Oak Park tops U-D Jesuit; Detroit King is next
Hazel Park — U-D Jesuit had another Trinity to be concerned about in its MHSAA Division 2 district opener Friday night against Oak Park: running back Najee Trinity.
Trinity ran for 167 yards and two first-half touchdowns in Oak Park’s 26-17 win.
“I’m just not going to let one guy take me down,” said Trinity, who had 33 rushes. “I’m going to always fight to get the extra yard. That’s what I’ve been taught since I’ve been at Oak Park.”
Oak Park advanced to play next Friday at Detroit King (8-2), a 38-14 winner over Ferndale.
After Oak Park (7-3) drove all the way to the U-D 15-yard line, turning the ball over on downs, U-D needed only one play — an 85-yard run from Elijah Collins — to take the lead with 8:12 left in the first quarter.
Collins finished with 12 carries for 114 yards for U-D (6-3).
“We were a little upset about that,” Oak Park coach Greg Carter said. “We wound up throwing three passes and not getting anything out of it. I thought we were running the ball pretty effectively. We learned from it. We decided we’ve got to trust ourselves and stick with our run game.”
Oak Park tied the game on a 4-yard run from Trinity, after having its drive extended on a roughing the passer penalty assessed to U-D on fourth-and-17. With 3:22 left in the first, it was 7-7.
Niccolo Seilo gave U-D back the lead on a 30-yard field goal with 10:07 left in the half.
Trinity’s second touchdown, a 9-yard run, put Oak Park up 13-10 (extra point failed) with 2:18 left.
Dylan Stackhouse’s 27-yard run added to Oak Park’s lead late in the half. The snap on the extra point was bobbled by holder Corey Graham, the backup quarterback, and with 45 seconds left, it was 19-10.
After U-D called a timeout with 17 seconds left in the half — one it seemingly didn’t have to call — Seilo missed a 43-yard field goal try as time expired.
Six flags were thrown on Oak Park’s final drive of the scoreless third quarter. Five, for 50 yards, were assessed to Oak Park. A 10-yard face-mask call was assessed to U-D.
U-D made it a two-point game midway through the fourth. Victor Hill caught a 36-yard pass from Michael Sims, and the ensuing extra point made it 19-17 with 5:44 left.
Stackhouse’s 30-yard touchdown run with 1:37 left provided the final margin for Oak Park.
Al Willman is a freelance writer