Parkway Christian takes advantage of Oakland Christian’s miscues
FRASER — After being blown out in its season opener, Sterling Heights Parkway Christian did everything but retreat into a shell Saturday night. In fact, the Eagles were the one delivering some punishment of their own in its second football game of the 2012 campaign. Parkway took advantage of six turnovers and roughed up visiting Auburn Hills Oakland Christian, 42-20, in the Michigan Independent Athletic Conference opener for both teams at Fraser High School.
“The defense did a great job and we were able to capitalize off those turnovers,” said Parkway Christian coach Todd Francis. “”Coach (Mark) Rudzinski had a great defensive game plan in the guys just came out playing hard. They were upset with the loss this week and came more prepared this week.” Parkway Christian never trailed, and after being tied at 7-7 midway through the first quarter, responded with three more touchdown drives in the opening frame for a 28-7 lead.
By halftime, the Eagles led 35-7. The lead grew to as much as 35 points in the third quarter. Noah Allen was 7-for-13 passing for 245 yards and touchdown passes of 65, 64 and 34 yards to lead the Eagles. Phil Lapinski had four catches for 172 yards and scored receiving touchdowns of 65 and 64 yards for Parkway. Jonny Kocik added a 34-yard TD catch, Nick Halaas contributed a 21-yard touchdown sprint, Allen had 1-yard plunge for another score and Nathan Schick ran for an 11-yard score.
“We were really excited to play our first league game and the guys took advantage of some things and played a lot better than last week,” said Francis. “These guys are more confident than they were (last week). They were hitting harder, they were attacking on defense and making plays on offense. They were ready to play.”
It took Parkway Christian just four plays and 1:29 of game clock to break through, when Lapinski haled in a strike from Allen and raced 65 yards for paydirt Oakland Christian (1-1, 0-1) was able tie it with 6:13 left in the first quarter with an eight-play, 77-yard drive that culminated when sophomore quarterback Javarian Smith hit Chris Nichols with an 11-yard scoring toss. Parkway Christian blew the game open after that point, with Lapinski’s 64-yard catch and run with 4:44 left in the quarter put the Eagles up for good at 14-7. Allen’s 1-yard run and Schick’s 24-yard TD sprint upped the lead to 28-7 with 29 ticks still left in the opening frame for the Eagles, which scored 28 points on the night off turnovers.
“It was something we wanted to do was score some touchdowns early and get our guys confident,” said Allen. “We were able to do that with the 28-7 lead in the first quarter.” Oakland Christian, which finished 1-8 last season, opened last week with a forfeit victory over Hamtramck.
Lancers coach Bill Schaeffer would have preferred playing the game on the field and allowing his young team some game experience, win or lose. “We’re a week behind, not playing last week,” he said. “We would have rather played. We need experience for these guys. We have some good athletes but they are very young. We don’t have the (on-field) chemistry that a veteran team has. We make a lot of mistakes. If we would have played last week, I think we could have played a lot better. For most of them, it was their first game in a year.”
Smith finished 6-for-17 passing for 166 yards and two touchdowns, but threw three interceptions. “We have a young quarterback, a young team actually with (just three seniors) and our quarterback was trying to do too much,” said Oakland Christian coach Bill Schaffer. “We’re still a bit inexperienced as a whole. We had six turnovers, three picks and three fumbles. We have a lot to work on still. We’ll get better.”
Stephen Nichols had four catches for 90 yards and Chris Polite nailed two extra points and caught three passes for 83 yards for the Lancers. Smith also had 12 carries for 61 yards for Oakland Christian, which netted only 71 rushing yards total.