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Game Preview: Sterling Heights Stevenson @ Rockford
Sterling Heights Stevenson (0-0) @ Rockford (0-0)
Thursday, August 26th @ 7 p.m.
Opponent History: Rockford leads the all-time series 1-0, winning the only game between the two schools in the 2004 Division 1 State Championship, 31-6.
The 2021 high school football season kicks off this week, and one of the top games across the state will take place in Rockford this Thursday between the host Rams and Sterling Heights Stevenson. Rockford and Stevenson are both coming off impressive seasons, each winning their respective conferences and furthering their seasons into the playoffs before losing to the two teams who represented Division 1 in the MHSAA State Championship.
Rockford returns one of the top quarterbacks in Division 1 in Zak Ahern, who is widely known for his ability to make plays with both his arm and legs. Stevenson features one of the best running back tandems in the state in Jordan Ramsey and Jordan Kwitakowski. A week one win for either program will serve not only as a launching point, but valuable playoff points at seasons end.
Last Season: 8-1, lost to Davison in Division 1 State Semifinal
Players To Watch
Zak Ahern, QB
Kade Kostus, DL
Samuel Watts, DB
Caden Hyink, CB
Dolan Harmsen, OL
Tyler Vroman, WR
Sterling Heights Stevenson
Last Season: 7-2, lost to West Bloomfield in Division 1 District Final
Players To Watch
Jordan Kwiatkowski, LB/RB
Jordan Ramsey, RB
Biagio Madonna, QB
Adom LeDuc, TE
Donavin Patrick, OL
Alex Wathen, OL
Keys To The Game
Starting off the season with a win against a top 10 team in the state will provide the winning team with a great amount of confidence knowing they are good enough to hang with just about anyone. That all starts with the first possession on defense for Rockford and Stevenson. Each offense has an identity of sorts that they have relied on in the past to win games.
Rockford has one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the state in Zak Ahern, and his ability to create can cause infinite problems for the defense. Stevenson has one of the best backfields in the state in running backs Jordan Ramsey and Jordan Kwiatkowski. In my opinion, whichever offense can establish a rhythm first and put points on the board will set the tone for the rest of the game. Defensively, it will be up to playmakers such as Kade Kostus, Samuel Watts, and Kwiatkowski to make an impact and create negative plays and turnovers.
Rockford 24, Stevenson 21