Football semifinals: Orchard Lake St. Mary's rolls
The Orchard Lake St. Mary's football team is headed to the MHSAA Division 3 state finals after rolling past New Boston Huron, 51-3, Saturday.
"We played great team ball, and that's the most important part right now," St. Mary's coach George Porritt said.
St. Mary's (11-2) will face Muskegon (12-1) for the state title 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Ford Field. Muskegon snapped Zeeland West's 24-game win streak Saturday after defeating the Dux 20-0.
After giving up a 56-yard play early in the first quarter, the Eaglets defense held Huron (11-2) under 100 total yards.
"Other than that one big play, our defense played incredible," Porritt said. "They rallied to the ball and I thought they made a lot of great plays. They're very well-coached."
Huron struck first, with the 56-yard run by quarterback Matthew Hartwick setting up a 35-yard field goal for Marco Marchionda, but the Chiefs scoring would end there.
The St. Mary's run game proved too much for Huron to handle, as juniors Brandon Adams, Pierce Bauer and Justin Myrick rushed for a combined 218 yards and five touchdowns.
"We play for each other," Adams said. "In the wishbone, that's the biggest thing. You've got two lead backs blocking for one and it's all selfless. It could be that one guy gets 10 carries one game and 20 carries another, but you keep blocking for your guys and know that you'll get your opportunity."
"We've got great lineman and great backs on our team," Myrick said. "Our lineman help a lot. When you don't get touched for five yards, it makes things easy."
St. Mary's (11-2) is no stranger to Ford Field, having gone to the Division 3 state title game in five of the last seven seasons, winning it all in 2011.
"We have to stay focused during practice all week and listen to our coaches," Adams said. "Our coaches have been through this before many times, but it's my first time going to the state championship as a player. I'm pumped."
Quarterback Brendan Tabone went 6-for-9 with 48 yards and two touchdowns, and Griffin Sheposh added two catches for 15 yards and two touchdowns for the Eaglets.
Marissa McNees is a freelance writer