In Play with Tom Markowski

Top games: East English is out to prove it can play with the best as it faces King in PSL showdown

Football   | Tom Markowski

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Detroit – Rod Oden isn’t surprised by the impressive start of his team. What he is taken aback by is why anyone else would be.

Detroit East English Village Prep (2-0) handled each of its first two opponents easily (Walled Lake Central, Detroit Renaissance) and now Oden’s troops face their biggest challenge – No. 3-ranked Detroit King (2-0).

This is the first of three important games within the Detroit Public School League Division 1. The other two will pit East English against Detroit Cass Tech and Cass Tech against King.

First things first.  

East English and King open the PSL Division 1 season on Friday at King at 5 p.m.

“We have a veteran ball club,” Oden said. “We have 10 starters back on offense and eight on defense. We have a good nucleus.

“The running game is our bread and butter. We’re using three backs and they’ve done a good job. But it’s a product of our offensive line.”

The offensive line is a veteran group but there’s just one senior, Chauncey Ghostin. Ghostin also starts at defensive end as does Cedric Lattimore. Lattimore starts at tight end, too. Both committed to Iowa and both are off to fine starts.

“Chauncey is having the best year of the two,” Oden said. “As a blocker he’s pushing people back. As a pass rusher he’s getting double teamed. Lattimore has three touchdown catches and he has the most tackles on the team but it’s Ghostin on the other side who collapses that side of the line.”

Oden said his team can’t make big mistakes, turnovers, major penalties, if they expect to beat King.

“We have to do the fundamentals,” he said. “We can’t give them additional opportunities.”

Both teams have new quarterbacks and Oden and his staff nor King coach Dale Harvel and his want their quarterbacks to decide the outcome.

Offensively, King has experienced most of its success, like East English, running the ball. Upset special: East English by 2.    

 

All games are on Friday at 7 p.m.

Clarkston (1-1) at West Bloomfield (2-0): The Oakland Activities Association is down this season as traditional powers Lake Orion and Clarkston are a combined 1-3. This could be the year West Bloomfield takes the hammer away from these two teams and wins the Red Division title Pick: W. Bloomfield by 7.

Clinton Township Chippewa Valley (1-1) at Sterling Heights Stevenson (2-0): Chippewa Valley must regroup after a difficult and, in some respects, disheartening loss to Macomb Dakota last week. Stevenson showed some might last week in defeating Utica Eisenhower. Chippewa Valley has more offensively to offer here. Pick: Chippewa Valley by 6.

East Grand Rapids (2-0) at Caledonia (2-0): The winner will challenge Lowell for the O-K White Division title. This will be the last meeting between these two fine programs for, perhaps, years to come as both schools will move to different divisions within the O-K Conference next season. Pick: Caledonia by 4.

Saline (2-0) at Ann Arbor Skyline (2-0): Division play within the Southeastern Conference begins this week and we find out just how goo