Grosse Pointe Woods — Defense was the name of the game as Grosse Pointe North defeated visiting Grosse Pointe South, 8-4, Friday night.
“I never imagined in a million years (the loss) would happen like this,” South coach Tim Brandon said. “I thought with (North’s) offense and our offense, it’d be a high-scoring game. Both defensive coordinators did a great job and the defense was smothering.”
There’s nothing better than a crosstown rivalry for bragging rights between two playoff contenders and North’s triumph put it one step closer to a postseason appearance, and knocked South from the unbeaten ranks.
Both teams began slowly offensively, and South failed to record positive yardage in the first quarter. A blocked punt by South’s Jay Verlinden deep in North territory led to a safety and a 2-0 lead in the second quarter. The defensive battle continued as the teams combined for 75 yards in the first half.
First downs were few and far between through two quarters. South had just one and North three heading into the halftime locker room.
“It was a defensive battle all the way, there’s no doubt about that,” North coach Frank Sombera said. “Both teams played real solid defense. We each had our moments a little bit, but nothing real big.”
The second half saw much of the same defensive dominance from both sides to start. The score remained 2-0 heading into the fourth quarter with North driving. However, a poor shotgun snap and sack led to a punt on yet another stalled drive.
Getting the ball back with just under eight minutes left in the game, North put together a 41-yard drive, capping it with a 1-yard touchdown run by senior captain Jared Jordan. It was an 8-2 lead after Bjorn Bjornsson’s two-point conversion pass was successful.
The big play had to be Pete Ciaravino’s 32-yard reception on the sideline to set up the Jordan touchdown, shifting the game’s momentum.
“I was just really glad my coach put the route to me, I was the hot route,” Ciaravino said. “(Bjornsson) threw it my way and I got the job done, so that’s all I can ask for.”
Bjornsson completed six passes for 91 yards for North (4-1, 2-0 MAC Blue). Jordan accounted for 39 rushing yards and the only touchdown on the ground, as well as a catch for 18 yards.
Logan Mico had six completions for 73 yards for South (4-1, 3-0 MAC White). Jhordan Rush added 49 rushing yards and caught one pass for 13 yards.
“The first quarter, (South) was making some mistakes and we couldn’t capitalize,” Sumbera said. “Two good teams that have a lot of returning kids on the line. We figured it was a battle of the trenches. It was just rams just hitting heads at the end.”
A crucial matchup looms next Friday for North, which hosts Warren Cousino in a game with division title implications. South faces MAC Red foe Romeo in another tough road test.
Adrian Lenawee Christian 40, Detroit Cesar Chavez 30: Mason Muscat was 28-of-58 for 375 yards and four touchdowns, and he rushed for two scores for Cesar Chavez (2-3). Anthony Turner had 16 catches for 249 yards and two touchdowns. Lenawee Christian is 3-2.
Allen Park 14, Gibraltar Carlson 6: Ryan Fish scored two touchdowns and ran for 65 yards on 16 carries for Allen Park (5-0). Mattt Arnoldi had two interceptions.
Birmingham Groves 36, Birmingham Seaholm 0: Bo Kewley was 7-of-11 for 123 yards and a touchdown for Groves (5-0, 3-0 OAA White). Ernest Allen had 17 carries for 97 yards and two touchdowns while Collin Heard rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown. Seaholm is 1-4, 1-2.
Clinton Township Clintondale 48, Harper Woods 18: Deonte Higgins was 4-of-5 for 79 yards and two touchdowns for Clintondale (2-3). He also returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown on defense. Tyler Speed had four tackles, three for loss. Harper Woods is 3-2.
Dearborn 22, Romulus 8: Mikey Phillips was 16-of-22 for 150 yards and a touchdown for Dearborn (4-1, 3-0 WWAC Blue). Hussein Annali had 19 rushes for 109 yards. Lyth Shalhout made eight tackles, while Ali Sayed had six tackles and two sacks and Isa Khalil nine tackles and a rushing touchdown on offense. Romulus is 4-1, 2-1
Dearborn Edsel Ford 40, Livonia Clarenceville 0: Jonte Dorsey had nine carries for 100 yards and two touchdowsn for Edsel Ford (3-2, 2-1 WWAC Red). Michael Bates had seven carries for 61 yards and a touchdown, while Will Murano rushed six times for 57 yards and a touchdown, to go with a 38-yard touchdown catch.
Dearborn Fordson 45, Redford Thurston 6: Hamze Elzayat passed for 73 yards and ran for 183 yards and three touchdowns for Fordson (5-0, 3-0 Western Wayne Blue). Aziz Hanek totaled 132 yards and a score. Khalid Elhaj had a 65-yard interception return for a touchdown. Thurston is 3-2, 2-1.
Detroit Collegiate Prep 37, Detroit CMA 6: Everett Hart had nine rushes for 138 yards and two touchdowns for Collegiate Prep (1-4). He also returned a kick 80 yards for a touchdown. Korey Dennis had a 5-yard touchdown run and Dominique Fuller had a 40-yard pick-six. CMA is 0-5.
Detroit Denby 22, Detroit Central 14: Adonte Calhoun had 19 carries for 137 yards and a touchdown for Denby (4-1). Tonato Tutt had three catches for 74 yards and a touchdown. Central is 1-4.
Detroit King 46, Detroit Osborn 0: Dequan Finn was 6-of-8 for 181 yards and three touchdowns for King (5-0, 4-0 PSL). He also rushed for a touchdown. Ambry Thomas had three catches for 143 yards and two touchdowns. Jaeveyon Morton made five tackles and a sack, and had a 55-yard pick-six.
Detroit Mumford 18, Detroit Cody 12 (3OT): Omar Pagan rushed for 89 yards (14 carries) and two touchdowns, Laviean Fields had two receptions for 103 yards and also had three tackles and two intereptions on defense and Brandon Green had 13 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles for Mumford (4-1, 4-0 PSL). Detroit Cody is 3-2, 3-1.
Detroit Voyageur College Prep 40, Detroit Edison Academy 28: Kyron Williams had 21 carries for 198 yards and four touchdowns for Voyageur (2-3). Trae Harper made 14 tackles and three sacks, while Dennis Smith made eight sacks and had an interception. He also returned a kick 73 yards for a touchdown. Charles James had 17 carries for 109 yards and two touchdowns for DEPSA (3-2).
Detroit Western 14, Detroit Renaissance 0: Derek Corbin was 9-of-16 for 154 yards and a touchdown for Western (4-1). Brent Watson connected with Devin George on a 73-yard hook-and-lateral for a touchdown. Matthew Anderson had an interception. Renaissance is 2-3.
Livonia Stevenson 49, Salem 32: Parker Graham had 24 carries for 192 yards and two touchdowns for Stevenson (3-2, 1-1 KLAA Central). Ian Knoph had three catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. Josh Page returned a fumble recovery 18 yards for a touchdown. Salem is 2-3, 0-2.
Macomb Dakota 42, Sterling Heights Stevenson 0: Jalen Hall had four catches for 134 yards and a score, Kaiser Carleton ran for 80 yards and two touchdowns, and Brett Droski was 9-for-12 passing for 210 yards and two scores for Dakota (3-2, 1-2 MAC Red). Stevenson is 1-4, 0-3.
Monroe Jefferson 28, Riverview 8: Brian Sovey had 13 carries for 163 yards and a touchdown, and Nick Humphrey rushed 14 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns for Jefferson (2-3, 2-2 Huron). Zack Warlick had nine carries for 37 yards and a touchdown for Riverview (1-4, 1-3).
Novi 35, South Lyon 21: Traveon Maddox had six catches for 77 yards and three touchdowns, and Alec Bageris was 14-of-22 for 215 yards for Novi (3-2, 2-0 KLAA Central). Carlo Zoracti was 10-of-23 for 161 yards and a touchdown for South Lyon (2-0, 1-1). He also rushed for two scores.
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 14, Warren De La Salle 7: RaShawn Allen rushed 29 times for 169 yards and both touchdowns for St. Mary’s (3-2, 2-0 Catholic League Central). Cordell Tannyhill had a 1-yard touchdown for De La Salle (2-3, 0-2).
Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 35, Detroit Public Safety Academy 0: Eli McLean was 2-of-4 for 41 yards and two touchdowns for Notre Dame (4-1). He also rushed three times for 91 yards and a touchdown. Zach Atkins had eight rushes for 71 yards and a touchdown. Joe Mervenne had 10 rushes for 75 yards and a touchdown. Public Safety is 1-4.
Redford Union 31, Garden City 14: Thorton Cain rushed for 84 yards on nine carries with two touchdowns, one of wich was a 77-yard run, Issac Grant rushed for 83 yards on ten carries with a touchdown and Marquise Hathaway rushed for 66 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown for Redford Union (4-1, 2-1 Western Wayne Blue). Mason Jennings rushed for 107 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown for Garden City 1-4, 0-3.
Rochester Adams 21, Farmington Hills Harrison 9: Kyle Ward was 6-for-10 for 87 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 61 yards and a touchdown, Chase Kareta rushed for 67 yards (17 carries) and a touchdown, and Stephen Roncelli had a 20-yard touchdown for Adams (4-1, 3-1 OAA White). Harrison is 3-2, 2-1.
St. Clair Shores Lakeview 58, St. Clair Shores Lakeshore 35: Jacen Norman set the tone for Lakeview (3-2) when he ran 54 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. He finished with 96 yards rushing, while Chris Wise carried 18 times for 207 yards and four touchdowns and Kory Majewski carried 10 times for 121 yards and two TDs. Lakeview finished with 436 yards on the ground. Lakeshore is 1-4.
Utica Ford 54, Roseville 26: Noah Heide was 14-of-17 for 151 yards and three touchdowns for Ford (1-4). Kenyatte Byron rushed for two touchdowns and caught another. Roseville is 1-4.
Walled Lake Western 40, Waterford Kettering 21: Jamon Benson had seven carries for 61 yards and two touchdowns, and John Tracy was 12-of-17 for 205 yards and two touchdowns for Western (4-1). Cody White had three catches for 82 yards and a touchdown, while Cam Ford caught three for 91 yards and a touchdown. Kettering is 1-4.
Warren Cousino 35, Utica 28: Kerry DuBose had 18 rushes for 126 yards and a touchdown, and Ben Maleszyk was 17-of-24 for 210 yards and a touchdown for Cousino (4-1). Mike Rice made 14 tackles and a sack and recovered a fumble. Patrick O’Connor threw three touchdown passes for Utica (2-3).
Warren Mott 42, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 24: Andre Chandler had six catches for 168 yards and two touchdowns, and Jayvon Wilson ran 16 times for 110 yards for Warren Mott (5-0, 3-0 MAC Red). Jeremy Bimambro had a 60-yard touchdown catch and James Warner added nine tackles, two for loss. Chippewa Valley is 2-3, 0-3.
Connor Muldowney is a freelance writer; News staff contributed