FRIDAY FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: WL Central upsets West Bloomfield, advances to regional final
West Bloomfield – Drake Temple’s interception in the end zone with 39 seconds left to play sealed what might have been the biggest upset in the second round of the playoffs as it gave Walled Lake Central an 11-7 win over one of the state’s hottest teams in West Bloomfield.
Meyer said that during the week leading up to Friday’s game, very few gave the Vikings a chance to win, which was used as motivation during practices and also praised his team’s defense for its efforts on Friday night.
“Nobody picked us to win and our kids knew it and used it as motivation all week long,” said Meyer. “Tonight our defense came to play. They made three stands inside the 10 yard line and one stand from the one-foot line. The defense came out to play tonight, they were awesome.”
The Central defense limited the high-octane Laker offense, which had been averaging 38.7 points per game entering Friday night, to just seven points, a late touchdown in the first half which cut Central’s lead to 8-7 heading to halftime.
Central jumped out to an 8-0 lead late in the second quarter when Ethan Rodriguez returned an interception for a 30 yard touchdown to give Central an 8-0 lead after the two point conversion.
But after West Bloomfield trimmed the Central lead down to 8-7 with just nine seconds left in the first half, on a touchdown pass from Trishton Jackson to Obbie Jackson, Central’s defense clamped down for the remainder of the game.
After a Ben Prestel field goal extended Central’s lead to 11-7 with just under four minutes remaining, West Bloomfield drove into Central’s end of the field before Temple made is third interception of the night to lead Central to its upset win.
“Everybody erupted,” Meyer said of the sideline reaction after Temple’s interception. “But nobody lost faith. Our kids expected to win that football game. They believed that if we did our job they would be successful.”
Central will once again be widely considered to be the underdog in the regional final next week as the Vikings will travel to defending Division 1 state champion Clarkston, which topped Lapeer 23-20 on Friday night.
Meyer said that there’s no chip on his team’s shoulder being the underdog against West Bloomfield and will be the underdog again next Friday, but said the Vikings need to focus on what they need to do, adding that this will be the fourth time Clarkston and Central have met and knows Clarkston and head coach Kurt Richardson will be ready.
“There’s no chip on our shoulder,” he said. “We just have to go out and do what we need to do. We’ve played against each other three times and Kurt (Richardson) knows that we’re not going to sneak up on them. It’s going to be a great game.”
Clarkston 23, Lapeer 20: D.J. Zezula threw for 220 yards and a touchdown, while Merrick Canada had 90 yards receiving and Nolan Eriksen chipped in with 77 yards rushing for Clarkston.
Southfield 14, Oak Park 13: Adrian Carter rushed for 129 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries to lead the way for Southfield. Oak Park was led by John Kelly, who rushed for 135 yards and a score on 22 carries.
Zeeland West 30, Stevensville Lakeshore 28: Darius Perisee had touchdown runs of 75 yards and 67 yards to lead the way for Zeeland West.
Farmington Hills Harrison 10, Walled Lake Western 9 (OT): A touchdown run by Brendann Brown from one yard out and an Alex Bolstrum extra point proved to be the difference in overtime to lead arrison to the district title.
Grand Rapids South Christian 58, Hudsonville Unity Christian 34: Jon Wassink rushed for 300 yards and five touchdowns on just 17 carries and was a perfect 7-for-7 through the air for 105 yards and two more touchdowns to lead South Christian.
Lowell 49, Grand Rapids Christian 31: Ryan Stevens threw for 208 yards and three touchdowns and 74 yards on the ground with another score, while Max Dean rushed for 125 yards and three touchdowns to lead the way for Lowell.
Almont 35, Marine City 7: Nick Baker rushed for 187 yards and two touchdowns, while Mike Couch added in 78 yards and a score of his own as Almont knocked off the reigning Division 4 state champions.
Chippewa Valley 28, Macomb Dakota 27: A Stefan Claiborne block on an extra point attempt with 2:53 left to play was the difference as Chippewa Valley snapped a 16-game losing streak against Dakota. Patrick Briningstool accounted for a passing and rushing touchdown to pace the Big Red offense on Friday night.
Mona Shores 41, Midland Dow 14: Tyree Jackson rushed for 129 yards and added in 121 yards passing and four total touchdowns to lead the way for Mona Shores. DeOntay Moffett also paced the Sailor offense with 159 yards rusheing and two touchdowns as well for Mona Shores.