The finals have been set! Last week’s semifinal showdowns had plenty of action. Some teams beat up on others, while some came down to the final seconds. It’s been fun so far this season to see how far players have come and which teams lived up to expectations. We will look at every team who is playing in the finals later, but right now, we are going to examine the games from last week. If you are so inclined, the football finals at Ford Field are a lot of fun, so head on down for a game or for the day. It’s blast to see these kids playing for what might be the biggest prize of their life (so far.) Now, onto the results!
Detroit Catholic Central 35 Rockford 6
It was a tough loss for Rockford. They had closed the gap to 7-6 in the second quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, Jon Malone flew down the field 82 yards for a kick return touchdown and deflated the Ram fans. Rockford coach Ralph Munger said, “They were on their ‘A’ game and obviously we struggled right from the very beginning…they were significantly more physical than we were and that certainly doesn’t help.” For DCC, quarterback Garrett Moores completed four of his ten passes for 100 yards and a score. Malone caught three of those passes for 78 yards and the score. Running back David Houle rushed 19 times for 76 yards and a score. Anthony Darkangelo toted the rock 12 times for 54 yards. Wyatt Shallman and Zach Bock each chipped in touchdowns in the second half. For Rockford, quarterback Kyle Short completed 11 of his 19 passes for 120 yards. Scott Kaule ran 13 times for 74 yards and scored his team’s lone touchdown. Connor Darby ran 11 times for 19 yards. Ryan Donley caught three passes for 38 yards. Detroit Catholic Central will play Detroit Cass Tech in a rematch of last year’s state title game.
Ishpeming 8 Pewamo-Westphalia 7
Talk about a close game! P-W struck first in the game. Quarterback Kyle Nurenberg threw a pass that bounced off of an Ishpeming player and into the hands of Lane Simon who raced 94 yards for a score. The Hematites struck back in the third quarter when Eric Kostreva ran the ball in from 10 yards out and Alex Briones scored the two point conversion. With only five minutes left to play, P-W was threatening again at the Ishpeming six yard line, but Briones intercepted the pass. Kostreva ran 21 times for 93 yards to lead Ishpeming in rushing. The team ran for 159 of their 198 yards. For P-W, Nurenberg completed six of his 15 passes for 166 yards and a score, all to Lane Simon. Jered Myszak gained 26 yards on 10 attempts to lead P-W in rushing. Ishpeming plays Detroit Loyola on Saturday morning.
Deckerville 14 Bellaire 12 (8 Man Final)
It was all about the stops on Friday night. Deckerville came up with four huge stops that allowed them to win the game. The last stop was at their four yard line with the last few seconds ticking off the clock. Bellaire gave them a run for their money when they recovered an onside kick with 49 seconds left and got the ball down to the Deckerville four, but it just didn’t happen for Bellaire. Deckerville quarterback Nick Pagel didn’t complete any of his passes, but did run for 53 yards on 15 attempts. Chris Wolfe led the rushing attack with 108 yards and a score on 20 runs. Ryan Stone punched in the other touchdown run form 23 yards away. For Bellaire, they moved the ball all night but couldn’t find the end zone. Quarterback Zach Smith completed six of his 10 passes for 117 yards and a score while also running 11 times for 116 yards and the other score. Chase Small led the rushing attack with 14 carries for 149 yards. Wes Villafane caught three balls for 93 yards, which included a 52 yard scoring strike late in the fourth quarter. This is Deckerville’s first year playing 8 man football and first state title.
Birmingham Brother Rice 31 Wyandotte Roosevelt 3
We talked in the preview about coaching LEGEND Al Fracassa. I could go on and on about the guy, but we are here to talk about his team’s latest win, so let’s do that instead. I’ll gush about him later this week when I post the football finals preview. The game was never in doubt and Brother Rice just had the better day. Running back Brian Walker got 159 all-purpose yards and scored a touchdown. He also returned a kickoff 63 yards to set up a field goal at the end of the first half. Shon Powell ran for 105 yards and scored once. Quarterbacks Lacanaria and Malzone combined to throw for 59 yards and each threw for a touchdown. Christopher Carter made 13 tackles on defense. For Wyandotte Roosevelt, quarterback Kevin Matejko completed 12 of his 25 passes for 117 yards. Running back D’Aries Davis ran the ball 10 times for 35 yards. Damon Singleton made 12 tackles on defense. Brother Rice will play Muskegon for the state title this week. Talk about two of the major programs in the state squaring off!