Sideline Report Playoff Edition: Thrillers, Blowouts in First Round

Late field goals doom Athens and Lake Orion, while Seaholm and Groves can’t keep pace with their OAA White opponents.

There wasn’t a whole lot of middle ground for Oakland County teams in the first round of the high school football playoffs. Local teams either lost big or battled it out until the final seconds.

Which side was your team on? Here’s a recap of all the action:

Discussion Points

Quote of the Week: "My challenge for you is to handle yourself with the same class and dignity tonight after a loss as you have after victory,” Lake Orion head coach Chris Bell said to his team after Friday's 20-17 loss to Walled Lake Central.

Stat of the Week: five

That’s how many lead changes there were  on Friday night. The teams combined for only 14 points in regulation and then the game turned into a shootout. Both schools scored touchdowns in three of their five possessions.

Heppner’s team lost 34-31 in the fifth overtime, but he couldn’t help appreciate how well both teams played.

“Come on, you go to toe-to-toe with a football team like that and then we go into five overtimes with these guys, that was amazing,” Troy Athens coach Josh Heppner said.

Player of the Week: Devin Church (RB; Brother Rice) didn’t waste any time making an  The Warriors' running back ran back the opening kick 94 yards for a touchdown.

“You definitely don’t want to start the game that way,” North Farmington head coach Todd Schultz said.

Church didn’t stop there; he ran for 172 yards on only nine carries and added another touchdown in his team’s 34-8 win.

Honorable mentions: Tony Annese (QB; Adams); Lonnie Bolden (RB; Athens); Austin Hunter (RB; Harrison); Jordan Degreffenreed (RB; Farmington); Ray Brown (RB; Royal Oak Shrine)

Out of Bounds: Farmington Harrison's Jake Vento will get a lot of "get well soon" wishes walking down the school halls this week.

The senior was injured in the first half of his team’s on Friday. He finished the first half, but didn’t play in the second half. Senior Lamarr Marshall finished the game at quarterback and went 2-for-2 passing, but the Hawks hopes of repeating wouldn’t be the same without Vento.

Harrison head coach John Herrington illustrated the point after the game.

“He’s our punter, our punt returner, our safety and our quarterback, and it affected us quite a bit,” Herrington said.


: Tony Annese carried his team to victory – almost literally. The Rochester Adams quarterback had a season-high 22 carries for 177 yards. His third touchdown gave the Highlanders an upset win on the road.  

: The Warriors ran for nearly 350 yards on the ground Friday. Devin Church and sophomore Brian Walker each had more than 100 yards in a dominating performance by Brother Rice’s offense.

: Southfield scored on its first six possessions and put up 46 points by halftime. The combination of quarterback Justin Danzy and running back Brandon Watkins impressed by dismantling Groves' solid defense.

: Harrison continues to prove it's not short on playmakers. Lorenzo Collins scored twice while teammates Austin Hunter, Aaron Burbridge and Devin Funchess each had a touchdown a piece in the Hawks dismantling of Seaholm.

: Athens made a fourth-quarter comeback to send the game in the overtime after an interception helped set up a 2-yard touchdown run from Lonnie Bolden. Bolden added two touchdowns in overtime, but a fumble by the Red Hawks offense in the fifth overtime ended up being the difference maker.

Other Results

ALMONT over Clawson 54-15

DETROIT CROCKETT over Detroit Country Day 13-12

Farmington over DETROIT HENRY FORD 49-19

LAPEER EAST over Avondale 48-13

ORCHARD LAKE ST. MARY’S over Detroit Pershing 56-6

REDFORD THURSTON over Lahser 28-7

ROYAL OAK SHRINE over Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett 49-7

Walled Lake Central over LAKE ORION 20-17 -


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