Canton used all four quarters to shake off Livonia Churchill and secure the KLAA Championship, 35-21, in a back-and-forth affair at Churchill on Friday night.
Canton (8-1, 6-0 KLAA Black) controlled the ball for most of the game, running 58 more plays, but Churchill (7-2, 6-0 KLAA Gold) answered by creating offense with its defense.
Canton was about to go up by two scores in the second quarter when a Churchill defender forced a fumble by putting his helmet right on the ball. Josh Momeyer scooped it up to give Churchill a 14-13 lead.
“We had a costly fumble that they scored on, and they also stopped us on a fourth and goal, but we were able to not flinch, and we played hard the rest of the way,” Canton coach Tim Baechler said.
In the fourth quarter, it was Canton’s defense causing the turnovers, getting a fumble recovery and interception to put the game out of reach for Churchill.
Colin Troup had a big day for Canton, scoring four of its five touchdowns and racking up 174 yards on 25 carries. Luke Jouppi added a score and Connor Engel hooked up with Troup for a touchdown pass, Canton’s first score of the game.
“Everything was working well on the ground, but they (Churchill) never gave up a long one. It was slow, and they made us work for everything,” Baechler said.
Junior Jacob Spala and senior Martell Dooley also scored for Churchill.
Senior linebacker Chase Meredith had a great game, picking up several key tackles for Canton, especially in the crucial fourth quarter.
District play begins next week and Baechler is hoping his best two-way player, Steve Walker, will be healthy.
“Walker played a little bit tonight, but he’s banged up. He’s our best running back and cornerback, so against the pass we’re a little weak right now. We’re getting a lot of deflections and sacks, and our defensive backs are competing, but it will be nice to get Walker back,” Baechler said.
Allen Park 41, Taylor Truman 22: Nico Tiberia had 16 carries for 167 yards and one touchdown, and Jakob Marsee recorded 125 rushing yards and five scores for Allen Park (5-4, 5-4 Downriver). Truman is 2-7, 2-7.
Auburn Hills Avondale 41, Macomb Lutheran North 20: Tyler Davey went 13-for-24 passing for 71 yards and one touchdown, Paxton Meyer recorded three catches for 41 yards and a score, Steele Buttzin had 103 all-purpose yards, and Jake Mlynarek recorded 88 all-purpose yards for North (3-6, 1-3 Catholic Intersectional No. 1). Avondale is 6-3, 5-1 OAA Blue.
Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 45, New Baltimore Anchor Bay 6: Tommy Schuster went 7-for-14 passing with 161 yards and three TDs Jacob Rybicki had three catches for 99 yards and two scores, and D’Lano Woods recorded three rushes for 61 yards and two touchdowns for Chippewa (8-1, 4-1 MAC Red). Anchor Bay is 6-3, 4-1 MAC White.
Detroit University Prep 34, Dearborn Heights Annapolis 14: Leo Mumpfield went 10-for-12 passing for 160 yards and two touchdowns, Derrick Howard had two scores, and Davon Ford recorded 180 yards on 15 carries with three touchdowns for University Prep (5-4, 2-2 Metro). Annapolis is 0-9, 0-5 WWAC Red.
Detroit Leadership 55, Detroit Universal 6: Tre’Shun Watson gained 160 yards with three scores, Lamont Green gained 130 yards with two touchdowns and two 2-point conversions, and Rashawn Bowman had 11 tackles with four for loss and two sacks for Leadership (1-7). Universal is 0-8.
Ferndale 28, Dearborn Edsel Ford 24: Will Marano had 29 carries for 163 yards and three touchdowns for Ford (6-3, 6-2 WWAC Blue). Ferndale is 8-1, 5-1 OAA Blue.
Garden City 19, North Farmington 9: Cameron Walter had 158 all-purpose yards and a passing touchdown, and David McDaniel picked up 112 yards on the ground including a 53-yard run for a touchdown for Garden City (3-6, 1-5 WWAC Blue). North Farmington is 1-8, 1-6 OAA Blue.
Grosse Pointe North 28, Marine City 21 (OT): Sheldon Cage had 21 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown, Bjorn Bjornsson went 6-for-11 passing with 135 yards and three scores including the winner in overtime, Pete Ciaravino recorded five catches for 112 yards including three scores, Joe Salisbury had 12 tackles and John Lizza 10 for North (6-2, 4-1 MAC Blue). Marine City is 7-2, 5-0 MAC Gold.
Livonia Franklin 35, Livonia Stevenson 21: Devin Dunn had eight catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns plus three kickoff returns for 145 yards including a 90-yard score, Josh Page had nine rushes for 69 yards with three tackles and two sacks, and Parker Graham recorded seven carries for 65 yards and went 13-for-30 passing for 154 yards and two touchdowns for Stevenson (5-4, 3-3 KLAA Black). Franklin is 7-2, 5-1 KLAA Gold.
Macomb Dakota 56, Macomb L’Anse Creuse North 14: Dustin Solomon had two rushing TDs and took a kickoff return 95 yards to the house, Dawson Sloan had two rushing TDs and Mark Tocco had two passing TDs for Dakota (6-3, 2-3 MAC Red). North is 0-5, 1-8 in the MAC White.
Plymouth 46, Hartland 38: Logan Walkley carried the ball 17 times, picking up 185 yards and three touchdowns; Mike Matthias had 14 rushes, 162 yards and two touchdowns, and Carson Miller picked up 131 yards on the ground as Plymouth (4-5, 3-3 KLAA Gold) rushed for 498 yards as a team. Collin Arnold finished 13-for-25 passing for 230 yards and two passing touchdowns for Hartland (4-5, 3-3 KLAA Black).
Riverview 49, Redford Union 7: Dominic Wood went 3-for-4 passing with 101 yards and one TD, and Zach Gutherie had four carries for 118 yards and two TDs for Riverview (8-1, 6-1 Huron). Thorton Cain had an 85-yard kickoff return for touchdown for Union (3-6, 3-2 WWAC Blue).
Rochester Adams 45, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek 7: Chase Kareta, Steven Roncelli, Zach Soldan, Vincent Gray, Collin Weeks, and Reece Collins each picked up one touchdown for Adams (8-1, 6-1 OAA Red) in its win over Stoney Creek (2-5, 3-6 OAA White).
Sterling Heights Parkway Christian 34, Detroit Public Safety 14: Maurice Hutchinson came up big for Parkway Christian (6-3, 5-1 Independent) on both sides of the ball with four rushing touchdowns and eight tackles, Julian Davis had 11 carries for 165 yards, and John Bowling had three sacks against Public Safety (3-6, 2-6).
Utica 28, Sterling Heights Stevenson 21: Kavon Higdon rushed for 190 yards and two touchdowns as he and Tyler Wysocki picked up nine tackles, Kurt Kessen had a rushing touchdown, and Tyler Siluk took an interception to the house for Utica (5-4, 2-3 MAC White). Stevenson is 2-7, 0-5 MAC Red.
Walled Lake Western 42, Walled Lake Central 0: Sam Johnson finished 9-for-15 through the air with 204 yards, three passing TDs and a rushing touchdown, Kevin Jackson had eight carries for 128 yards and a TD, and Justin Thomas caught four passes, picking up 123 yards and two touchdowns for Western (8-1, 7-1 Lakes Valley). Central is 5-4, 5-3.
Warren Michigan Collegiate 55, Pontiac 6: Tracy Hubbard had four rushing TDs, giving him 28, and Dom Harris had a fumble recovery for a touchdown for Collegiate (9-0, 4-0 Charter). Pontiac is 1-8, 0-6 OAA Blue.
Westland John Glenn 34, Novi 27: Dushon Faison had 23 carries for 151 yards and two TDs, and Chad Stevens went 10-for-18 passing for 178 yards and two scores for Glenn (2-7, 1-5 KLAA Gold). Kyle Klosterman recorded 23 rushes for 234 yards and two TDs for Novi (3-6, 2-4 KLAA Black).
Eric Coughlin is a freelance writer.
Detroit News staff contributed.