Gibraltar — After a 13-year drought, Lincoln Park is finally back in the MHSAA playoffs for the first time since 2002 after a 21-19 victory over Gibraltar Carlson Friday night.
But it didn’t come easy.
Carlson fell short after a bad snap on a 33-yard field goal attempt on the last play of the game.
After having only attempted one extra point all night, Carlson was backed up on fourth down and needed a score, so it sent the field goal unit out.
“It wasn’t something we really wanted to do, but we felt it gave us the best shot,” Carlson coach Greg Dolson said of the attempt.
The snap was bad, and ended up sailing into the air before a Lincoln Park player batted it down to ensure the victory.
“It’s a matter of regrouping and playing the next play. We had a shot, we didn’t convert,” Dolson said. “It’s a heartbreaking way to end the season.”
Said Lincoln Park coach Jamie Grignon: “It’s a great feeling for the community, they’re all behind us. This is a great thing for the city of Lincoln Park.”
Carlson (5-4) struck first on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Nate Holmgren to Zach Kuhn with 8:07 left in the first quarter, capping a five-play, 58-yard march.
The two-point conversion attempt failed.
Lincoln Park (6-3) answered on its second drive. Trevor Anderson scored on an 8-yard sweep play and the extra point made it 7-6.
Anderson finished with seven carries for 49 yards and four catches for 21 yards.
On Lincoln Park’s next drive, Steve Glenn found Devon Carson unmarked and he walked into the end zone with a 38-yard touchdown catch with 1:10 left in the first quarter.
Glenn played at about 75 percent with a bad ankle, according to his coach, but the outcome didn’t seem to bother the ankle.
“Adrenaline got me at 100. I didn’t feel my ankle at all,” he said,” It feels amazing. We all just show heart and we believe.”
Lincoln Park had a shot to blow the game open, but on its next drive, Glenn was intercepted by Zack Whitaker and it led to a Carlson touchdown.
Holmgren threw his second touchdown pass minutes before halftime, this time to Matt Harmon on fourth-and-goal from the 5. The two-point conversion failed, and Carlson trailed 14-12.
Holmgren ran 10 times for 82 yards to go along with his two first-half touchdown passes.
Glenn ran it in shortly after the fourth quarter began on a 12-yard quarterback keeper to extend the lead to 21-12.
He finished 9-for-13 for 110 yards with one passing and one rushing touchdown.
Carlson wouldn’t give up as Holmgren ran in an 8-yard touchdown with just over two minutes left to cut the lead to 21-19. Carlson recovered the onside kick right at midfield, but missed the subsequent field goal attempt.
Berkley 49, Garden City 14: Ross Herron passed for 89 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 151 yards and another score for Berkley (7-2, 6-1). Matt Spisak had two rushing touchdowns and Kyle Becker added 138 rushing yards for Garden City (2-7, 1-5).
Birmingham Groves 18, Ann Arbor Pioneer 14: Beau Kewley was 6-of-12 passing for 75 yards and also had a 7-yard touchdown run for Groves (9-0). Earnest Allen had 10 carries for 48 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Flaherty had 12 tackles. John Kunec was 15-for-25 for 165 yards and a touchdown for Pioneer (6-3). Antjuan Simmons rushed 21 times for 121 yards and a touchdown.
Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood 42, Livonia Clarenceville 6: Tyler Santangelo was 24-for-35 with 295 yards and five touchdowns, and Nate Lowmiller had eight catches for 160 yards and four touchdowns for Cranbrook (8-1). Da’Veon Burnett had 27 carries for 146 yards for Clarenceville (1-8).
Clawson 47, East Detroit 6: Justin Rudnicki had 13 carries for 126 yards and two touchdowns for Clawson (6-3). Cam Jones rushed 12 times for 107 yards and three touchdowns. East Detroit is 0-9.
Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 30, New Baltimore Anchor Bay 16: Patrick Briningstool had a pair of rushing touchdowns for Chippewa Valley (7-2). Stefan Claiborne returned a kickoff for a touchdown and blocked an extra point. Anchor Bay is 3-5.
Dearborn 23, Ann Arbor Skyline 0: Ali Berry had 16 carries for 165 yards and two touchdowns, Hussien Hannawi had 127 all-purpose yards and a touchdown, and Michael Phillips was 5-for-9 passing for 100 yards and a touchdown for Dearborn (5-4, 4-1). Skyline is 4-5, 1-4.
Dearborn Edsel Ford 27, Wayne Memorial 7: Prince AyOola had 10 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown for Edsel Ford (5-4). Chad Galliard and William Marano each added a rushing touchdown. Wayne Memorial is 0-9.
Detroit Cesar Chavez Academy 46, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian 0: Omar Salih was 22-for-31 for 458 yards and seven touchdowns and Avery Henderson led the defense with three sacks for Cesar Chavez (7-2, 5-0). Oakland Christian is 0-9, 0-5.
Detroit Old Redford 45, Harper Woods 6: Christopher Thompson had 12 tackles and returned an interception for a touchdown for Old Redford (3-5). Tiereo Hodo had 11 carries for 66 yards and a touchdown. Chaim Austin had six carries for 66 yards and a touchdown. Harper Woods is 5-4.
Grosse Pointe North 14, St. Clair 7: Latorris Greer had 35 carries for 304 yards and Bjorn Bjornsson completed 6 of 9 passes for 104 yards with touchdown passes to Ryan Mazzola and Tristin Richardson for North (5-4, 4-1). St. Clair is 3-6, 1-4.
Livonia Churchill 40, Livonia Stevenson 34: Chris Tanderys completed 21 of 33 passes for 305 yards and two touchdowns, Gino D’Agostino had nine catches for 156 yards and a touchdown and Frank Carlin had 90 all-purpose yards and a touchdown for Stevenson (6-3). Churchill is 5-4.
Novi 43, Howell 21: Emmanuel Jackson had 314 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns, and Alec Bageris was 15-for-28 passing for 285 yards and three touchdowns for Novi (5-4). Brett Chaperon was 14-for-22 for 237 yards and three touchdowns for Howell (5-4).
Redford Union 24, Pontiac 22: Marquis Hathaway had 15 carries for 81 yards and a touchdown, and Isaac Grant had 25 carries for 132 yards and a touchdown for Redford Union (3-6). Pontiac is 0-9.
River Rouge 40, Riverview 34 (OT): Antoine Burgess was 14-of-24 for 247 yards and five touchdowns and ran for another score for River Rouge (8-1). Lenell Martin had five catches for 76 yards and three touchdowns, including the winning 10-yard touchdown in overtime. Alexander Hall had 20 carries for 117 yards and a touchdown for Riverview (6-3). Tyler Chase had 17 carries for 136 yards and two scores.
St. Clair Shores South Lake 40, New Haven 14: Datrell Milling was 6-of-13 for 173 yards and three touchdowns for South Lake (8-1). Jerrod Vines had three carries for 101 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 84 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Maize had 17 carries for 217 yards and a touchdown. New Haven is 2-7.
Sterling Heights Stevenson 31, Utica 7: Patrick O’Connor was 12-for-25 for 129 yards and a touchdown, and R.J. Pinto had seven catches for 87 yards for Utica (4-5).
U-D Jesuit 38, Redford Thurston 0: Scott Nelson scored two touchdowns, and Victor Hill and Yusuf Lewis each had one for U-D (6-3). Thurston is 5-4.
Utica Eisenhower 17, Romeo 14: Max Wittwer completed 7 of 9 passes for 111 yards, Kadari Johnson had 108 all-purpose yards and a touchdown and Andrew Szalkowski had 17 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown for Eisenhower (6-3). Romeo is 8-1.
Warren Fitzgerald 56, Warren Lincoln 14: Stephen Gregerson was 13-for-22 passing for 201 yards and two touchdowns and had 15 carries for 102 yards, while Najon Moore had 18 carries for 75 yards and four touchdowns for Fitzgerald (6-3). Lincoln is 5-4.
Warren Mott 49, Utica Ford 3: Seven players scored touchdowns for Mott (6-3). Quarterback Jason Lilaj passed for three and rushed for one. Andre Chandler and Maurice Allen each caught one. Ford is 5-4.
West Bloomfield 20, Farmington Hills Harrison 14: Trishton Jackson returned a punt 68 yards for the winning touchdown with 1:01 left in the fourth quarter and he also passed for a score for West Bloomfield (9-0). Jared Char had 23 carries for 118 yards and a touchdown and Khalid Kareem had five tackles and a forced fumble for Harrison (7-2).
Blake Meakin is a freelance writer; News staff contributed