FOOTBALL: Unfazed by surrounding chaos, Stoney Creek trounces Rochester in crosstown showdown
ROCHESTER HILLS – Faced with possible distraction heading into its critical Week 8 match-up with crosstown rival Rochester, the football team at Stoney Creek High School was the picture of focus and resiliency.
Undeterred by dealing with a seven-day firestorm of publicity stemming from an unfortunate incident back in Week 7 where an assistant coach was assaulted by an opposing player in the aftermath of the Cougars’ 50-28 dusting of West Bloomfield, Stoney Creek used a second-half offensive eruption on Friday evening to storm past visiting Rochester 36-14 on Senior Night.
The victory upped the Cougars overall record to 5-3, putting them one game away from guaranteeing themselves their first playoff bid in five years. Stoney Creek is in the midst of a three-game winning streak.
“I’m so proud of this team right now,” Cougars head coach Brad Zube said. “We’ve got a lot of playmakers out there this year. This program is one big family.”
Behind 14-7 at halftime, Stoney Creek exploded for 28 unanswered points in the third and fourth quarters to run away with the game. The Cougars were cooking via the rushing and the passing attack, accumulating over 400 yards on the ground and over 200 through the air.
Navigating Stoney Creek’s offense on Friday was junior quarterback Justin Allor, making his return to the huddle after a month on the shelf with an injury. Looking like he hadn’t missed any time at all, Allor was 8-of-12 for 170 yards and scored two touchdowns – one passing, one running.
Star Cougars’ junior Sean Scullen caught a touchdown and threw another, while up-and-coming tailback Joe Cox found the end zone twice on the ground for Stoney Creek. Scullen also added an interception from his spot in the secondary to help lead the Cougars’ defense.
Zube and his ball club will face Southfield in Week 9’s regular-season finale, an Oakland Activities Association crossover between the Red and White Divisions.
Over the past two seasons, Zube, in his first year wearing the headphones with the Cougars, has crafted a reputation for himself as a rally specialist. If Stoney Creek beats Southfield next week, Zube will have ended the last two straight campaigns on do-or-die four-game winning streaks.
In his second year on the sidelines at Pontiac last year, Zube’s Phoenix won four in a row in a late-season playoff push.
This fall’s performance on the gridiron at Stoney Creek is a far cry from the last couple of seasons where the Cougars only won a combined three games. And the most encouraging part of it for the Stoney Creek faithful is the fact that a majority of the team is made up of junior and sophomores.
“We’re building a solid foundation with a lot of real talented young guys,” said Zube of his large core of underclassmen. “They’ve been doing everything we’ve asked of them as a coaching staff and they’ve been seeing results. Everyone’s on the same page and things are flowing nicely for us on both sides of the ball. The future is exciting around here. But the future is now, in a lot of ways, too.”
You can say that again, coach.