OLSM clips De La Salle in final seconds
DETROIT – In real time, 2:19 isn’t a long time, but in football, that’s an eternity. Orchard Lake St.Mary’s used it to march 88-yards, and score a game-winning touchdown over Warren De La Salle, 14-10, with 6.2 seconds left on the clock.
The Eaglets defense stepped up big when it needed to, forcing a De La Salle fumble late, to allow its offense have a chance to win the game.
"Our defense played outstanding tonight," St.Mary’s head coach George Porritt said. "They kept us in the game the whole time, and allowed us to win at the end. We’re very fortunate to beat a great football team like that."
Both defenses played well, which is something you would expect in a Catholic League Central Division game. The score at halftime was only 3-0, advantage De La Salle, on a 35-yard field goal by Brandon Piwinski.
St.Mary’s (5-0, 2-0) bread and butter is their run game, having used a total of five running backs in the game. Junior, Brandon Adams, garnered most of the carries, and his 1-yard touched dive with 4:48 left in the third, gave St.Mary’s the 7-3 lead.
It wouldn’t take De La Salle (3-2, 0-2) long to respond though. Sophomore, Allen Strizinger, intercepted St.Mary’s, Brendan Tabone, giving them great field position at the 19-yard line. Stritzinger would then punch it in from 2-yards out, regaining the lead for the Pilots, at 10-7.
"We just told our guys to hang in there, because we knew we’d be in for a dog fight," Porritt said. "We made mistakes, but our defense played well enough, and this is a big time win going forward."
Tabone threw two crucial interceptions on the night, but he showed up when it mattered the most. The junior orchestrated a Tom Brady-like last minute drive, completing several passes to wide receivers, Kahlee Hamler and Ross Moore, that the De La Salle defense had no answer for. Then with 6.2 seconds left in the game, Tabone hit Moore over the middle, who willed his way into the end zone, stretching the ball over for the game-winner.
"I don’t know if he actually got the ball over, but my coaches up top said he did, so I’ll take it," said Porritt. "But Brendan just did a great job, making the passes down the stretch to his receivers. Hamler is always our go-to guy, but I thought Ross (Moore) came up big, with two big catches past the 50-yard line.
"We work on things like that in practice, and you like to see them come to fruition."
St.Mary’s has Brother Rice up next, a game Porritt’s players are definitely looking forward to.