It was judgement day for many Michigan commits on the football field this past weekend, with several division championships on the line. Some were victorious, while many others were eliminated from the playoff race. All in all, the seasons of ten Michigan commits ended in Week 13, winnowing the number of recruits still playing to an even dozen.
Matchup of the Week
The highlight of Michigan high school football action this week was undoubtedly the matchup between Belleville and West Bloomfield, two squads filled with FBS talent. The game did not disappoint, with four-star cornerback Andre Seldon and Belleville knocking off four-star safety Makari Paige and three-star linebacker Cornell Wheeler’s season for the second straight season.
Things looked good for West Bloomfield early on, with Wheeler forcing the Belleville quarterback to get an intentional grounding penalty in the endzone for a safety.
Michigan commit Cornell Wheeler (@CWheeler__) forces a safety. Intentional grounding called. #GoBlue pic.twitter.com/38JX7TYmxE— "EJ Holland" (@EJHolland_TW) November 16, 2019
The safety was followed by two touchdowns by four-star running back and major Michigan target Donovan Edwards to increase the lead to 15-0. That lead didn’t last for long though, as Belleville took their turn to make a run, scoring 27 straight to take the lead. Seldon helped turn the momentum with a big interception to stop a West Bloomfield drive.
After West Bloomfield scored once more with about two minutes left in the game, they tried an onside kick that was recovered by Paige to give the team new life. However, that hope quickly ended when Belleville picked off another pass and ended the game for good.
Belleville will look to avenge last year’s loss in the state semifinals against Brighton.
The quartet of Michigan commits playing for St. Frances Academy were able to cap off their senior season with a victory despite not participating in any type of playoff. After being booted from their league a couple of seasons ago for being too good, Biff Poggi had to scramble and create an independent slate of games for his team to play.
This season, St. Frances topped off an impressive 11-1 campaign in style with a 65-0 shutout of the Royalty Institute. Stats were not available for the game and have been tough to come by all season, but enough has been revealed to show that four-star running back Blake Corum racked up over 1,000 yards on the ground and at least a dozen touchdowns. His breakout season saw him receive a hefty bump in the recruiting rankings and get Michigan fans excited about the future at the running back position.
Most Impressive Stat Line
Five-star phenom J.J. McCarthy hasn’t been featured much in this weekly roundup, which is surprising given the hype following his commitment. I think his junior season wasn’t as flashy as people expected, with him only completing 59% of his passes and throwing eight interceptions.
However, after some early season wildness, McCarthy got back on track and he’s in killer mode so far in the state playoffs. He helped Nazareth Academy knock off Batavia in the district championship by throwing for 250 yards and three touchdowns in the 38-24 win.
That performance helped McCarthy reach 30 touchdown passes on the season, to go along with about 2,500 passing yards. He’s spread out the ball well to his group of talented receivers and had the chance to win back-to-back state championships for his school.
Elsewhere in Illinois, four-star wide receiver AJ Henning is also leading his team to an undefeated campaign. Lincoln-Way East’s latest win over Homewood-Flossmoor in the district championship featured an amazing touchdown catch by Henning. After the pass to the end zone was deflected by a defensive back, Henning was able to adjust in the air and come down with the ball while still draped by another defender.
So the lesson here is that even though the ball is tipped and you’re falling down you should keep trying— Griffin Television (@GriffinTVClub) November 16, 2019
Life lessons with @AJHenning3. Call me ☎️ ☎️ ☎️ ☎️ ☎️ ☎️@LWEastAthletics @LWDistrict210 @AJHenning3 @NBCSPreps @suntimes_preps @FNDrive pic.twitter.com/RbMt7vTNlz
hat touchdown grab gave Henning 14 touchdown catches this season, which matches the number he has on the ground.
(click to enlarge)