In Play with Tom Markowski


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Sabbagh, Fordson run past Fraser 35-6

By: Tom Markowski, November 1, 2014, 6:20 pm



Dearborn – Conditions provided challenges Jamil Sabbagh hadn’t faced before. The cold, rain, sleet and wind caused havoc with center snaps, special teams and the passing game for Dearborn Fordson and Fraser on Friday.

But, somehow, Sabbagh, Fordson’s all-purpose back, played as if it was 70 degrees with no wind.

He even looked the part as he played in short sleeves.

Sabbagh showed why he’s one of Fordson’s leaders as he rushed for 120 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries as Fordson (10-0) defeated Fraser 35-6 in a Division 1 pre-district at Fordson.

Sabbagh’s 17-yard run help set up Fordon’s first touchdown, a 1-yard run by quarterback Muhammed Zahr. Sabbagh sidestepped four Fraser defenders as he made his way down the right sideline to score his touchdown that gave Fordson a 14-0 lead with 5:38 left in the first half.

“All week we prepared for weather like this,” Sabbagh said. “We ran the ball a lot. Coach (Walker Zaban) likes me in the backfield in weather like this. He wants the ball in my hands. My line did a great job of blocking tonight. I wasn’t worried about the cold. I never played in weather like this before. Maybe when I was 8-years-old but not in high school.”

This was far from a one-player show. Despite the conditions Zahr managed the offense well. His 25-yard touchdown pass to Hefdadeen Mashrah was a well-thrown pass over Mashrah’s right shoulder.

Hassan Hachem scored on a 31-yard run and he returned an interception 89 yards for a touchdown that gave Fordson 35-0 lead with 1:57 left in the third quarter.

“It’s one big brotherhood in our locker room,” Sabbagh said. “We’ve been playing for 10 years together. It doesn’t matter who scores the touchdowns.”

The conditions were expected to hinder Fordson’s spread offense and possibly lend Fraser (6-4), which runs a power offense with two tight ends, the opportunity for an upset. But it was the Tractors, led by two-way linemen Hussein Kdouh that controlled the line of scrimmage.

“I like to run the ball,” Zaban said. “My coaches convinced me to open (the offense) up. And we like to get our athletes open in space. Once you get Jamil in space he can run with it. He makes plays. That’s the type of leadership we’re looking for. This is the type of game that provides that leadership.”

Fordson will host Detroit Cass Tech (10-0) on Friday at 7 p.m.

Cass Tech won state titles in 2011 and ’12, and it seems like Fordson and Cass Tech meet in the playoffs every year. Cass Tech eliminated the Tractors in the ’09. ’10 and ’11 but the teams haven’t played since. 

“This is the game we wanted all year,” Sabbagh said of the possible match-up with Cass Tech. “We knew it would happen sooner or later. We’ve been looking for this.”