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The D Zone's predictions and breakdown of Division 1 - Round 4
Division 1 Round 4 Overview: Division 1 is the top division in the state, all remaining 4 teams are ranked in the top 20 in the state. Overall 12 teams were ranked in the top 21 finishing the regular season.
Last weeks predictions: 3-1 (24-4 Overall)
Neither team, #15 Clarkston or #19 Detroit Catholic Central was challenged in their district. The same couldn't be said for their Regional as Clarkston was on the road to #21 West Ottawa and erased a 22-6 deficit late in the second half to come back and win 29-22. Catholic Central faced off vs. a slightly favored #17 Canton and exchanged touchdowns and points with the Chiefs until Canton decided to go for a 2 point conversion instead of tying the game with a potential made PAT. Instead they ran right into a garden of Shamrocks on the 2-point attempt and CC won 27-26. Both teams have great RB's in Josh Cantu for Clarkston and Cameron Ryan for Catholic Central who will dictate the outcome of this game.
Prediction: Clarkston 17-14
Explanation: The Wolves and Shamrocks are great teams and Clarkston is slightly favored after doing just about everything in the first 3 rounds to get to this point.
Pre-season Rankings: Catholic Central #6 and Clarkston #17
It's unfortunate that for a 2nd straight year the best two remaining teams on paper, #3 Cass Tech and #8 West Bloomfield have to meet in a game not with the state championship on the line. It will feel like the winner is a state champion when the clock hits 00:00 on Saturday at Troy Athens, but there will still be at least 48 minutes to play for the winning team when they play Clarkston or Catholic Central at 1 pm the following Saturday at Ford Field. These two teams have had the toughest path in getting to this week. Cass Tech had to win at Fordson and #10 Chippewa Valley, while West Bloomfield had to meet neighbors, Bloomfield Hills in pre-districts and then won on the road at #6 Waterford Mott and at #4 Eisenhower. The Quarterback play of the two MAC commits will be key, Aaron Jackson (EMU) for Cass Tech and Bryce Veasley (BGSU) for West Bloomfield.
Prediction: Cass Tech 32-28
Explanation: Both teams have so many playmakers and game-changers that points will be scored and momentum will swing like a pendulum.
Pre-season Rankings: Cass Tech #1 and West Bloomfield #3