By Frank Vajcner

It’s a rematch of the opening round from last year’s
playoffs, as Ida heads to Detroit to battle Denby. The Blue Streaks squeaked
out a 22-20 win back on October 27, 2017. Ida comes in with a playoff record of
9-9 in ten appearances, while Denby is 7-15 in 16 appearances. 

Ida (8-2, 5-2 LCAA) 2-2 vs Playoff Teams
This is the fifth consecutive season the Blue Streaks
have advanced to the District Championship round, and second consecutive under
Jeff Potter after throttling Dearborn Heights Robichaud 62-20. Ida averages
just under 35 points per game out of the Full House T offense. Senior RBs Jake
Weilnau (1183 rushing yards, 15 TDs) and Sam Brettschneider (900 rushing yards,
9 TDs) have carried most of the load. That has taken a lot of the pressure off of
senior QB Clay Sampson, but Sampson (374 rushing yards, six TDs, 389 passing
yards, five TDs) has been effective when called upon. Sampson’s favorite target
has been senior TE Tommy Colpaert (151 yards, 3 TDs).
On defense, Ida is allowing 17.5 points per game. The
Streaks are strong in their front seven, headlined by senior DT Alex
Longenbarger (99 tackles, six sacks), and a trio of senior linebackers; Zach
Johnston (64 tackles, two sacks), Weilnau (67 tackles, six sacks, forced
fumble, fumble recovery) and Zach Stein (62 tackles, three sacks, two forced
fumbles). Sophomore LB Michael Rosengarten (66 tackles, eight sacks) has also
made an impact as well. In the secondary, the Streaks have a solid cornerback
tandem in Coelpart (54 tackles, forced fumble, fumble recovery) and junior
Jaxson Gianino (38 tackles, four interceptions). Gianino also had a pick-six in
the win over Robichaud. As a team, Ida has recorded 35 sacks this season.
Detroit Denby (8-2, 3-2, DPSL-Black) 5-1 vs Playoff Teams
The Tars are back in the playoffs for a sixth consecutive
season under Tony Blankenship, but are making their first appearance in the
District Championship round since November 6, 2015 where they fell 67-44 to
Milan. They reached this point after shutting out Detroit Osborn 44-0. The Tars
are averaging 31.9 points per game out of a spread offense, led by senior QB
Taivyon Buck. Buck has gotten plenty of attention from colleges with his dual
threat ability. Senior T’Shawn Wilkes has stepped in at running back, replacing
graduated Armani White, while senior WRs Jamari Griffin and Kamari Griffin are
Buck’s favorite targets. 
Defensively, the Tars are allowing 13.4 points per game,
led by two monsters up front in junior DTs Jermaine Trammell (6-1, 280) and
Mark Haygood (6-0, 325). Senior Adrian Brown is also a force at DE, along with
senior LBs Jonathan Moreland, Kenneth Carney, and Ty’Metrius Patterson.
Sophomore Marquez Bridges along with both Griffins are strong at cornerback.
The last time Denby advanced to the Regional round was
2006, when they beat Cass Tech for the District Championship. While Ida has
continued to defy expectations, they are running into a Denby team with revenge
on their mind.
Chris’s Pick: Ida 28 Denby 27
Gary’s Pick: Denby 22 Ida 20 
Frank’s pick: Denby 32 Ida 22

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