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D4 FINALS: Country Day finally ends Ford Field hex, shutting out Cadillac to claim first title since 1999

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, January 23, 2021, 12:30 am

for the longest time against Cadillac (8-3). 

Country Day got 19- and 26-yard field goals from Graham Doman in the first half for a 6-0 lead, then extended it when Gabe Winowich scored on a 4-yard run with 5:27 left. Doman’s kick made it 13-0. 

That’s where the defense stepped in, posting its third straight postseason shutout. Country Day allowed just 88 points total in 10 games on the field, and just 36 in six postseason games. 

“Our defense, we’ve been riding that all year. They just have a tremendous amount of pride. They just do their job. … I think it’s unsaid right now. They have tremendous pride. They built that. I think everybody kind of senses, ‘OK, the defense is going to pull us out.’ Last week, a very similar game. Offense never really got on track, but did just enough and pulled. They just know their defense — it’s kind of nerve-wracking in certain ways, because a tipped ball, a pass gets into the open,” Dan MacLean said, tipping his hat to his entire defensive coaching staff, but particularly Jake Topp, normally an offensive assistant, who designed the scheme to stop Cadillac’s option attack. 

“We have a lot of pride, and our pride got dented pretty good last year. I just think the kids … wanted to get back here and get a little bit of redemption. Not beautiful, but shutout are beautiful.”

The Yellowjackets held Cadillac to just 150 total offensive yards — all of that on the ground — and an average of just 3.4 yards per play, with Danny MacLean picking off one of Cadillac’s four pass attempts. 

Parker Yearego led the Yellowjackets with 71 yards rushing, while Brandon Mann had 25 rush yards to go with 11-for-14 passing for 106 yards.