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Keith Dunlap's quick football hits/rankings entering Week 5

Keith Dunlap’s quick football hits

- A lot of people think this could be Southfield’s year given all the depth and future college players it has, and those obviously are two good reasons to believe in the Bluejays more than ever. But to me, there is another. For the first time in recent memory, Southfield finally has a legitimate kicker. Before the season started, Anthony Springer transferred from Royal Oak and is not only making it where extra points are no longer an adventure for Southfield, but he has also kicked a 40-yarder this season. Having the option of taking three points via a field goal could prove to be just as valuable for Southfield in a close playoff game than all the talent already in place on the team.

- One of the county’s top rivalries traditionally, Novi vs. South Lyon, will have some big significance this Friday after a few down years for each team. Novi is the county’s biggest turnaround story through the first four weeks, as the Wildcats have won three in a row to improve to 3-1 after going 1-8 last season. South Lyon is 2-2 but could easily be 3-1 also after a tough loss to Northville in Week 3. This game usually is one of the headline rivalry games of the season and should be once again on Friday at South Lyon.

- If Pontiac Notre Dame Prep hadn’t already shown it was a state title contender in Division 4 before last week, it really did with a 28-2 blowout win at Flint Powers. Should Notre Dame Prep win this week, even more respect should be given. The Fighting Irish will welcome in Division 7 power Detroit Loyola, coached by former Notre Dame Prep head man John Callahan and a team that won at Country Day in Week 3.

- This week is a big one for Southfield Christian and Clawson since each has what likely will amount to league championship games already. Fresh off a 28-14 win on Saturday over Sterling Heights Parkway Christian, Southfield Christian will play for first place in the MIAC at Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett on Friday. Clawson, now 3-1 following a non-league loss at Marine City last week, will also play for first place in the MAC Bronze when it hosts 4-0 Clinton Township Clintondale.

- There will be two games between county schools on Saturday at Ford Field as part of a special Week 5 day of games at the home of the Lions. Walled Lake Northern will play Walled Lake Central at 3 p.m., while Lake Orion will play Troy at 7 p.m.



Rankings

1. Birmingham Brother Rice (4-0) –
After Hail Mary that beat De La Salle last Saturday, we’ll see if Warriors need another miracle to win at Catholic Central this Saturday.

2. Southfield (3-1) – Bluejays will gear up for home game against Farmington Hills Harrison after impressive win at Oak Park last week.

3. Novi Detroit Catholic Central (4-0) – Will be interesting to see how Catholic Central decides to honor Al Fracassa on Saturday.

4. Walled Lake Western (4-0) – Warriors will be a great opponent to christen 3-1 Waterford Kettering’s newly renovated stadium on Friday.

5. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (3-1) – Meat of the schedule begins this week for Eaglets with home game against Warren De La Salle.

6. Clarkston (3-1) – The test of whether the Wolves have officially put things together will come on Friday in a first-place showdown with Stoney Creek.

7. Stoney Creek (4-0) – We’ll see if the Cougars can duplicate at Clarkston on Friday the drive and determination they had against Lake Orion last week.

8. Farmington Hills Harrsion (4-0) – Hawks will need to play their best game of the year and then some to win at Southfield on Friday.

9. Lake Orion (3-1) – Dragons have a rare instance this week where they will have to rebound from a blowout loss.

10. Oak Park (3-1) – Knights could well see Southfield again some the state playoffs.



This week’s signature games

Birmingham Brother Rice (4-0) at Novi Detroit Catholic Central (4-0), 7 p.m. Saturday –
This could be one of the biggest games ever in the state’s best rivalries since it is Al Fracassa’s last game against Catholic Central and a matchup of unbeaten. Get to Novi early on Saturday for sure.

Stoney Creek (4-0) at Clarkston (3-1), 7 p.m. Friday – If the Cougars can play anywhere near like they did in win over Lake Orion last week, they have a great chance to win at Clarkston and make the OAA Red theirs to lose.

Oxford (2-2) at Rochester Adams (2-2), 7 p.m. Friday – Each of these teams could be 4-0 right now, but as it is, this will essentially be a playoff game with the loser all but eliminated from postseason consideration.

Walled Lake Western (4-0) at Waterford Kettering (3-1), 7 p.m. Friday –The Warriors will hope to spoil the debut of Kettering’s newly renovated field and further take charge in the KLAA North.

Last Updated: 9/26/2013 3:31:10 AM EST

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