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Livonia Churchill starts fast, rolls past Northville, 34-14

By: Jeff Dullack, August 31, 2017, 11:51 pm

Northville – While it’s still early in the 2017 season, Thursday night’s game between Northville and Livonia Churchill was one that could help decide the newly formed KLAA Gold Division as both teams are expected to finish at or near the top of the standings this fall.

But it was Churchill that made an early season statement as the Chargers stormed out to a 28-0 halftime lead and cruised to a 34-14 win on Thursday night to improve to 2-0 on the young season.

Churchill head coach Bill DeFillippo said that he was pleased with his team’s all-around performance, but credited his team’s offensive game plan and execution early as the team scored on each of its first three possessions of the game.

“It was the first time we’d seen an odd front and they mixed it up with some over and under fronts as well,” he said. “We just kind of mixed it up and threw it and ran it – just kind of a mix – it was great execution by our kids.”

The Chargers opened up the scoring on a 1-yard touchdown run by Michael Parrish to take a 7-0 lead with just under eight minutes left in the first quarter and shortly after, junior quarterback Drew Alsobrooks scored on a 2-yard touchdown run to give Churchill a 14-0 lead.

Churchill would pad its lead late in the first, when Alsobrooks took off on a 49-yard touchdown run to give the Chargers the 21-0 advantage heading into the second quarter.

“I had a huge hole,” Alsobrooks said of his long touchdown run. “My right guard, right tackle and fullbacks did a great job blocking it and I was able to make space and make a play.”

DeFillippo praised his junior signal caller for his ability to both throw and run, which was on full display on Thursday.

“Everybody that knows him knows he’s got a great arm and a strong arm,” he said. “But he runs the offense and he’s a big enough kid to carry some of that load with our QB runs and some of our slots that can run and some of our tailbacks that are pretty good. It’s a great compliment to be able to have the inside-outside run mixed in with the passing attack.”

Churchill would then push its lead to 28-0 before halftime when Avery Grenier scored on a 6-yard touchdown run on a jet sweep.

Northville would respond in the second half as the Mustangs would finally get on the scoreboard when Abe Khoury would score on an eight yard run to cut the deficit to 28-7 late in the third quarter.

“I was proud of our players’ effort in the second half,” Northville head coach Matt Ladach said. “We were way too flat at the beginning of the game and after halftime, our players came out with a little bit of an attitude and they competed significantly better than they did in the first half.”

Alsobrooks registered his third rushing touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter on a 9-yard run to all but put the game out of reach to help the Chargers improve to 2-0.

Alsobrooks said that Churchill’s strong start to the season, which began with a 53-13 win over Monroe in Week 1, has helped bring his team together early on.

“It’s been so good, it’s really brought our team together,” he said. “We were kind of iffy on how it would go this year, how the chemistry would be, because the last couple of years haven’t gone so good. It’s just brought us together and we’ve been playing really well.”