Fitzgerald bolts to 42-6 halftime lead, blows past rival Lincoln, 56-14, to clinch playoff spot
By Jon Pfaff
Warren – Heading into their showdown, crosstown rivals Warren Fitzgerald and Warren Lincoln were facing the same scenario: win and you’re in the playoffs. Lose and you turn in your uniform.
Both teams had a three-game winning streak entering Friday’s Macomb Area Conference crossover.
Fitzgerald (6-3) led 42-6 at halftime and finished off Lincoln, 56-14, at Fitzgerald and the Spartans will await the news of which team they will play in the Division 3 playoffs on Sunday.
With the win, Fitzgerald leads the series 30-16-2.
But more importantly the Spartans are looking to next week’s playoffs. Much speculation has them playing defending champion Orchard Lake St. Mary’s in the first round.
“That’s what I hear, so we’ll see what happens,” Fitzgerald coach Gary Skop said.
Whatever does happen, the Spartans are feeling optimistic after their final regular season game.
“You never know,” Skop added.
Junior running back Najon Moore and senior quarterback Stephen Gregerson dominated for Fitzgerald. But it was senior running back/defensive back Delano Bolar who got things going early.
With 6:04 to play in the first quarter Bolar picked up a fumble just on the Abe’s side of midfield, caused by heavy pressure on Lincoln quarterback Jquan Griffin. Bolar scooped the loose ball and scampered down the left sideline for the score.
Gregerson converted conversion and Fitzgerald led 8-0.
From there the Spartans were off and running, up 22-0 by the 9:10 mark of the second quarter after a 2-yard touchdown run from Moore.
Lincoln got on the board on Daniel Stewart’s 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with 2:02 left in the half.
Gregerson and Moore made play after play for Fitzgerald, with the latter scoring four touchdowns. Moore’s 6-yard touchdown run with 6:41 left in the game solidified the victory for the Spartans.
“I was just following my line, it was good,” Moore said.
Gregerson was 8-of-18 passing for 160 yards and he rushed nine times, ripping off some big runs.
He too spoke of the big role the offensive line played.
“Our O-line blocked great for us this game, they came up really big. They had a couple issues early and they fixed it, adjusted, and they played well,” Gregerson said. “They gave me a lot of open holes to make some good plays.”
Gregerson is a man on a mission after Friday’s big win. He said he’d be focusing on some specific things this week while he prepares for the playoffs.
“I’ve got to get better myself and make some better plays, just work,” Gregerson said.