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Game of the Week Preview: Woodhaven at Anderson PHOTOS

  • Dejon Matthews ran in three touchdowns for Anderson last week and will be looking to do more of the same this Friday against Woodhaven. 2013 News-Herald File Photo
  • Woodhaven quarterback Niko France scored a rushing touchdown last week and also hit pay dirt on an 86-yard kickoff return. 2013 News-Herald File Photo

Titans and Warriors set to face off in battle of 1-0 teams PHOTOS

When Anderson and Woodhaven met last season in Week 2, it was a matchup of two teams that both had trouble moving the ball.

As the Titans and Warriors get ready to face off again this Friday night, this time in Southgate, it looks like that scenario could be reversed.

To kick off the new campaign last week, Woodhaven and Anderson combined for 84 points in their respective Week-1 matchups.

The Warriors welcomed in Truman and outscored the Cougars 44-7, while the Titans hosted Lincoln Park and handed the Railsplitters a 40-14 defeat.

While it could be said that those big wins came against rebuilding programs, it’s difficult to ignore the fact that both Woodhaven and Anderson feature several talented and experienced players.

The Warriors have senior quarterback Niko France and senior fullback Jake Przybylo leading the way. Both players started and played major roles in 2013, as France led the team in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, while Przybylo was second in both categories.

France is extremely quick and elusive out of the backfield in what is an option-style offense implemented by Warriors’ Coach Keith Christnagel.

Przybylo (6-foot-1, 205 pounds) can use his size to barrel over would-be tacklers, but at the same time he has breakaway speed and a good pair of hands.

In Week 1, Przybylo and France combined for five total touchdowns, as Przybylo rushed for three, while France rushed for one and also returned a kick for a score.

On the other side, the Titans’ Danny McCoy has stepped in at quarterback this season for his team and he looked strong last week. The senior was 10-for-16 passing and accounted for three touchdowns, as he threw for one and ran for two in what is also an option-style offense.

McCoy did throw one interception, which looked costly at the time. However, he quickly bounced back from it and ultimately guided his team to the 26-point win.

Senior running back Dejon Matthews and senior receiver Dillan Steele are extremely dangerous weapons for Anderson, as well, which was on display in Week 1. Matthews rushed for three touchdowns, while Steele had four catches for 113 yards and a touchdown.

While the potential exists for a high-scoring affair this Friday night, neither defense can be overlooked.

For Woodhaven, Przybylo is a strong force at linebacker, along with fellow senior Nick Towianski. Last season, Przybylo led the team in tackles and in interceptions.

A standout athlete in the Warriors’ secondary is returning senior LaFranz Hemphill, who had a big impact last year. Hemphill is also serving as a running back this year and in Week 1 ran for a touchdown.

Anderson, on the other hand, has a tough senior linebacker trio in Blake Sloan, Cody Tis and David Bellon, all of whom are two-way players for Coach Frank Vilardi’s squad.

The experienced Titans’ defensive backfield features Steele and Matthews, along with fellow seniors Juwan Graham and Trey Harris.

With these two programs set to battle it out Friday night, this could be one of the better early-season matchups in the Downriver League. Both teams finished with identical 4-5 records last year, but both look poised to improve upon that in 2014 and with a victory could take a step towards a return to the postseason.

Friday’s game kicks off at 7 p.m. at Anderson High School, which is located at 15475 Leroy in Southgate.

Staff Picks:

Frank: Woodhaven

Sam: Woodhaven



To vote for the Week 3 Game of the Week, visit www.miprepzone.com/thewnewsherald. Voting will begin every Wednesday evening and will end at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The winning matchup will receive extra coverage that week, including a preview story in Wednesday’s paper, Twitter updates from the game, Tout videos, an online photo gallery and a game story posted later that night at www.miprepzone.com /thenewsherald

Last Updated: 9/3/2014 1:03:07 AM EST

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