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Southfield rolls past Oak Park in first round of playoffs, 38-14, to advance to district final

By: Jeff Dullack, October 31, 2015, 6:43 pm

Southfield – While it may have been hard to imagine it at the time, when Southfield’s blowout loss at the hands of Oak Park in week eight of the regular season may have been just what the Blue Jays needed as they headed towards the postseason.

After a 14-0 win over Troy Athens in the final week of the regular season, Southfield opened up the playoffs with a convincing 38-14 win over Oak Park on Saturday afternoon, avenging the loss from two weeks ago.

Southfield coach Tim Conley said that the 50-14 loss to Oak Park in week eight served as a bit of a wakeup call for his team and credited his senior class for helping prepare a very young Southfield team.

“I’ve been saying this all year, we’re a young team and sometimes you don’t get their attention until a bad loss,” he said. “It’s a tough rivalry with Oak Park and losing to them wasn’t that big of a deal, but we got beat pretty bad and we really had to step it up. I think the seniors and the coaching staff did a good job of getting the young guys ready to go for playoff football.”

With the game tied at 0-0 late in the first half, Southfield would take a 7-0 lead after a 6-yard touchdown run from Eric McArn with 2:21 left before halftime. The touchdown was set up by a fake punt play call as Matthew Macon took a pass for a 25-yard gain for the first down.

Southfield would then score with just 14 seconds left in the second quarter when freshman quarterback Sam Johnson would connect with Brandon Gray for a 14-yard score to give the Blue Jays a 14-0 lead heading into halftime.

“This is like the fourth time that we’ve done that this year, we’re getting pretty good at that,” he said. “That was big and when we went up 21-0 was big, it makes it hard to come back and it’s playoff football and our defense was playing pretty tough.”

Southfield then opened up the second half with a touchdown to push its lead to 21-0 when a mishandled punt by Oak Park was recovered and taken back for a Southfield touchdown with 9:40 left to play in the third quarter.

Oak Park coach Greg Carter said that he felt his team still had chance to win coming out of halftime, but a tough start to the third quarter and bad field position proved to be too much to overcome.

“I think we were still in it in the second half, but we touched the punt and they scored a touchdown,” he said. “A couple of things happened for them to start the third quarter and that put us too far behind. But we had bad field position the whole game and we couldn’t get anything going to get out of our own end.”

Southfield would push its lead to 31-0 late in the third quarter after a field goal and an interception by Delan Wynns that was returned 65 yards for a touchdown for the Blue Jays.

Oak Park would finally get on the board when quarterback Chauncey Lowman connected with Darrius Stokes for a 21-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 31-6.

McArn would later score to push Southfield’s lead to 38-6, before Lowman and Stokes would connect for another touchdown late in the game for the Knights.