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Game of the Week Preview: Cards and Jags will take border-war rivalry to Wayne State

Allen Park and Melvindale will take their border-war rivalry to Detroit this season when the two teams open 2014 in the annual Prep Kickoff Classic held at Wayne State.

The 2014 football season is set to kick off this week, and the Downriver League is going to start off with a bang on Thursday evening.

A win at a college stadium, starting off the season with a win and a border war rivalry are all on the line Thursday night when Allen Park and Melvindale square off.

The Cards and Jags are facing each other in the annual Prep Kickoff Classic, held at Wayne State this season.

The two squads opened last season by playing each other and a very strong Melvindale team routed the Jags 40-13.

But that was then and this is now.

Both teams have a very different look to them, having graduated some very big, very key players.

Each team was home to the area’s top two quarterbacks in 2013, but Allen Park’s Nick Fulton and Melvindale’s Jason Doyle have both graduated and each team will be starting with a fresh face in that area.

If you look at the teams by classes, they are evenly matched. Each squad holds a roster of 25 seniors; the two most senior-heavy teams in the Downriver League.

If you are going by names, you might lean towards Allen Park. Big names such as Antonio Reverire and Manny Andrade return to the field for Coach Tom Hoover’s Jaguars and each contributed their fair share to the Jags’ success in 2013.

Melvindale lost virtually every player who caught or ran in a touchdown and will have to fill in those holes.

But Coach Jason Carriveau is optimistic about his team’s chances. The Cards bring big, physical, tough players to the field this season and Carriveau is optimistic about continued success.

If you’re going by whose ‘turn’ it is, you might also lean with Allen Park.

In 2012, the Cards were left with a bitter taste in their mouths when the Jaguars knocked away Melvindale’s chance at a playoff berth.

In 2013, Melvindale got revenge, if you will; by handing Hoover only his team’s second loss in the first game of the season in the better part of two decades.

So it would only seem right that Allen Park is ready to return the favor, right?

Only time will tell.

Whispers going around the Downriver League in the weeks leading up to the season all point to Allen Park being a ‘team to beat’ this season and Melvindale will look to be that first team tomorrow night under the lights at Wayne State.



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Game of the Week coverage

Each week the News Herald will host a Game of the Week.

Every Wednesday we will post a poll on www.miprepzone.com/thenewsherald with choices of matchups for the following week. Readers will be asked to vote for their favorite showdown, with voting ending on Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m.

The winner will receive extra coverage, including a preview of the game ran in Wednesday’s paper before the game. A reporter will be at each Game of the Week, providing live tweets and stats, Tout videos, photo galleries and other extensive game coverage with a story online later that night and in Sunday’s edition.



Last Updated: 8/27/2014 7:01:05 PM EST

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