Utica Eisenhower steamrolls Southfield A&T
Utica — The combination of running back Jack Provencher and quarterback Max Wittwer powered Utica Eisenhower to a decisive 42-7 victory over Southfield A&T in a Division 1 regional final Friday night.
Eisenhower will take on Detroit Cass Tech next Saturday afternoon in a semifinal.
A three-and-out on its first possession proved to be nothing more than an aberration for Eisenhower (12-0), which scored on its five ensuing possessions and raced by A&T with an impressive ground game (376 yards).
In the first half, Provencher and Wittwer combined for 252 of those yards and all five of Eisenhower’s scores. Provencher ran for three first half touchdowns, including a 64-yard scamper that put Eisenhower up 35-0 late in the second quarter.
Wittwer connected with Jack Morris for a 45-yard touchdown pass and ran one in from nine yards out.
“You’ve got to strike fast, strike hard and kick them when they’re down,” Provencher said. “It’s an absolute dedication to the offensive line. They’re the hardest working group on our team.”
Eisenhower outgained A&T, 428-194, after posting a 367-110 advantage in the first half.
Provencher finished with 15 carries for 149 yards and three TDs, while Wittwer ran nine times for 121 yards and a score.
“They’ve been special like that all year,” Eisenhower coach Chris Smith said of his backfield tandem. “This is a record-breaking offense at Eisenhower because of those guys.”
A&T (8-4) marched 66 yards on eight plays to start the second half, capping the drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Sam Johnson to Brandon Gray.
After forcing a punt from Eisenhower, A&T got the ball back with another chance to chip away at its big deficit.
But after a holding penalty backed it up to its own goal line, Lew Nichols fumbled the ball in his own end zone and Eisenhower’s Salvator Vultaggio recovered to push his team’s lead to 42-7.
“We definitely had some things go our way tonight,” Smith said.
“Our defense played a great game and worked real hard this week on stopping the run.”
McCaskill led A&T in rushing with 83 yards on 11 carries.
Geoff Robinson is a freelance writer