Berkley — For the first time since their epic clash in last year’s Division 2 quarterfinal, Catholic League Central Division rivals Warren De La Salle and Birmingham Brother Rice met to open league play, and De La Salle asserted its dominance as defending state champion with a resounding 30-6 victory.
It was a tale of two possessions for De La Salle (3-1, 1-0), as it opened up the game and the second half with long touchdown drives that ended in very different fashion.
Right out of the gate, De La Salle dominated in the trenches by running the ball 16 times on a 16-play, 70-yard drive that took nearly eight minutes off the clock and culminated in a Tru Wilson 1-yard touchdown run.
“We wanted to take them out of their game and let them know we can run the ball on them no matter how many guys they have in the box,” De La Salle coach Paul Verska said. “We just kept pounding and pounding.”
After a 17-yard Wilson interception for a touchdown on the ensuing Brother Rice possession, the teams traded punts before De La Salle was able to add a field goal just before halftime and take a 17-0 lead into the break.
When the teams came back on the field, De La Salle left little doubt about who was in control of the game.
On its first possession of the second half, De La Salle went 92 yards in just five plays as quarterback Josh Wilk hit Myles Charley for a 77-yard touchdown to stretch the lead to 24-0.
Wilk went just 2-for-8 passing on the night for 100 yards, but Verska said it felt good to hit a big one.
“We had some open shots earlier that we thought we overthrew,” he said. “I told (Wilk) to relax and we’d get them later on, and we did. It was nice to have that happen.”
Brother Rice (1-3, 0-1) didn’t get much going on offense, putting up just 22 yards in the first half and 102 on the night. But it did provide a memorable moment early in the fourth quarter on its only touchdown.
After a sack forced Brother Rice back to the 24 on fourth-and-goal, Steven Krajewski scrambled and was able to throw one up to find 6-foot-6 tight end Carter Dunaway in the end zone.
De La Salle got the ball back and that’s when Wilson went to work again, salting the victory away on the ground and putting an exclamation point on his night with a 36-yard touchdown run.
The senior running back/defensive back finished the game with 155 yards and two scores on 22 carries to go with his pick-6 in the first quarter.
“I owe it all to the offensive line,” Wilson said. “We had two guys that have never even started on varsity, and they stepped up huge. Two wins in a row against (Brother Rice) is a great feeling.”
Detroit Cesar Chavez 68, Marine City Cardinal Mooney 22: Omar Salih completed 22 of 30 passes for 615 yards and eight TDs, and Lewis McPhaul caught eight passes for 363 yards and five TDs for Cesar Chavez (3-1). Cardinal Mooney is 1-3.
Detroit Loyola 43, Ann Arbor Richard 7: D’Anthony Robinson rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown and Hunter Harris had two receptions for 71 yards and a TD for Loyola (3-1).
Geoff Robinson is a freelance writer. Detroit News staff contributed.