Blogs > Burney's Bites

Burney's Bites will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Morning Quarterback

New Oak Park head coach, Mario Evans, made his varsity coaching debut one to remember, by leading the Redskins......er, Knights to a surprising, not to mention convincing opening night win on the road at Romulus. Leading the OP's winning effort were QB Adante Pointexter and WR Jailen Cross, who connected for 3 TD's. Both Pointdexter and Cross are front line replacements for the departed Keith Moore (Cass Tech) and Daryl Flemister (Detroit Allen), who each transfered last spring.  Moore was slated to start at QB for the Knights and Flemister, a jet-fast wide out who made all-oconference last season, has decided to concentrate on basketball at his new school. The departures of talented-players like Moore and Cross has made Evans' job extra-hard. Oh, did I mention that the Knights also lost all-state RB Edwin "Rock" Baker, currently at Michigan State. 
 
Not letting such factors he can't control deter his hunger for success, Evans appears poised to turn around a program that failed to live up to expectations last season with a new, more-disciplined and harder-working group of players than what was under former head coach Tim Hopkins in '08. While allegations of improper conduct hounded Hopkins in his tenure with the Knights, Evans is a class act through and through and exactly the right person to get that program up to snuff. With Friday's impressive win, he's well on his way.
 
Speaking of stellar debuts, Farmington Hills Harrison senior QB Vince Salatino made his first varsity career start under center one to remember by tossing a trio of long touchdowns and leading the Hawks to a 24-0 shutout win over BH Lahser. There were some doubters out there that wondered if the inexperienced Salatino could get the job done calling signals for a team that was trying to rebound from an uncharacteristic sub-500 campaign last year. Throwing for 215 yards and scores of 45, 33 and 47 respectively, it looks if Salatino is well on his way to silencing any and all naysayers. Sophomore speedster Aaron Burbridge was on the receiving end of two of those touchdown passes and displayed an "X-Factor" type flair in his five catch, 102 yard performance, that, as of late, has been missing from the Hawks traditionally-loaded offensive arsenal. Burbridge could end up being the next great player to emerge from the almost always-stacked Harrison program. 
 
Brother Rice's Jimmy Pickens is one of the top safeties in the recruiting class of 2011, but judging by his 150 yard, three touchdown outing against UofD-Jesuit on Friday, he's a definite threat at running back too. Pickens broke off three huge chunk plays for his trio of end zone-jaunts. On defense, he looked sharp as well, collecting four tackles, three pass deflections and a fumble recovery he returned for a TD. Pickens, a starter since his freshman year, calls plays and quarterbacks the Warriors secondary, one of the premiere defensive back units in the state.
 
Major props go out to Novi Detroit Catholic Central  back-up tailback Jon Savakis, who filled in more than admirably for an injured Anthony Capatina last Friday night, scampering for a game-high 120 yards and a 6-yard touchdown run in the Shamrocks 49-0 throttling of Detroit Cody. Running behind the exquisite blocking of mega-fullback Niko Palazetti, Salvakis hit all the right holes and picked up all the correct blocking/blitz schemes in his first career start in the backfield. Palazetti, the county's best goal-line power back, did significant damage himself, battering his way to a trifecta of red-zone scores, making sure CC didn't miss a beat in "running" its offense without the services of Capatina.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comments. The back-up tailback is Jon Savakus!

September 1, 2009 at 10:42 AM 

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