Wilk stars as De La Salle runs over St. Mary's

David Goricki
The Detroit News

Orchard Lake — Josh Wilk and Warren De La Salle put on an impressive performance in a 31-8 victory over Orchard Lake St. Mary's in a Catholic League Central Division showdown Friday night.

It was also a battle between defending state champions, De La Salle in Division 2 and St. Mary's in Division 3.

De La Salle did it with junior running back Allen Stritzinger — who has an offer from Michigan — on the sidelines, nursing an ankle injury.

De La Salle physically pounded out a 31-0 lead with 4:12 left and held a 326-48 advantage in total yards and 60-28 edge in plays at that time.

Wilk had 16 carries for 129 yards and two touchdowns and Tru Wilson had 26 carries for 116 yards and a score each for De La Salle (4-1, 2-0), ranked No. 6 in The News Super 20 rankings.

"I thought we physically attacked them and did some good things today," DeLaSalle coach Paul Verska said. "I thought he (Wilk) had a great game. He ran the ball real well."

DeLaSalle's defense limited No. 3 OLSM (4-1, 1-1) to 38 yards rushing for the game, including eight on eight carries by Justin Myrick who entered the night with 475 yards rushing and three 100-yard games.

De La Salle's defense limited No. 3 St. Mary's (4-1, 1-1) to 44 yards rushing, including eight on eight carries by Justin Myrick who entered the night with 475 yards rushing and three 100-yard games. De La Salle also forced three turnovers, including two interceptions by Reggie Irby, turning them into 17 points.

De La Salle dominated the first half and led 10-0. The lead could have been larger.

Wilk led an impressive 94-yard, 15-play drive which lasted more than eight minutes, scoring on a 1-yard sneak on third down with 10:31 left in the second quarter.

"That was huge," said Wilk who played safety last season. "We take pride in that, going down the field, taking time off the clock and getting our defense off the field."

It was fitting Wilk scored after keeping the drive alive with third down scrambles, the first coming on a third-and-8 from the St. Mary's 41, rolling right to look for a receiver, the cutting back and picking up 15 yards to the 26.

Then, on third-and-9 from the 14, Wilk again scrambled out of the pocket and ran for 11 to the 3.

"He (Wilk) was outstanding and so was 3 (Wilson)," praised OLSM coach George Porritt. "I felt their offensive line did a great job too. We didn't do a good job defensively tonight, but hats off to them. They beat our butts."

Said Wilk: "On film we saw that the holes were open. We knew we could pass the ball, but when I looked up the holes were open. We had great blocking by our guys and the receivers, we've been working on them blocking on the outside, and they did a great job tonight."

De La Salle increased their lead to 10-0 on Trentin Piwinski's 40-yard field goal with just over four minutes left in the half.

The field goal was set up by Wilson's 33-yard punt return to St. Mary's 27.

"I just do whatever the team asks me to do," Wilson said. "I just want to help my team out the best I can, offense, defense, special teams, whatever it is.

"We all stepped up tonight. Some rankings have them (Eaglets) No. 1, everybody has them No. 1 in the Catholic League so it's great to get a win like this, on their home turf, in front of their student section and everybody. It was a great feeling."

St. Mary's junior cornerback KJ Hamler ended another De La Salle threat when he stepped in front of Myles Charley for an interception at the St. Mary's 22 midway through the second quarter.

De La Salle's defense was nothing less than outstanding in the first two quarters, limiting St. Mary's to 34 yards offense and 14 snaps.