Cunningham’s TD grab sparks Northville to win over WL Central
WALLED LAKE – After watching a 22-7 halftime lead dissipate in the third quarter, Northville needed a spark to get back to what led them to scoring 22 unanswered points in the final 13 minutes of the first half as the two teams met on Saturday morning to finish the game that began on Friday night.
And that spark came by way of Terrell Cunningham, who was the benefactor of a lucky bounce and was in the right place at the right time.
A pass from Justin Zimbo toward midfield that deflected off of the hands of a Northville receiver and into Cunningham’s hands turned out to be the game-winning score as Cunningham outran the rest of the Central defense to give the Mustangs a 29-22 lead with 2:47 left to play in the third quarter as Northville would hang on for a 43-28 win.
“I saw it happen earlier on a wheel (route) and I just couldn’t get to it and this time I got to it,” Cunningham said of his touchdown grab. “It feels great, because it really does give you a good boost and you feel good after it.”
Zimbo said that he thought Central was going to intercept his pass, but was thankful to have Cunningham in the right spot and added that he felt it was the big momentum shift the Mustangs had been looking for.
“I thought it was going to get picked at first, but I was just lucky to have Terrell under it to catch it and go all the way,” he said. “Everyone’s mood changed, everyone got rowdy, it was a good catch and a good play for us.”
Zimbo and Cunningham connected for a touchdown with 8.5 seconds left before halftime on a 23 yard score to put the Mustangs up 22-7.
Zimbo finished with 205 yards rushing and 153 yards passing to pace the Northville offenese
After Cunningham’s second touchdown grab, Central managed to cut the deficit down to 29-28 after a two yard touchdown run by quarterback Nick Krumm, but a failed two-point conversion attempt kept the Mustangs in the lead.
But Northville responded with an Alec Coppeck two yard touchdown run to push its lead to 36-28 and later in the fourth quarter, Zimbo all but put the game away as he scored on a keeper to give the Mustangs a 43-28 lead with 4:33 left in the game.
After Northville overcame a 7-0 deficit, one that they faced after the game was postponed due to weather on Friday, the Mustangs managed to knot the game at 7-7 on a touchdown run from Zimbo and Zimbo later found Kevin Bak for a five yard score to make it 14-7 with 4:00 left in the first half.
Northville head coach Matt Ladach said that he was pleased with how his team came out in the second and fourth quarters looking to build leads in both quarters.
“Early on when we got started at nine, we came out flat, which was disappointing,” he said. “But as we got going through the second quarter, our guys flexed their muscles and were able to push them around. We came out and we punched them in the mouth and unfortunately in the third quarter, we did not do that and we were flat and Central punched us in the mouth.”
In the third quarter, the Vikings cut the deficit down to 22-15 after a 30 yard touchdown run from Ethan Rodriguez with over seven minutes left and then knotted the game up after an 81 yard touchdown scamper from Parker Krupic with less than five minutes left to play in the third.
“Mental mistakes just put us into a huge hole,” Central head coach Bob Meyer said. “And a good team is going to not let you sneak back into the game. Even though it got to 29-28, they (Northville) were still in pretty good control of the game. It took everything in our power to get back up there and I think we kind of gassed out a little bit.”