Detroit — Trenton used a goal-line stand in the final seconds to come away with a season-opening 27-21 win over Downriver League foe Allen Park in a Prep Kickoff Classic thriller Friday at Wayne State's Adams Field.
Trenton senior quarterback Jay Solano threw for 355 yards and four touchdowns, including scoring strikes of 36 yards to Tyler Rehbein and 29 yards to Gabe Doree during a 2 1/2-minute stretch in the fourth quarter to turn a seven-point deficit into a 27-21 lead with 4:39 left.
Still, Trenton’s defense had to come up big after Allen Park senior Nick Arnoldy led his team from its own 20-yard line to the Trenton 2.
Arnoldy faced a third-and-23 from the Allen Park 7 when he found Nico Tiberia for a 58-yard gain to the Trenton 35 with 3:20 left.
Arnoldy then connected with Blake Gilliam for a 20-yard pass play to put Allen Park inside the red zone. But after a first down at the 2, Tiberia was tackled behind the line of scrimmage by Trenton linebacker Trae Rickman. Then on third down, Trenton linebacker Sam Sauve intercepted a jump ball in the end zone with nine seconds left after a heavy pass rush disrupted Arnoldy.
“I couldn’t even describe it, man, just as good as last year when I threw the game-winning touchdown against these guys,” Solano said of watching Sauve come up with the interception.
Arnoldy was 10-for-10 passing for 137 yards heading into Allen Park’s final drive. He finished 12 of 14 for 205 yards with two touchdowns and the pivotal pick.
“I was just in the right place at the right time,” Sauve said. “I think our line got a lot of pressure on him and he just had to get rid of it. Luck had my back. And, how about his (Rickman’s) tackle? It was an amazing tackle.
"Before that huddle I was going to be in that spot, but I told the coach (during a timeout) that he should be there because I know he’ll get the job done, and that’s what a team is all about — trust.”
Yes, Trenton called a timeout prior to Rickman’s big stop on Tiberia, who rushed for 118 yards on 21 carries.
“Coaches just told me to shoot through the gap and I just made it happen. He just ran right at me,” Rickman said.
Solano’s winning 29-yard touchdown pass to Doree came on a third-and-10 play.
“I was supposed to run an out route and he dropped off and sat down, perfect pass from the quarterback and I slipped a tackler and ran it in,” said Doree, who opened the scoring with a 50-yard touchdown grab on the game's first drive.
Trenton jumped out to a 14-0 lead and Solano looked sharp coming off a junior season where he threw for more than 2,000 yards and 18 touchdowns to lead his team to a state playoff appearance.
On the opening series, Solano connected on 4 of 5 passes for 69 yards, including a one-handed grab by Ethan Riley on a fourth-and-1 throw that helped set up up the 50-yard scoring strike to Doree.
Trenton failed to take advantage of a short field after a turnover on the ensuing kickoff gave it the ball at the Allen Park 22. However, Allen Park’s defense came up big when it stopped Trenton’s screen pass for a two-yard loss, followed by an incomplete pass on fourth down.
Allen Park then moved 74 yards on its opening series to the Trenton 2 before Jakob Marsee was tackled for a loss by Riley on a fourth-and-1.
Trenton pushed its lead to 14-0 with an impressive 97-yard scoring drive in the second quarter. Solano found Evan Adams for a 58-yard pass to the Allen Park 1, which set up Adams’ touchdown run on the following play with 9:30 left in the half.
The momentum turned on a single play when Tiberia sacked Solano and jarred the ball loose, leading to Cole Premtaj’s recovery at the Trenton 23. Allen Park capitalized on the turnover when Arnoldy found Marsee for a 16-yard touchdown to pull within 14-7 with 2:24 left in the half.
Then after Allen Park’s defense forced a three-and-out, Arnoldy found Marsee for a 63-yard touchdown pass to even at 14 with just over a minute left before halftime.
Allen Park took its first lead, 21-14, after scoring on a 72-yard drive to open the second half, with Tiberia running for 42 yards on four carries and capping it on a 26-yard touchdown run.
Birmingham Brother Rice 28, U-D Jesuit 0: Greg Piscopink went 15-for-19 passing for 195 yards and three touchdowns, Colin Gardner had nine catches for 133 yards and three scores, and James Donaldson rushed for 80 yards on 17 attempts and had a 1-yard touchdown for Brother Rice.
Detroit Community 28, Detroit Douglass 0: Rayvon Williamson had two touchdown passes to Daron Davis, Kejuan Sanders had 14 tackles and 80 yards rushing, and Eric Smith had a 30-yard touchdown run for Community.
Detroit Leadership 26, Mount Clemens 0: Jahiem Stokes went 8-for-12 passing for 170 yards and two touchdowns, LeRon Roseboro had three catches and two scores, and Damon Hall had eight tackles and one forced fumble for Leadership.
Detroit Pershing 38, Melvindale ABT 0: Kiyon Gadson had three rushing touchdowns and caught another score, and Darius Hill had three sacks, a fumble recovery for a touchdown and a blocked punt for Pershing.
Detroit Western 26, Hamtramck 25: Donovan Cole threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns, Dayone Smith had seven catches for 112 yards and a touchdown, Stephon McLaurin caught nine passes for 126 yards, Richard Cavin had a touchdown reception, and Marcel Cutright ran for two touchdowns and 93 yards on 11 carries for Western.
Farmington Hills Harrison 41, North Farmington 0: Rod Heard had 14 carries for 119 yards and a touchdown and Ben Williams had six carries for 98 yards and two touchdowns for Harrison.
Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett 14, Detroit Communication & Media Arts 6: Ian Narva threw for 220 yards and had two total touchdowns, Daniel Bowen had six catches for 117 yards and a score, and Drew Zelenak had 14 tackles for Liggett.
Macomb Dakota 28, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 24: Mark Tocco threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns, Dustin Solomon had four catches for 177 yards and two touchdowns, Brandon Michalak had five receptions for 171 yards and two touchdowns, Jeremiah Major made 10 tackles and Richie Dunford eight for Dakota.
Macomb Lutheran North 36, Livonia Clarenceville 22: Angelo Basilisco ran for two touchdowns and threw two touchdown passes to Connor Finkel for North.
Plymouth 35, Livonia Stevenson 11: In a game played at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Nick Downs threw for 100 yards and a touchdown, Carson Miller had 21 rushes for 97 yards and a touchdown reception, and Mike Mathias ran for 48 yards and two touchdowns on five carries for Plymouth. Caden Woodall had 17 rushes for 89 yards and a touchdown for Stevenson.
Riverview 42, Romulus 12: Dominic Wood had six carries for 107 yards and one touchdown, and Joseph Johnson had eight rushes for 68 yards and two scores for Riverview.
Rochester Adams 28, Rochester 27 (2OT): Anthony Patritto had two touchdown runs and Collin Weeks had two touchdown catches from Carter Farris for Adams. Gabe Safron had a 30-yard touchdown run for Rochester.
Sterling Heights Parkway Christian 36, Fowler 21: Maurice Hutchinson ran for 189 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries, Julian Davis had a rushing touchdown and four receptions for 80 yards, Rob Thompson rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown and threw for 118 yards and a touchdown, and Dylan Hunter had four catches for 73 yards and a touchdown for Parkway Christian.
Warren Michigan Collegiate 26, Grosse Pointe North 14: DeQuan Anderson had a 62-yard touchdown catch and a 97-yard punt return for a touchdown, Darius Love rushed 18 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns, and Trevon Daniel had nine tackles for Collegiate.
Detroit News staff contributed