Flat Rock @ River Rouge 7 pm

The Rams of Flat Rock (7-2) will travel to River Rouge (7-2) on Friday to play the Panthers in the MHSAA Division 4 State Playoffs. The Rams finished in a tie for 2nd place in the Huron League while the Panthers won the Blue Division of the Michigan Metro Athletic Conference. These two Downriver schools have never played in football. This is Flat Rock’s first playoff appearance since 1990 while River Rouge has qualified for the 9th straight year.

Coach Corey Parker has a veteran squad at Rouge this year. Last season the Panthers made it to the Division 4 semi-finals while the Panthers made it to the Division 5 State Finals in 2015. Rouge is led by Wisconsin commit Reggie Pearson who stands out on defense. Running back Alex Carter has been a staple in the Panther backfield the last few seasons and is one of the best backs in the state. QB Manny Ferguson has numerous offensive threats to get the ball to, but none better than TE Lee Payton (Western Michigan University). On defense the Panthers give up a paltry 9.6 ppg. They are fast and physical defense led by Pearson, LB Baron Sholar and DL Tyler Carter.

Flat Rock is coached by Buck Reaume, who has turned the Rams around from a bottom feeder in the Huron League to a playoff team in his three years as coach. Senior QB Jacob Dotson leads the Rams offense. Dotson has the ability to run and pass the ball out of FR’s numerous formations. RB’s Sage Daniels and Cainen Spencer provide speed out of the Rams backfield. The OL is anchored by Ryan Myre and 4 year senior starter Mason Hamilton. Defensively the Rams are led by Hamilton along with DE Blake Montiy. DT’s Corey Fitzhugh and Xavier Curtis have been solid all season. The linebacking corp is led  by Michael Simons and Dustin Modi. Senior athlete AJ Harbin is a solid player on both sides of the ball and may be the Rams best athlete.

On paper this looks like a David vs. Goliath match up. The Panthers have loads of college talent and have benefited greatly from open-enrollment which has seen enrollment nearly double at the school since Coach Parker’s arrival. Parker has built a state powerhouse and is a very very good veteran coach who instills great qualities in his players. Flat Rock relies mostly on homegrown talent. Coach Reaume has instilled the mindset of “Find a Way” in this season’s team. Reaume is a very good coach and Flat Rock has the best talent at the school in over a generation.

* Look for our week 1 Playoff Video Picks tomorrow*

9 thoughts on “Flat Rock @ River Rouge 7 pm”

  1. I'm not sure Rouge has been one of the top teams in the state. Maybe top 40. They nearly lost to Ida a few years back in D5. They are good but would lose to many of the top teams. on

  2. You must not have seen Rouge play over the last few years. One of the top ten teams in the state top to bottom. Throw in 6-7 Division 1 talents with a whole lot else. FR is in big trouble. Sucks they got the draw they did.

    Huron League Fan

  3. FR defense will show up and hold strong and defense wins games. I’m a realist, and have a son that plays for FR, and know that RRis gonna be tough but not a blow out winner. This is playoff football and many teams are seeing teams that can only be dissected by film. Weather will be a factor and may be the reason FR wins. Also, every coach has a back page to their playbook that they hold close to the vest for situations just like these. No doubt Coach Reaume has these men as ready as they can be. GO RAMS!!!
    My prediction FR 20 RR 17

  4. Riverview has a nice team. That's about it though. This is just a bad match up for FR and especially sad after not making the playoffs in 25 years or whatever it is. Rouge is not a PSL team with talent. They are well coached with Corey Parker. The rain also could be really bad for FR as the passing game and trick plays would help them get a few score. Rouge 44 FR 6

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