Detroit Catholic Central holds off rival Brother Rice in double overtime
Berkley — Detroit Catholic Central’s defense had its back against the wall on Saturday night against Brother Rice, but the defense didn’t break.
With the game on the line on fourth down, Shamrock senior Chris Jakubic broke up a pass to Matthew Jordan to seal Catholic Central’s 28-21 win over the Warriors.
“We’ve had two weeks we’ve been in overtime. It takes everything out of you,” Catholic Central coach Tom Mach said. “It’s a great feeling that the kids hung tough, and played hard in overtime.”
Catholic Central (5-0) took an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter on its first possession when senior Nick Capatina scored on a 12-yard run. Shamrock junior Cam Ryan extended the lead, 14-0, on a 3-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
But Brother Rice (3-2) made adjustments in the second half erased the Shamrock lead.
Sophomore Mariano Valenti took advantage of good field position after a CC three-and-out, and connected with Jordan on a 3 yard out to bring the Warriors within seven, 14-7, with 5:36 left in the third quarter.
Fellow sophomore Marcellus Gains tied the score, 14-14, when he plunged himself into the goal line for a 3-yard touchdown run with 5:30 to play in the fourth quarter.
Brother Rice looked to take advantage of an Austin Brown fumble late in the fourth quarter, but the Shamrocks flipped the momentum right back thanks, to a interception by Jack Downs that would set-up a potential game winning drive with under two minutes to play.
“That interception changed the whole game for us,” Mach said. “We couldn’t take advantage of it.”
The Shamrocks had a chance with forty seconds left, on fourth down, to kill the clock for a game winning field goal. But, an inadvertent whistle blew the play dead, and forced the game into overtime.
Rice quickly scored on its opening possession of overtime on a three-yard pass from Valenti to Jordan for a 21-14 lead. Catholic Central’s Cam Ryan forced a second overtime, 21-21, with a short touchdown run.
Catholic Central struggled to move the ball from the ten yard line in the second overtime, but last week’s hero, junior Matt Young, stepped up yet again. On fourth-and-goal, Brown scrambled to evade the rush and found a wide-open Young in the back of the end zone to take a 28-21 lead.
“We just have a desire to win,” Young said. “Rice made big plays all game, and we had to respond. Austin did a heck of a job staying alive, and I just made sure to get open so we can could score.”
Young, who also plays both ways for CC, knew that the Shamrock defense would step up and stop Rice in the second overtime.
“Everyone was all in. You could see it in everyone’s eyes. We all wanted to get this ‘W’, and we stepped up and we executed.”
The all time record between Catholic Central and Brother Rice is now even, 30-30-1 in 61 games all time, which Mach credits both sides to playing a good clean rivalry.
“It’s always a terrific football game when we play Rice,” he said. “Each game takes a lot of heart, determination, and hard work. I’m proud that we could get the win tonight.”