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Divine Child overcomes slow start, beats U-D Jesuit, 29-24, to remain unbeaten

By: Jeff Dullack, September 23, 2017, 2:00 am

Dearborn – Although Dearborn Divine Child entered week five of the high school football season with a perfect 4-0 record, the Falcons were still in search of a statement win as they played host to Detroit U-D Jesuit.

After falling behind 14-0 in the first three minutes of Friday night’s game and 17-0 early in the second quarter, Divine Child stormed back to cut the deficit to 17-14 at halftime and would outlast U-D Jesuit for a 29-24 win.

Divine Child head coach John Filiatraut said that after a slow start from his team and an impressive start by U-D Jesuit, he felt that his team and specifically his defense did a good job of limiting an explosive Cubs offense after the first quarter.

“At the beginning of the game, I thought they played very fast and they executed very well, we hadn’t seen them throw the ball like that in their last few games,” he said. “They made big plays and they’re obviously a big play team, they had three plays of 60 yards or more and I feel like they were just making big plays, but we held them to 24, so that’s not bad.”

Trailing 17-0 midway through the second quarter, Divine Child (5-0) finally got on the scoreboard as the Falcons went on a 7-play, 58 yard drive, capped off by a four yard touchdown run by Noah De Guzman to cut the deficit to 17-7.

On the ensuing kickoff, Divine Child would recover a pooch kick on the U-D Jesuit 23-yard line and would score on a 2-yard quarterback sneak by Theo Day to cut the Cubs’ lead to 17-14 heading into halftime.

Day, a State Champs! Mr. Football Award Top 10 candidate and a Michigan State commit, said that being able to score twice in a span of just over three minutes late in the first half was a key momentum swing for his team, knowing that Divine Child would get the ball to score the second half.

“That was huge,” he said. “We knew we were getting the ball back coming out of halftime, so getting those points was big. That kickoff that we recovered, that was a huge play.”

Filiatraut agreed with what his senior signal caller had to say and admitted that he was focused just getting one touchdown late in the first half, but was thrilled to come away with a pair of touchdowns to cut the deficit to just three late in the first half.

“We were looking to just get one, we wanted to get some confidence,” he said. “We were really not playing well to start the game, clearly and we thought we’d use our timeouts to get the ball back and with Theo Day, you’ve got a chance to do something, but we drop it (the punt). But sometimes, when you’re trying to win a game, you have to find a way and luck finds you and we were hustling on that play and we were on it.”

After the Falcons took their first lead of the game on De Guzman’s second score of the game, U-D Jesuit (1-4) would respond almost immediately as running back and State Champs! Mr. Football Top 10 candidate Elijah Collins broke off a highlight reel 66-yard touchdown run to put the Cubs back out in front, 24-21 with 13 seconds left in the third quarter.

Collins finished the game with 127 yards on 13 carries to help pace the Cubs’ offensive attack.

But Day and the Divine Child offense would march down the field on a 7-play, 75 yard drive that lasted over four minutes as Day would take off on 22-yard touchdown run to give the Falcons the lead back, 29-24 with less than eight minutes left to play.

Day completed 11 of his 16 pass attempts for 158 yards and also rushed for 116 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground to lead Divine Child.

While Day’s ability to throw the ball is well known, his running ability was on full display on Friday night and said that he feels it’s an overlooked aspect to his game that people may not be aware of yet.

“It’s definitely an underrated part of my game,” he said. “I don’t think people respect me enough for that, but I’ll make them respect it.”

U-D Jesuit jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter in less than three minutes and on just four offensive plays as quarterback Walter Reynolds connected on a pair of long passes, the first to Nolan Kimmey for a 69-yard score and the second, a 67-yard pass to Carson Hinton, which set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Collins.