Whiteford vs. Clarkston Everest Collegiate Semifinal Preview

By Frank Vajcner

Saturday at Woodhaven will mark the third time that Whiteford and Clarkston Everest Collegiate have met on the gridiron. The Bobcats won the previous two meetings in 2017 and 2021

Whiteford Bobcats (12-0, TCC)


Defeated Addison 64-22 

Defeated Riverview Gabriel Richard 56-19

Defeated White Pigeon 38-26

The Bobcats have reached the semifinals for the fifth time in eight seasons, and for the first time under Todd Thieken. An offense averaging 49.5 points per game is led by senior QB Shea Ruddy (1120 passing yards, 19 TDs; 610 rushing yards, 13 TDs). The four-year starter holds the school records for passing yards, completions, and touchdowns. 

Ruddy’s favorite targets have been RB/WR Hunter DeBarr (16 catches, 361 yards, 7 TDs), TE Ryin Ruddy (14 catches, 270 yards, 8 TDs), and TE Kolby Masserant (18 catches, 367 yards, 3 TDs). A potent rushing attack is headline by a pair of 1000-yard rushers in DeBarr (116 carries, 1048 yards, 9 TDs) and Jake Iott (118 carries, 1061 yards, 21 TDs). Drew Knaggs (78 carries, 429 yards, 6 TDs) will also see some time running the ball. Iott also has a school-record 34 two-point conversions on the season.

An experienced offensive line, with Kyle Gray at center, Shane Suchora and Brayden Luse at the guards, and Jack Iott and Owen Knaggs at the tackles, has been key in the Bobcats averaging 8.1 yards per play, and almost 4000 rushing yards on the year.

Whiteford’s defense is allowing 12.7 points per game, and has recorded 20 takeaways. Jake Iott is the heart and soul of the defense at linebacker, with 180 tackles (school record), 14 TFLs, seven sacks, five fumble recoveries, and three forced fumbles. Seamus Waterford (54 tackles, 10 TFLs, nine sacks) has been strong DE, while a strong secondary has been anchored by Ryin Ruddy (103 tackles, 11 PBU, 4 interceptions), Shea Ruddy (53 tackles, 18 PBUs), and DeBarr (52 tackles, 13 PBUs, interception).

Clarkston Everest Collegiate Mountaineers (9-3, Catholic High School League – Intersectional 2)


Defeated Flint Beecher 71-34

Defeated Marine City Cardinal Mooney 42-21

Defeated Sterling Heights Parkway Christian 30-6

The Mountaineers are in their second semifinal in program history under head coach Michael Pruchnicki. They have won their last six games since a 15-8 loss to Marine City Cardinal Mooney in Week 6, while outscoring opponents 246-68 in that stretch.

Players to Watch:

QB Patrick Cooper

RB Gavin Harris

SLOT Jimmy Nedwick

WR Luke Walker

DE Joe Milosch

DE Dominic Engle

LB Thomas Powrie

LB Nedwick

CB Michael Wojciechowski

K Isaac Cross

Outlook: The Mountaineers have come on strong late in the year, but it appears as though this is where the clock will strike midnight for this Cinderella team. Whiteford just has too much firepower, and appears to be on a mission to get to Ford Field after coming within a whisker last season.


Frank: Whiteford 44-28

Chris: Whiteford 40-20

Gary: Whiteford 46-14

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