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FOOTBALL: Roosevelt is now walking among the state's giants (PHOTO & VIDEO)

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Like targets at a midway shooting gallery, the Roosevelt football team has picked off rivals as the playoff season has progressed.

Woodhaven – plink, gone.

Truman– plink, gone

Oak Park – plink, gone.

But now the targets get bigger and scarier.

None are bigger or scarier than this week’s opponent, Birmingham Brother Rice.

The Warriors are playoff regulars and they don’t just attend the playoffs, they make them their own.

Rice has been to the state finals four times in the last decade, winning the championship in 2005 and again last season.

And if you get past the Warriors, the prize is likely an 11-1 Muskegon team, whose only loss this year came by one point against nine-win Zeeland East.

The Big Reds are no stranger to the playoffs, either and no stranger to winning the big prize.

The team has been to the playoffs 13 straight years, winning state championships in 2004, 2006 and 2008.

But back to the task confronting Wyandotte this week: Brother Rice.

Roosevelt Coach Ron Adams knows what his team is up against.

“Nobody is probably going to give us a chance to win this game,” he said. “But that’s OK, we know what we have to do and we will go about preparing to do it.

“Brother Rice is a great team, a championship team, and we have a chance to compete against the best of the best.”

Rice comes in with all kinds of weapons on offense, the biggest being 1,300-yard rusher, Brian Walker, who has scored a touchdown in all but one of his team’s games. He has 20 TDs on the season

Walker’s junior classmate, Shon Powell had rushed for more than 700 yard and has 11 touchdowns.

“They are a big, strong, physical team and they want to establish the running game,” said Adams.

Once that is established, quarterback Cheyne Lacanaria can go to work, Lacanaria has passed for more than 1,200 yards this year, although he has had five passes intercepted.

It is clear that Rice’s hall of fame Coach Al Fracassa would love to ground the Bears into the turf, but if the Roosevelt defense can force the Warriors to put the ball in the air, Brandon Sowards, Devan Stewart and Austin Petravicius will have a chance to get their sticky fingers on the ball.

Perhaps more than Brother Rice’s offense, the Bears are worried about the Warrior “D.”

“They are outstanding on defense,” Adams said. “They good-sized, they are quick and you can tell they are well coached up.

“We’ve played some good defensive teams this year, but we haven’t seen this type of aggressiveness on defense and it is something we are going to have to deal with.”

Senior linebackers Jon Reschke and Lucas Cherocci lead the team in tackles and junior defensive back Chris Carter is a tough run supporter.

A rugged defense like Rice’s could cause real problems for a Wyandotte team that had scored just nine and 10 points in its last two playoff games.

Roosevelt scored only three field goals in its win over Truman and had a field goal and one touchdown in its win over Oak Park.

It will have to do better Saturday if the Bears hope to advance another step.

“We will have to play perfect,” Adams admitted.

Saturday’s game will be played on familiar territory for the Bears as Carlson hosts this Division 2 state semifinal game.

The Bears play league rival Carlson every year, of course, and Adams is a Gibraltar resident.

“I could walk to the game,” he said.

Adams added that he hopes the site of the game will benefit his team.

“It’s kind of neat to play this game in the Downriver area,” he said. “Hopefully the weather is good and we get a big crowd.”

Last Updated: 11/13/2012 3:56:13 PM EST