Detroit — Like many games between Catholic League heavyweights Birmingham Brother Rice and Warren De La Salle, it was a hard-fought, physical battle Friday night at Wayne State, and Brother Rice prevailed 13-3.
Success is nothing new for either program. Four of the past five Division 2 state championships have been won by either Brother Rice or De La Salle.
Brother Rice was looking to put a disappointing 2-7 season in 2015 behind it, though. A victory over De La Salle would do just that.
David Sofran saw his team on the wrong side of a defensive battle through two quarters, but getting the ball back 45 seconds before halftime led to more aggressive play-calling that led to a field goal and a 3-3 tie.
“We kind of went back to just simple football,” Sofran said of his halftime adjustments. “It’s a game of momentum.”
Jack Moran scored the only touchdown of the game on a 45-yard run with 6 minutes 9 seconds left in the third quarter for Brother Rice (3-1, 1-0 Catholic League Central). He finished with 90 total yards while sophomore quarterback Mariano Valenti was 12-for-21 for 178 yards.
“We started off slow and put it together,” Valenti said. “We’ve got to start faster but I like it. We’re going to be good. The seniors have only won one Catholic League game in their career at (Brother) Rice, so this is huge.”
On the other side of the field, De La Salle coach Mike Giannone was facing his first Catholic League opponent since taking over the program in January.
Just how did he feel about his first conference game as coach: “Sour.”
“The better team won today,” Giannone said. “Our protection’s got to improve. Teams are going to come after us. It comes down to the team that’s going to make the least amount of mistakes. We just couldn’t sustain anything.”
Brother Rice held onto the lead for the final 18 minutes
Allen Stritzinger had 71 yards rushing on 15 carries for De La Salle (2-2, 0-1). Cordell Tannyhill added 28 rushing yards on seven touches.
Sofran looks to build on his team’s big win with Catholic League action underway.
“Every game is a big game,” he said. “Hats off to the kids, they played well. It’s a new year, new team.
“You put what’s behind you, behind you, and move forward to the next game.”
Allen Park 29, Southgate 7: Antonio Mangiapane was 8-for-20 for 105 yards and two touchdowns and ran 12 yards for a score for Allen Park (4-0). Tyler Marsee had a 40-yard touchdown catch and made eight tackles, including two sacks, forced a fumble and had a 24-yard pick-six. Southgate is 1-3.
Belleville 38, Redford Union 0: Matthew Ransome threw for 147 yards with three touchdowns and rushed for 73 yards with a 66-yard TD run, and Julian Barnett had 66 yards receiving and a touchdown for Belleville (2-2, 1-1 Western Wayne). Union is 3-1, 1-1.
Birmingham Groves 45, North Farmington 0: Quaadir Ali rushed five times for 96 yards and a touchdown for Groves (4-0, 3-0 OAA White). He also recorded one tackle for loss. Collin Heard had two interceptions and returned one for a 59-yard score. North Farmington is 0-4, 0-3.
Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood 36, Waterford Lakes 21: Trevor McConnell was 20-for-35 for 278 yards and three touchdowns for Cranbrook (3-1, 1-0 Catholic). Kobi Russell had eight catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns. Lakes is 2-2, 0-1.
Dearborn 42, Dearborn Heights Crestwood 6: Mikey Phillips was 18-for-26 for 291 yards and three touchdowns for Dearborn (3-1). Adam Elder had five catches for 111 yards and a touchdown and Hassan Beydoun had four catches for 73 yards and a touchdown. Trevon Jenerette had a 60-yard touchdown run for Crestwood (1-3).
Dearborn Divine Child 44, Center Line 0: Theo Day threw for 160 yards and two touchdowns for Divine Child (4-0). He also had a touchdown run. Center Line is 0-4.
Dearborn Edsel Ford 68, Dearborn Heights Annapolis 22: Will Marano had six carries for 107 yards and four touchdowns for Edsel Ford (2-2, 1-1 WWAC Red). Michael Bates rushed four times for 114 yards and a touchdown and Jonte Dorsey five times for 150 yards and two scores. Annapolis 1-3, 0-2.
Dearborn Fordson 49, Garden City 6: Hamze Elzayat threw for 150 yards and two touchdowns for Fordson (4-0, 2-0 WWAC). He ran four times for 80 yards and a score. Aziz Hanek rushed 12 times for 130 yards and one touchdown. Garden City is 1-3, 0-2.
Detroit Catholic Central 28, Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius 21 (OT): Cameron Ryan scored the winning touchdown on a 10-yard run and finished with 59 yards, Austin Brown was 3-for-11 for 99 yards with two touchdown passes and the defense had four interceptions for Catholic Central (4-0). St. Ignatius is 3-1.
Detroit Cody 54, Detroit Collegiate Prep 6: Zaire Gardner had six carries for 125 yards and two touchdowns for Cody (3-1). Levi Fielder had an 84-yard punt return for a touchdown and Jaysaar Ball returned a fumble 20 yards for a touchdown. Collegiate Prep is 0-4.
Detroit Country Day 47, Detroit Consortium 0: Chris Bergin had four carries for 56 yards and returned the opening kick 80 yards for a touchdown for Country Day (4-0). Jalen Graham was 2-for-3 for 43 yards and two touchdowns.
Detroit East English 48, Detroit Denby 18: Delvin Washington was 12-for-16 for 230 yards and five touchdowns, and Sammy Womack had eight catches for 150 yards and four touchdowns for East English (3-1). Adonte Calhoun had 29 carries for 158 yards and three touchdowns for Denby (3-1).
Detroit King 59, Detroit Western 0: Dequan Finn was 8-for-10 for 167 yards and three touchdowns for King (4-0). He also had a 30-yard rushing touchdown. Western is 3-1.
Detroit Mumford 61, Detroit CMA 0: Omar Pagan was 8-for-10 for 267 yards and three touchdowns for Mumford (3-1). He also had four carries for 76 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Greene had three catches for 186 yards and two touchdowns and an 82-yard kick return for a touchdown. CMA is 1-3.
Detroit Old Redford Academy 13, Romulus Summit Academy 0: Lee’Quez Oliver had a 30-yard rushing touchdown for Old Redford (2-2, 1-0 Charter). Summit is 0-4, 0-1.
Detroit Osborn 16, Detroit Central 12: Ramon Gates had a 50-yard touchdown catch from Mandel Berryman (5-for-8, 125 yards) for Osborn (3-1). Central is 1-3.
Detroit Pershing 16, Detroit Douglass 8: John Abbott was 12-for-15 for 210 yards and a touchdown for Pershing (1-3). Michael Bursey had 11 carries for 110 yards and a touchdown. Payton Rivers had four tackles for loss and two sacks for Pershing. Douglass is 0-4.
Farmington Hills Harrison 28, West Bloomfield 0: Brendann Brown had 16 carries for 84 yards and a touchdown for Harrison (3-1). Devon Pressley had 11 rushes for 55 yards and a touchdown, to go with two catches for 50 yards and a touchdown. Cole Beasley threw for 199 yards for West Bloomfield.
Grosse Pointe North 35, Port Huron 28: Jared Jordan ran 32 times for 247 yards and four touchdowns (23, 1, 7, 53), and Pete Ciaravino caught a 43-yard touchdown pass from Bjorn Bjornsson for North (3-1, 2-0 MAC Blue). Port Huron is 1-3, 1-1.
Grosse Pointe South 48, Utica Ford 14: Logan Mico was 7-for-16 passing for 143 yards and a touchdown and ran for 59 yards and two scores, Jhorden Rush rushed for 178 yards with three touchdowns and Michael Braker had three receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown for South (4-0, 3-0 MAC White). Noah Heide was 15-for-32 for 194 yards and a touchdown (43 yards to Kenyatta Byron) and Elija Graham ran 72 yards for a touchdown for Utica Ford (0-4, 0-3).
Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett 50, Southfield Christian 12: Charles Caine had 14 carries for 212 yards and five touchdowns for Liggett (4-0, 2-0 MIAC). Jackson Walkowiak had six catches for 101 yards and a touchdown. Southfield Christian is 1-3, 0-2.
Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy 38, Detroit University Prep 6: Emari O’Brien was 6-for-10 for 200 yards and four touchdowns, to go with 15 carries for 170 yards and a touchdown for Chandler Park (2-2, 1-0 Michigan Metro). Anthony Hudson had three catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns. University Prep is 1-3, 0-1.
Livonia Churchill 54, Plymouth 28: Evan Cummins was 15-of-23 for 284 yards and three touchdowns for Churchill (3-0, 1-0 KLAA South). Michael Hill had 11 catches for 228 yards and three scores. Carson Miller (15 carries, 187 yards) and Darius Timmons (18 carries, 112 yards) each had two rushing touchdowns for Plymouth (1-3, 0-1).
Macomb Lutheran North 42, Harper Woods 6: Austin Monroe had four catches for 52 yards and two touchdowns for Lutheran North (2-2) and three interceptions, including a 75-yard pick-six. Gavin McKenzie had four carries for 11 yards and two touchdowns. Asa Taylor had a 36-yard pick-six in the fourth quarter for Harper Woods (3-1).
Novi 42, South Lyon East 14: Nathan Hankerson had 20 carries for a team-record 276 yards and three touchdowns for Novi (2-2, 1-0 KLAA Central). The previous record was 240 yards from Emmanuel Jackson in 2014. Anthony D’Annibale had six catches for 79 yards and two scores. Chris Kaminski was 10-of-23 for 121 yards and a touchdown for East (0-4, 0-1).
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 33, U-D Jesuit 10: RaShawn Allen had 17 carries for 283 yards and two touchdowns for St. Mary’s (2-2, 1-0 Catholic League). Richard Bowens had a 95-yard kick return for a score. Noah Freeman was 18-for-35 for 188 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions for U-D (3-1, 0-1).
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 26, Berkley 3: Luke Adams had 24 carries for 166 yards and three touchdowns for Notre Dame (3-1). Parker Redburn had six carries for 55 yards and a touchdown. Connor Grobbel had a 33-yard field goal for Berkley (3-1).
Riverview 30 Carleton Airport 14: Zack Guthrie had 15 carries for 129 yards and a touchdown for Riverview (1-3, 1-2 Huron). Kyle Naif had nine rushes for 44 yards and two touchdowns. Michael Foor had 21 carries for 129 yards and two touchdowns for Airport (1-3, 1-2).
South Lyon 27, Livonia Stevenson 21: Carlo Zoratti was 18-of-31 passing for 196 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for South Lyon (2-2, 1-0 KLAA Central). Chris Job had seven receptions for 93 yards and one score. Chris Tanderys was 15-for-36 for 187 yards and two touchdowns for Stevenson (2-2, 0-1 ).
Sterling Heights Parkway Christian 22, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian 14: Jackson Allen rushed for 119 yards and a touchdown and had two receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown, and Maurice Hutchinson rushed for 42 yards and a touchdown and led Parkway Christian (2-2, 2-0 MIAC) with 12 tackles. Oakland Christian is 2-1, 0-1.
Utica 35, New Baltimore Anchor Bay 34: With a minute to play, Patrick O’Connor hit Nathan Ayers for a 20-yard touchdown pass, then found Dylan Scott for the winning two-point conversion. Ayers carried 17 times for 176 yards and a touchdown, and scored one touchdown receiving and one on an interception return. O’Connor completed 13 of 31 passes for 152 yards and two TDs. Both teams are 2-2; Utica is 2-1 in MAC White, Anchor Bay is 1-2.
Utica Eisenhower 42, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 0: Max Wittwer was 7-of-8 passing for 146 yards and five touchdowns for Eisenhower (4-0, 2-0 MAC Red). Jacob Albrecht caught two scores and rushed for another. Chippewa Valley is 2-2, 0-2.
Walled Lake Western 43, Walled Lake Central 8: John Tracy was 18-of-28 for 299 yards and four touchdowns for Western (4-0). Cody White had seven catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns. Jack Dodge had three catches for 50 yards and a score, while Cam Ford had five for 84 and a touchdown. Central is 1-3.
Warren Cousino 56, Macomb L’Anse Creuse 14: Ben Maleszyk was 11-for-13 for 378 yards and four touchdowns for Cousino (3-1, 2-0 MAC Blue). Karry DeBose had 12 carries for 121 yards and three touchdowns, to go with four catches for 122 yards and a touchdown. Max Chulte had two catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns. L’Anse Creuse is 0-4, 0-2.
Warren Michigan Collegiate 28, Southfield Bradford Academy 0: Shawn Jackson had 26 carries for 135 yards and three touchdowns for Michigan Collegiate (3-1, 1-0 Charter). Tracy Hubbard had 14 carries for 114 yards and a touchdown. Bradford is 3-1, 0-1.
Warren Mott 27, Macomb Dakota 20: Courtland Cross rushed 21 times for 118 yards and two touchdowns for Mott (4-0, 2-0 MAC Red). Onyeka Ojinaka had 19 carries for 120 yards. Jaalon Brown had a 23-yard touchdown catch, a two-point conversion reception and an onside kick recovery. Dakota is 2-2, 0-2.
Connor Muldowney is a freelance writer; News staff contributed