Carter scores three touchdowns, Southfield advances
Wyandotte – With the ball in his hands, Adrian Carter and Southfield were nearly unstoppable on Friday.
Behind three touchdowns and 163 yards from Carter, Southfield (9-3) registered a surprisingly easy 35-7 victory over host Wyandotte Roosevelt to claim a Division 2 regional championship.
Friday’s win marks the first regional championship for Southfield since 2008, which also came with a victory over Wyandotte.
Before most fans even had a chance to find a seat, Carter had the Bluejays rolling. On Southfield’s first play from scrimmage, Carter raced 64 yards down to the 1-yard line. On the next play Carter got the call again and Southfield led 7-0.
“I think we executed very well right from the beginning,” Southfield coach Tim Conley said. “Once we got that momentum going, we just never let go.”
Southfield scored on all three of its possessions in the first quarter, thanks in part to a heads-up special teams unit. Southfield’s second and third drives began at its own 46 and Wyandotte’s 29, respectively, following a deflected punt and a fumble recovery by Christian Daniels on a kickoff.
Carter, a senior who had 17 carries, scored once more in the first quarter from a yard out. Quarterback Kanye Harris threw and 11-yard touchdown pass to Ray Buford on fourth-and-goal with 12 seconds remaining and the Bluejays led 21-0.
“Adrian does well because of some of the guys we have on the perimeter,” Conley said. “We have a running quarterback, which puts a lot of pressure on opposing defenses and helps to open it up for him. It also doesn’t hurt having three guys in front of him that are 6-foot-4, 300 pounds.”
Harris, who ended the night completing 7-of-12 for 81 yards and two touchdowns, gave the Bluejays a four-score cushion with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Dior Johnson with eight seconds left in the half.
“We knew Southfield had a lot of talent and that they were big and fast,” Wyandotte coach Ron Adams said. “We gave up that big run on the second play of the game and then we had a deflected punt and a fumble on a kickoff. When you do those things against a good team like that, they’re going to take advantage of it and that’s exactly what they did. Those plays took a lot of momentum away from us, but our boys continued to play hard and gave it their all.”
Wyandotte’s touchdown came on a 40-yard pass from quarterback Donovan Stewart to Richard Rosemond with 4:43 remaining in the fourth. Stewart finished 7-of-15 for 102 yards.
After a first-round exit in last year’s postseason, Conley credits his team’s current run in part to its maturation.
“The guys are really showing a lot of maturity down the stretch,” he said. “A lot of kids will tend to get tired as the season goes on, but these guys have great leadership, led by our seniors. Their preparation this week for this type of weather was perfect.”
Southfield moves on to the semifinals where it will face the winner of Saturday’s Birmingham Brother Rice-Warren De La Salle game.
Southfield last met Brother Rice in a 2011 regional final, with the Warriors coming out on top, 16-6.