second quarter for the rest of the game. That’s the team’s starting quarterback, wide receiver and running back. Dees dislocated his ankle and was carted off the field on a stretcher. Hardrick and Campbell suffered less serious leg injuries.
It was an incredibly gutsy effort by West Bloomfield to come back and hold on to a 20-0 first half lead.
1ST DOWN: GAME OF THE WEEK – GROVES over Berkley 38-37 (Double Overtime)
What we learned: Before the season, Groves coach Brendan Flaherty said the biggest thing his team needed to do was learn to win. After winning two straight games with solid performances in the fourth quarter, it's safe to say, "Mission accomplished."
The Falcons overtime win gave them back-to-back wins for the first time in three years. The feeling amongst the coaches and players is that the program is on an upswing and after the last two weeks, it’s hard to argue with them.
Question Marks: The Bears' lack of a passing game really makes the offense one-dimensional. When it gets behind or in long yardage situations, it struggles. But a bigger concern coming off the overtime loss is what happened to their defense. They allowed Groves to run the ball with way too much success. Coach Jeff Burnside said tackling was the issue and he needs to get quickly get that fixed.
Next Week: Berkley hosts Andover on Friday night (7 p.m.) and Groves visits Hazel Park (7 p.m.). Andover is winless on the season at 0-3 and Hazel Park have lost two straight. The games are very winnable for the Bears and the Falcons.
Full Recap: For a recap with quotes from both coaches .
2nd DOWN: UPSET ALERT - Farmington over OXFORD 32-31
What we learned: The Falcons' offensive weapons continue to impress. Quarterback Chris Morgan continues to improve in his first season as the teams starting quarterback and running backs Connor Mohr and Bryan Green are a really effective combination.
They all helped Farmington nail down the upset win in the fourth quarter. Green ran for a touchdown in the final minutes, then Morgan hit Mohr for a two-point conversion that gave their team the lead.
Question Marks: The Falcons defense has allowed over 30 points for two straight weeks and put the offense in a position where they need to come back late in the game. That’s the definition of living dangerously. Against the Wildcats, Farmington even had a 24-7 lead in the first half. If the defense is going to give up that many points, it won’t be easy for the Falcons to make a playoff run.
Next Week: Farmington visits Southfield Lathrup for an early game (5:30 p.m.) on Friday afternoon.
3rd DOWN: Avondale over ANDOVER 23-20
What we learned: The Barons are no pushovers. Friday marked the second time in three weeks that they’ve almost upended a conference foe that was favored to win.
Avondale scored 64 points in week one and 55 points in week two. It only managed 23 points against an Andover team that lacks depth on defense and plays mostly two-way starters. The Yellow Jackets needed a last second 45-yard field goal to go home with the win.
Question Marks: Was this a fluke week for the Avondale offense? Quarterback Mitch Robinson and the offense moved the ball well on Friday night, but they didn’t come up with points. It will be interesting to see how they play against Ferndale next week and if they bounced back right away.
Next Week: Andover heads to Berkley on Friday (7 p.m.) while Avondale hosts Ferndale (7 p.m.).
4th DOWN: Lahser over SEAHOLM 20-0
What we learned: Lahser’s defense is the best in the OAA Blue. It has the size up front to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks and stop the run along with a secondary that is solid in coverage. Both have the ability to make plays for the Knights like they did on Friday by forcing three turnovers.
Seaholm scored 104 points over the first two weeks of the season, but on Friday it couldn’t do anything.
Question Marks: The Maples' offense was all-around ineffective, the biggest concern going forward will they be able to run the ball? While quarterback John Glazier had a bad game, the run game has been spotty all season. It really hurt them against Lahser when it couldn’t convert short yardage situations on third down.
Next Week: Lahser has a home game against North Farmington on Friday (7 p.m.) and Seaholm plays its only non-conference game this season against Romulus (7 p.m.).
Full Recap: for a recap and photos from the game.
OAA Blue -
University of Detroit Jesuit over FERNDALE 43-22
NORTH FARMINGTON over Hazel Park 39-8 –
OAA Red –
TROY over Rochester 31-10 –
LAKE ORION over Pontiac 40-12 –
West Bloomfield over ROYAL OAK 39-21 -
CLARKSTON over Troy Athens 40-20
OAA White –
Southfield over OAK PARK 27-14
HARRISON over Stoney Creek 37-0
ADAMS over Lathrup 30-6
Next Week (all games have 7 p.m. start times)
Game to Watch: Clarkston at Troy (Friday, Sept. 16) – The Colts haven’t had a win over Clarkston in nine seasons. The last time they beat the Wolves was in 2001.
Will this year be different? Troy’s home field advantage should help this year, but the confidence they have after a 31-10 win over Rochester on Friday might be an even bigger deal.
After the Colts won over the Falcons, head coach Gary Griffith told Patch the way his offensive line was playing he thought they had a good chance on Friday.
“You play Lake Orion, well they’re just good, or you play Clarkston and they’re very physical,” Griffith said. “We now think we can match up with those guys up front, at least those two big guys (junior guards Greg Webber and Tommy Richardson).”
Friday (Sept. 16):
Andover @ Berkley
Groves @ Hazel Park
Ferndale @ Avondale
North Farmington @ Lahser
Seaholm @ Romulus
Lake Orion @ West Bloomfield
Rochester @ Pontiac
Royal Oak @ Troy Athens
Adams @ Oak Park (6 p.m.)
Farmington @ Southfield Lathrup (5:30 p.m.)
Oxford @ Farmington Harrison
Southfield @ Rochester Stoney Creek
Full-color printable preview
Have you checked out our 17-team OAA preview yet? We have put together a special publication that compiles all our season preview stories along with schedules for each of the teams.