We have just over one week of the high school football season left, so that means it’s time to start your Christmas shopping.
The other day when SOS asked 2 1/2-year-old Grandson of SOS what he wanted for Christmas, he replied “A book.”
SOS knows exactly which book to buy: “The Perfect :10,” about the final 10 seconds of the 2015 Michigan State-Michigan game, which had one of the most bizarre endings to a college football game in the history of mankind.
It is written by Jack Ebling, who covered MSU for the Lansing State Journal for 25 years and is now the host of the popular “The Drive with Jack” radio show, and Joe Rexrode, who SOS stalked at the 2012 London Olympics to make sure he signed on with the Free Press to cover the Spartans.
After four years Rexrode left the Free Press under the guise of becoming a columnist at the Nashville Tennessean, but SOS believes he is really trying to get a recording contract with Jack White and Ben Blackwell at Third Man Records.
SOS can safely say this is the best-edited book since the Bible, because former Free Press sports editor Gene Myers was the editor and Steve Schrader, who was the cleverest guy at the Free Press, was the proofreader.
The only problem SOS found with the book was the back cover, which features endorsements from Henry Bullough, Tom Izzo and some guys named Mike Rosenberg, who allegedly worked at the Free Press before moving on to Sports Illustrated.
How could they not ask SOS for an endorsement?
Had they asked, SOS would have written: ‘SOS hasn’t read this book, but if he did, he would probably like it.”
You can order the book at: 10PerfectSeconds.com, but you don’t have to go any further to get the 16 winners of Saturday’s semifinals. SOS is coming off an impressive 26-6 mark in the regional finals, raising his playoff record to 186-38 (83%).
All games Saturday at 1 p.m.
Novi Detroit Catholic Central (12-0) vs. Romeo (9-3) at Howell. These are two of the most physical teams in the state. Romeo beat CC, 40-29, in the regional final a year ago during the Bulldogs’ run to their first state championship. Five times since 2001 a school has repeated as Division 1 champs. It won’t happen this time. Drew Sharp High 24, Wherefore Art Thou 21.
Detroit Cass Tech (12-0) vs. Utica Eisenhower (12-0) at Troy Athens. Last week Eisenhower scored 42 points and Cass Tech scored 43, so the chances of a repeat of the 2011 semifinal game – which Cass won 6-3 – are remote. The important thing here is that host Athens has the absolute best concession stand in the western hemisphere. Momma Cass 26, I Like Ike 22.
Lowell (12-0) vs. Walled Lake Western (11-1) at Brighton. Lowell stunned Western, 49-34, in last season’s semifinals, so the Warriors should be better prepared this time around. Lowell has been living on the edge for a good part of the season and Cody White just might give the Red Arrows a push this week. Wild Luck Western 21, Low and Away 17.
Detroit King (10-2) vs. Birmingham Groves (12-1) at Dearborn. This is Groves first semifinal game in school history while King … well, the Crusaders have been here before. The best season in Groves’ history ends as King makes another trip to Ford Field. King of Wishful Thinking 27, Birmingham Graves 21.
Muskegon (11-1) vs. Edwardsburg (12-0) at East Kentwood. This is the third season in a row the Eddies have scored over 500 points, which means scoring is not a problem. But this season the Eddies have added their best defense in years. Will it make a difference against Muskegon? Musket Loaders 42, Eddie and the Cruisers 31.
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (8-4) vs. Dearborn Divine Child (10-2) at West Bloomfield. Divine Child has a lethal passing attack, but it might not be enough to overcome the Josh Ross-led St. Mary’s defense. And then DC has to find a way to stop RaShawn Allen. St. Mary’s by the Lake 33, Divine Intervention 29.
Grand Rapids Catholic Central (11-1) vs. Hudsonville Unity Christian (10-2) at Greenville. This is the furthest Unity Christian has advanced in the 14-year history of the program. And beating Benton Harbor a couple of weeks ago was impressive. CC has skated through the playoffs, but hasn’t played tough competition. Until now. Unity Breakfast 38, Catholics in Grand Rapids 34.
Birmingham Detroit Country Day (12-0) vs River Rouge (11-1) at Hazel Park. Don’t tell the teams in the upper half of the bracket, but this is the state championship game. Country Day has been knocked out in the semifinals the last two seasons, but is a much better team this year. Does it have enough team speed to deal with the Panthers? Rouge River 34, Country Dog 31.
Menominee (11-1) vs. Frankenmuth (11-1) at Superior Dome, Marquette. This is Frankenmuth’s first semifinal appearance since 1997, but back then you only needed to win two games to hit the semis. The Eagles have a tremendous defense, but will have to contend with Menominee’s varied offenses. Menominee is just happy to be in the opposite bracket of Grand Rapids West Catholic, which has eliminated the Maroons the last six seasons. Mini Me 28, Chicken Dinners 20.
Grand Rapids West Catholic (10-2) vs. Algonac (11-1) at Battle Creek Harper Creek. This is the first trip to the semifinals for the Muskrats, and who do they wind up facing? Three-time defending state champ West Catholic, which has given up only one touchdown in each of its three playoff victories. Algonac is going to have difficulty moving the ball. Catholics West of Grand Rapids 28, Almanac 13.
Maple City Glen Lake (10-2) vs. LeRoy Pine River (9-3) at Thirlby Field, Traverse City. It’s been 20 years since Glen Lake has been to the semifinals while this will be Pine River’s first appearance. Thirlby Field hosted a classic last week when Pewamo-Westphalia upset Traverse City St. Francis, and just wait until Glen Lake QB Cade Peterson starts flinging the ball around. Maple Syrup 24, Pinewood Derby 16.
Millington (11-1) vs. Jackson Lumen Christi (10-2) at Lansing Catholic. Did you hear how Alabama was bringing back former players to practice with the team? Well, SOS has it on good authority that Millington brought back former all-stater Nick Baumgardner to practice with the team, which automatically made Lumen Christi the favorite. Aluminum Foil 25, Corky’s School 22.
Pewamo-Westphalia (12-0) vs. Ubly (12-0) at Mt. Pleasant. Ubly’s comeback last week against New Lothrop was terrific, as was P-W’s rally against No. 1 Traverse City St. Francis. This one is going to come down’s to Ubly’s ability to tough it out inside and shut down P-W’s running attack led by Jared Smith. Pewamo Will Fail You 28, Bubbly 20.
Cassopolis (11-1) vs. Detroit Loyola (10-2) at Jackson Withington. This is Cassopolis’ first trip to the semifinals while Loyola could print the semifinals on its schedule before the season begins. The Loyola defense will have to stop Brandon Anderson while Cassopolis’ defense will have to contend with Malcolm Mayes and a cast of hundreds. Loyalty 37, Metropolis 31.
St. Ignace (11-1) at Muskegon Catholic Central (12-0) at Petoskey. In Week 2 Muskegon Catholic beat St. Ignace, 21-6, and no one has come closer to MCC than 30 points since. SOS understands that this will be St. Ignace coach Marty Spencer’s last season and SOS would love to see him go out with a state championship, but … MCC-ABE 35, St. Clement 21.
Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary (10-2) vs. Ottawa Lake Whiteford (12-0) at Dearborn Edsel Ford. Forget about Seminary’s two losses, they just made it tougher. Whiteford is on another run just like last season, and this one could end in Ford Field … if only Seminary wasn’t so good. Michigan Lutheran Cemetery 33, A White Ford 31.