Friday’s prep football: De La Salle blanks Brother Rice

Kevin Moore
Special to The Detroit News
De La Salle's Devin Campbell and Braden Babich bring down Brother Rice's James Donaldson in the second quarter.

Detroit — Warren De La Salle is coming off an exceptional season in which it won its second state title in the last four years.

It kept on rolling Friday night, beating Birmingham Brother Rice, 13-0, at Wayne State’s Tom Adams Field.

It was De La Salle’s third straight victory after dropping its season opener to Muskegon. De La Salle (3-1, 1-0 Catholic League) won its Catholic League opener between two of the top teams in the state.

De La Salle dominated on the ground, rushing for 165 yards as a team and holding Brother Rice to just 28 rushing yards. The defense was the story for De La Salle, not allowing Brother Rice to score a single point — a week after Rice was coming off a 42-point effort against Windsor Holy Names.

“I thought defensively we played outstanding, we swarmed to the ball,” De La Salle coach Mike Giannone said. “Tonight was one of those Catholic League Central Division games, very low scoring.”

With no timeouts going into the fourth quarter, Brother Rich had the ball with 5:30 left to play and needed an answer on offense. Junior quarterback Gregory Piscopink connected with receiver Matt Torey for a 25-yard gain to set up a first down in De La Salle territory.

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But once again De La Salle’s defense stepped up, forcing Brother Rice into a turnover on downs on fourth-and-15.

Piscopink did not have the performance he was expecting, coming off a game in which he threw three touchdown passes.

Early in the second quarter, Brother Rice moved into De La Salle territory and threatened to put its first points on the scoreboard. Facing a fourth-and-8, Brother Rice went for it. Piscopink scrambled outside of the pocket as De La Salle defenders were closing in on him, and as soon as Piscopink was about to throw, the ball was knocked out of his hands and picked up by senior defensive lineman Michael McGinnity for a 30-yard fumble recovery. That ended Brother Rice’s threat.

“We wanted to stop the passing game and we did just that,” Giannone said.

“I couldn’t be more proud of our boys.”

On De La Salle’s second drive of the game, the long ball was utilize by junior quarterback Anthony Stepnitz.

On first down, Stepnitz connected with DeBerry, who made a nice catch over his defender and broke a tackle for a 69-yard touchdown that put De La Salle up 13-0 with 2:10 left in the first.

De La Salle established the run game early in the first quarter. After a huge second-down completion from Stepnitz to senior receiver Joshua DeBerry and a big run from junior running back Gino Pelione that set up a first-and-goal, senior running back Evan Vaillancourt capped the drive off with a 6-yard run for the first score of the game, with 5:33 left in the first.

Stepnitz left the game with eight minutes left in the fourth with an apparent leg injury.

More games

Allen Park 30, Wyandotte Roosevelt 14: Nico Tiberia had 16 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown, a sack, three fumble receoveries and a defensive touchdown for Allen Park (3-1, 3-1 Downriver). Roosevelt is 2-2, 2-2.

Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood 19, Dearborn Divine Child 14: Chase Paulus kicked four field goals with a long of 47, Tariq Muhamad had a 25-yard interception return for a td and Ian Stargardt made seven tackles for Cranbrook (3-1, 1-1 Catholic). Cameron Urbanick had two INTs for Divine Child (1-3, 0-1).

Brighton 24, Plymouth 7: Will Jontz had 20 carries for 148 yards and one touchdown for Brighton (3-1, 3-0 KLAA West). Jack Angott had nine tackles and an interception returned for a score for Plymouth (2-2, 1-2).

Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 42, New Baltimore Anchor Bay 6: Tommy Schuster went 8-for-9 passing for 166 yards and three touchdowns plus one rushing touchdown, and Martice Bunting had two receiving touchdowns for Chippewa Valley (4-0, 2-0 MAC Red). Anchor Bay is 2-2, 0-2.

Dearborn 52, Wayne Memorial 6: Nick Tafelski had 350 yards passing with three TDs, Tommy Guajardo had 103 yards receiving and one score, and Ali Makled had 65 yards receiving and one touchdown for Dearborn (2-2, 1-2 KLAA East). Memorial is 0-4, 0-3.

Dearborn Heights Robichaud 54, Dearborn Heights Annapolis 8: David Williams went 9-for-12 passing for 294 yards and four touchdowns, Kyle Smith had two touchdown catches, Cory Hastings returned a kickoff for a score and had a receiving touchdown, and Taiwon Williams had an 86-yard touchdown catch for Robichaud (4-0, 3-0 Western Wayne). Annapolis is 1-3, 1-2.

Detroit Cody 33, Detroit Collegiate Prep 0: Tratene Williams was 8-for-14 with 162 yards and a touchdown through the air and had two rushing TDs, William Gibson had 11 tackles and two sacks, and Malik Smith had a 40-yard TD run for Cody (4-0, 1-0 PSL). Collegiate is 0-4, 0-1.

Detroit Community 48, Melvindale ABT 0: Kenny Forton had two TD passes, an interception on defense and a 65-yard punt return for a TD, Rayvon Williamson had 320 all-purpose yards and six TDs, and Antonio Bobo-Brown had 6.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries for Community (4-0, 1-0 Metro). ABT is 0-4, 0-1.

Detroit Denby 42, Detroit Douglass 0: Tashawn Wilkes picked up 173 yards and four TDs on nine carries and Jamari Griffin had a kickoff return touchdown and an interception for Denby (4-0, 2-0 PSL). Douglass is 0-4, 0-2.

Detroit King 52, Detroit Central 13: Terrence Ealy had a 1-yard run, a 52-yard passing TD and 182 yards throwing, Kenyatta McKeever had a 15-yard TD reception, and Jeremiah Dixon recorded nine tackles for Central (1-3, 0-2 PSL). King is 3-1, 2-0.

Detroit Mumford 36, Detroit Henry Ford 6: Tahj Stewart went 8-for-13 throwing for 159 yards and a touchdown and had four rushes for 102 yards and two scores, and Bernard Williams had 14 carries for 106 yards and two touchdowns for Mumford (3-1, 2-0 PSL Green). Henry Ford is 2-2, 1-1.

Detroit Osborn 46, Detroit CMA 6: Jerry Williams had a rushing touchdown and Kentlee Flake and Cameron Clark had three tackles-for-loss for CMA (1-3, PSL). Osborn is 3-1, 1-0.

Detroit Renaissance 45, Detroit Pershing 6: RaeQuan Beal went 8-for-8 throwing for 189 yards and three TDs, and Donnell Adams had a 55-yard TD catch and 53-yard interception returned for a score for Renaissance (3-1, 3-0 PSL Black). Pershing is 0-4, 0-3.

Detroit Western 26, Detroit Southeastern 8: Marcell Cutright had 13 carries for 116 yards and two touchdowns and Raekwon Benjamin and Emanuel Clark each returned an interception over 50 yards to the end zone for Western (3-1, 2-0 PSL). Southeastern is 2-2, 1-1.

Ecorse 51, Detroit University Science & Math 8: Keyshawn Smith had four carries for 80 yards and two TDs Jalen Mustin had two catches for 80 yards and two TDs, Dajohn Smith threw for three touchdowns, Kevin Ulmer threw two TD passes for 130 yards and Michael Stefons had two sacks for Ecorse (3-1, 1-0 Metro). University Prep is 1-3, 0-1.

Ferndale 39, Auburn Hills Avondale 12: Ari Dotan had one passing and one rushing touchdown, and Derrick Hinton had one receiving touchdown for Avondale (3-1, 1-1 OAA Blue). Ferndale is 2-2, 1-2.

Garden City 38, Redford Thurston 20: David McDaniel had 247 yards throwing on 27 attempts with two TDs, and Jay Castonguay had three carries for 81 yards and two scores for Garden City (3-1, 3-0 Western Wayne). Leonard Funches had eight rushes for 146 yards and two TDs for Thurston (1-3, 0-3).

Macomb Dakota 58, Sterling Heights Stevenson 14: Mark Tocco had 156 yards and one touchdown passing and 57 yards and one touchdown rushing, Dustin Solomon had three rushing touchdowns and one receiving, and Jared Rapin and Richie Dunford each had one rushing touchdown for Dakota (4-0, 2-0 MAC Red). Stevenson is 2-2, 0-2.

Macomb L’Anse Creuse North 20, Utica Ford 3: Evan Plets had six tackles and an interception, Hunter Osantowske had seven tackles and Jeremy Taras kicked a field goal for Ford (1-3, 1-2 MAC White). North is 3-1, 2-1.

Macomb Lutheran North 24, Allen Park Cabrini 14: Jake Mlynarek rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries and had 12 tackles for North (4-0, 1-0 Catholic Intersectional I). Logan Heath had 18 carries for 84 yards and a score for Cabrini (3-1, 0-1).

Riverview 38, Milan 20: Kyle Nais had 11 carries for 110 yards and a TD, Joe Johnson had 16 carries for 109 yards and three TDs and Austin Poe had a 58-yard interception return for a TD for Riverview (3-1, 2-1 Huron). Dylan Jones was 19-for-27 passing and had 239 yards and two TDs for Milan (3-1, 2-1).

Romulus 46, Livonia Clarenceville 6: KaVon LaCroix had 12 carries for 188 yards and two touchdowns, and Jordan Melcher had three sacks and a 57-yard rushing score for Romulus (1-3, 1-2 Western Wayne). Clarenceville is 0-4, 0-3.

Sterling Heights Parkway Christian 59, Lutheran Westland 7: Julian Davis had 13 carries for 234 yards and three touchdowns and a punt return for a touchdown, Maurice Hutchinson had five carries for 226 yards and four scores, and Bryce Perko had 11 tackles for Parkway Christian (4-0, 2-0 MIAC).

Warren Michigan Collegiate 34, Harper Woods 33: Derrius Love had 17 carries for 138 yards and three touchdowns, Demarco Black had a rushing touchdown, Jamiere Cannon had nine tackles and Travon Daniel eight for Collegiate (4-0, 0-0 Charter). Harper Woods is 3-1, 1-0 Michigan Metro.

Kevin Moore is a freelance writer; Detroit News staff contributed.