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Brother Rice holds off De La Salle late, 28-21

By: Branden Hunter, September 19, 2014, 11:15 pm

DETROIT – If last year’s ending between Brother Rice and De La Salle was any indication on how this year’s game would be, we were going to be in for a treat. The Warriors won that game, 26-24, on a last second Hail Mary. They wouldn’t need those type of  heroics this time around, grounding the Pilots 28-21

"This was a hostile environment once again, and we played one hell of a team," said Brother Rice head coach Dave Sofran. "I like the way our kids responded in the second half, coming through with the big plays, and it was another great high school football game."

Much like last year’s game, De La Salle took control early with its running game. Limiting Brother Rice’s chances, while making the most of their own. Sophomore running back, Allen Stritzinger, capped off a 17-play drive in the second quarter, with a 9-yard touchdown run. He finished with 75 yards, on 20 carries, and two scores. The Pilots rushed for 189 yards as a team.

"Their running game was effective for the most part against us, but we hung in there," Sofran said. "Obviously that’s one thing we have to improve on, because we could see them again in the Prep Bowl."

Brother Rice’s (4-0) bread and butte, its passing game, was also effective against De La Salle. Senior quarterback, Alex Malzone, tied the game up at 7-7 just before the half, hitting fellow senior, John Garry, from 6-yards out. The two also hooked up with 10:34 left in the game, from 13 yards out, to put Brother Rice up 21-14. 

"They knew Grant Perry was my main target, so they paid close attention to him," Malzone said. "I had all the day to pass, and whenever I was in trouble, John (Garry) made a play for me. 

"We played a great team tonight, but we were just a little bit better."

De La Salle had it’s chances, but two costly penalties late, that netted 30-yards, may have been their demise. When three plays later, Bobby Dixon put Brother Rice ahead for good, on a 1-yard touchdown run, on fourth down, with 2:07 to play. 

Ironically, De La Salle failed to convert its own 4th and 2 play, when a wide receiver dropped a Joey Garbarino pass, ending the game.

"I’m pretty sure those calls were for a facemask, and taunting," Malzone said. "They worked in our favor, but our defense, and offense played great when we needed it, and that gave us the momentum."

Malzone finished 14-20, for 203 yards, and three touchdowns.