OAA Sideline Report: Football Recap, Week 2: Road Warriors
Adams, Harrison and Lahser all pick up wins away from home in a competitive slate of games.
What home field advantage? Of the 12 Oakland Activities Association games in our coverage area, only four home teams won in Week 2. Facing unfriendly crowds and high temperatures, Adams, Harrison and Lahser were among the teams victorious on the road this week.
Here’s a recap of the OAA action that happened heading into the holiday weekend.
Quote of the Week: “It was just a brutal day to play football.” Harrison Head Coach John Herrington.
The Hawks played at 4 p.m. at Southfield last week Thursday under the afternoon sun. With temperatures in the high 90s and lot of humidity, it seemed like a player walked off the field with cramps every five minutes.
Stat of the Week: Winning the time of possession battle by more than 10 minutes usually is a good sign. Not for Andover on Friday against Seaholm. The Barons had the ball for nearly 30 minutes, but were outscored 56-21.
The Maples gave new meaning to the quick-strike offense with three scoring drives that lasted less than 60 seconds (:28, :16 and :52). Each drive resulted in a touchdown in just two plays.
Player of the Week: Seaholm quarterback John Glazier was terrific against Andover, completing 11-of-12 passes for 270 yards. His one incompletion was an interception, but he more than made up for it by scoring five touchdowns (three passing, two rushing).
One additional note – he needed just three quarters to put up the numbers. Coach Jim Pobursky pulled his first team offense in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand. Honorable Mentions – Michael Johnson (RB; Avondale), Justin Losey (QB; Troy), Austin Hunter (RB; Harrison)
Out of Bounds: It’s not often that a head coach is flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct, but that’s exactly what happened to Lahser Coach Dan Loria against Ferndale on Friday night.
He argued with the head referee a little too passionately about a delayed call on Ferndale for having too many players on the field. After the game, Loria threw a flag on himself.
“I got to control my emotions,” Loria said. “That’s on me, I can’t do that to the team. We ask too much of our kids for me to give them 15 yards.”
1ST DOWN: GAME OF THE WEEK – Adams over FARMINGTON 35-28
What we learned: The Oakland Activities Association White division is going to be tough. Both these teams knew how important this opener in the division was and it showed on the field. The score was deadlocked 21-21 halfway through three quarters. The teams traded punches offensively before the Highlanders broke open a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Farmington didn’t have enough in the tank to mount a comeback and now has little margin for error to make a playoff run. It’s only one loss, but with tough teams like Harrison, Oxford and Southfield on the schedule, the Falcons can’t afford to lose another winnable game.
Question Marks: Defensive breakdowns hurt both teams. Adams allowed a kick return for a touchdown in the second half and a few big plays on the ground. Farmington let the Highlanders rush all over the field and control the ball for much of the game.
The Falcons allowed more than 300 rushing yards on the day and will need to do better next week facing Prescott Line of Oxford.
Next Week: The Falcons have a tough game on the blue field up at Oxford at 7 p.m. Friday, while Adams hosts a Southfield Lathrup team seeking its first win at 7 p.m. Friday.
2nd DOWN: Harrison over SOUTHFIELD 28-14
What we learned: The Hawks don’t have to rely on flash to get by. Their inside running game was really strong on Thursday. Austin Hunter was great between the tackles, especially in the fourth quarter. Jake Vento might not be as good of a pocket passer as his brother was last year for Harrison, but he is really mobile and can hurt teams with his legs. He ran for over 100 yards on just 10 carries against the Blue Jays.
Question Marks: Coach Herrington pointed out one that he had for his team after the game at Southfield: how do they get wide receiver Aaron Burbridge the ball more? The state’s top receiving prospect hasn’t had a ton of touches on offense and Herrington said he’s going to look at the film to see how they can fix that going into week three.
Next Week: Harrison hosts Stoney Creek in its home opener aton 7 p.m. Friday.
Full Recap: For a full recap of the Hawks big road win click here.
3rd DOWN: TROY ATHENS over Pontiac 27-14
What we learned: The talent in the Red Hawks' backfield is going to cause some teams problems. Head Coach Josh Heppner said before the season he tweaked the offense so he could get the ball into his playmakers’ hands more. And that’s exactly what he’s done in the first two weeks of the season.
Senior running back Lonnie Bolden rushed for more than 100 yards in Week 1 and Kris Gervin surpassed 100 against Pontiac. The two have really complemented each other and helped carry their team to a quick start.
Question Marks: Athens made some big defensive stops against Pontiac and its secondary looked very good. How will it look against Clarkston senior quarterback Mitch Baenziger next week? Baenziger picked apart West Bloomfield’s secondary last week for over 225 yards passing and three touchdowns. Next week’s game will be a very good test for the Red Hawks defense.
Next Week: Troy Athens tries to avenge a 42-10 loss when it visits Clarkston at 7 p.m. Friday.
4th DOWN: Lahser over FERNDALE 22-14
What we learned: Lahser will be able to wear teams down this season. It has a big offensive and defensive line that is very physical. The Knights might not have the kind of athletes that Seaholm or Avondale has, but it can really control the line of scrimmage.
Ferndale's lack of depth and experience has hurt early on. Three critical fumbles meant more time on the field for the defense, which by the fourth quarter didn’t have anything left in the tank. The Eagles have fallen short in two winnable games because it hasn’t been able to execute in the second half like their opponents.
Question Marks: Production on offense still seems to be Ferndale’s main issue, especially production in the red zone. The Eagles have had four possessions within the 20-yard line end in zero points this season. Their defense has only allowed a combined 29 points in two weeks and the 14.5 points allowed average is second best in the entire OAA Blue.
Next Week: Lahser and Seaholm clash for the top spot in the OAA Blue at 7 p.m. Friday. Ferndale plays its lone out of conference game against University of Detroit Jesuit at home at 7 p.m. Friday.
Full Recap: For a full recap of the game with photos, click here.
OAA Blue -
Seaholm over ANDOVER 56-21 – Full Recap.
Flushing over BERKLEY 28-21
GROVES over North Farmington 22-15 - Photo Gallery.
AVONDALE over Hazel Park 64-44
OAA Red -
Clarkston over WEST BLOOMFIELD 34-7 – Full Recap.
Troy over ROYAL OAK 56-20 – Full Recap.
LAKE ORION over Rochester 35-7 – Photo Gallery.
OAA White -
Oak Park over STONEY CREEK 41-7 – Full Recap.
Next Week (all games have 7 p.m. start times):
Game to Watch: Lahser at Seaholm (Friday, Sept. 9) – How much have these two schools improved since last year? This Friday they find out.
“Seaholm is a real big matchup for us,” Loria said. “It’s a real key game, that’s our other rival besides Andover. It’s a great matchup for both of us. We’ll be able to see where we are at when we walk off their field.”
The Maples have yet to play a team with the size Lahser has on the defensive line. Seaholm scored 104 points in two weeks, but Glazier has been able to sit back in the pocket. Its offensive line will have its first big test of the season.
For the Knights, their secondary will face its first true challenge. Groves and Ferndale don’t have nearly the kind of offensive weapons that the Maples have in the passing game, and Loria is eager to see how his group handles themselves.
Friday (Sept. 9):
Avondale @ Andover
University of Detroit Jesuit @ Ferndale
Berkley @ Groves
Hazel Park @ North Farmington
Rochester @ Troy
Pontiac @ Lake Orion
West Bloomfield @ Royal Oak
Troy Athens @ Clarkston
Stoney Creek @ Harrison
Lathrup @ Adams
Farmington @ Oxford
Full-color printable preview
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