Macomb — Marcel Lewis has long been known for his strong play at linebacker, but showed he can play some offense as well Friday night by leading Clinton Township Chippewa Valley to a 24-17 victory over Macomb Dakota before more than 6,000 fans in the Macomb Area Conference Red Division showdown between unbeaten teams.
Lewis, a Michigan State commit, had a 22-yard touchdown reception from his tight end position to open up a 10-0 first-quarter lead, then his 9-yard catch set up Andre Chenault’s 37-yard touchdown run for a 17-7 third-quarter cushion.
“We’re smart enough to know that when you have a kid like Marcel you have to find a way to sneak him in on offense," Chippewa Valley coach Scott Merchant said. "He made a great play there, had to adjust his route on something that happened and Tommy made a great throw into a horrible wind coming into his face and Marcel made a great catch.
“Marcel gives us a spark on both sides of the ball and Andre Chenault played great. Those two guys are the most physical players around.”
Lewis played outstanding defense as well, making a pair of tackles on Dakota quarterback Mark Tocco on the first series of the second half, which led to Tommy Schuster having a short field to work with on a five-play, 60-yard drive.
Chippewa Valley (5-0, 3-0) extended the lead to 24-7 on Ja’Von Kimpson’s 4-yard run on fourth down with 11:08 left.
Dakota (4-1, 2-1) made things interesting when De’Javion Stepney scored on a 6-yard run with 7:05 left, then Jeremiah Baker recovered an onside kick to set up Brady Zarschler’s 47-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 24-17 with 5:20 remaining.
Dakota forced a three-and-out and had one more chance to pull even or win in the final minutes, starting its final drive from its own 36 and advancing to the Chippewa Valley 10 with 1:32 left.
On a fourth-and-3 from the 10, Dakota tried to draw Chippewa Valley offside and instead was called for motion. Then on fourth-and-8, Tocco’s pass fell incomplete to end the threat.
“We were kind of a bend but don’t break defense and we didn’t want to give up the deep ball over the top because that’s how they’ve gotten a lot of their easy scores," Merchant said. "Our job was to keep everything underneath and we did that. That’s a very good offense they have and I think our defense made a statement.”
Dakota had more total yards (371-202) and plays (65-32). Tocco completed 14-of-28 for 224 yards.
The schools — separated by a few miles — have developed a strong rivalry with Chippewa Valley sweeping the series last season, including a 45-20 district title win.
Chippewa Valley took advantage of a turnover — the ball rolled off a Dakota player on a punt — to take a 3-0 lead early in the first quarter on Niko Kepi’s 36-yard field goal.
Chippewa Valley increased the lead to 10-0 on Schuster’s 22-yard touchdown pass to Lewis with 41 seconds left in the opening quarter.
Dakota — ranked No. 12 in The News' Super 20 poll — got on the board with an impressive 80-yard, 16-play drive with Dustin Solomon scoring on a 4-yard run to cap off the 8-plus-minute drive, highlighted by Tocco’s three third-down completions to keep the drive alive to Ross Lewalski and Pat Merolla.
Dakota was dealt a severe blow on the final play of the half when Tocco found Solomon for a 24-yard pass to the Chippewa Valley 18. Solomon was tackled and injured his leg, and was carried off the field.
Chippewa Valley took the 17-7 lead on Chenault’s 37-yard touchdown run, then had a big defensive stand when Chenault got into the backfield for a 5-yard loss and CMU-bound cornerback David Ellis broke up a pass on fourth-and-14 to end the drive.
“It was fourth down and we needed to make a stop, came through in the clutch, I read my keys and I made the play,” Ellis said of the game-ending play. “This is a rivalry game so it felt great.”
Chippewa Valley put the victory away with a 62-yard scoring drive with help from Dakota.
Chippewa Valley started the drive from its own 38 and Schuster was sacked — sandwiched, actually — and it appeared he had fumbled, but he was ruled down.
Then on third-and-21 from its own 27, Schuster ran for 12 yards to the 39. But near the end of the play, Ellis put on a crunching block that Dakota’s coaches didn’t like, resulting in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty and a Chippewa Valley first down.
Chippewa Valley took advantage when Kimpson scored on a 4-yard run on fourth-and-2 for a 24-7 lead with 11:08 left.
Dakota scored its final touchdown with 7:05 left when Stepney scored from four yards out with 7:05 left to pull within 24-14 with Tocco setting up the score with a 10-yard pass to Brandon Michalak on a fourth-and-7 play.
Dakota made things interesting when it recovered an onside kick at midfield, leading to the long field goal.
Allen Park 21, Woodhaven 7: Nico Tiberia rushed for 136 yards and two TDs to go along with 12 tackles and Jacob Marcy rushed for 61 yards and made six tackles for Allen Park (4-1). Woodhaven is 4-1.
Dearborn 40, Livonia Stevenson 12: Bilal Elhasan ran for a 100-yard score and returned a fumble 100 yards for a TD, Jake Talelski had 100 yards rushing and a TD, Tommy Gujardo had 80 yards receiving and a TD, and Ali Saad had five sacks for Dearborn (3-2, 2-2 KLAA East). Stevenson is 0-5, 0-4.
Detroit Central 34, Detroit Douglass 0: Orlando Clarkston rushed for 182 yards and two TDs for Central (2-3). Clarkston also had two interceptions and returned one 54 yards for a TD.
Detroit Community 24, Detroit Voyageur 0: Kejuan Sanders had 115 yards rushing including a 55-yard TD run, Rayvon Williamson rushed for 80 yards and a TD and threw a TD pass to Herman Brown, Antonio Bobo-Brown had 15 tackles and four sacks and Jamario Jones had 12 tackles for Community (5-0, 2-0 Metro). Voyageur is 1-4, 1-2.
Detroit Denby 53, Detroit Pershing 0: T'Shawn Wilkes ran it five times for 201 yards and four TDs, Tymetrius Patterson forced a fumble and scored a defensive TD and Malik Gaines had an interception for Denby (5-1). Pershing is 1-4.
Detroit Loyola 28, Dearborn Divine Child 16: D’Vaun Bentley rushed for 207 yards and a TD, Kiem Moore had two rushing TDs and Damon O’Neal made 11 tackles for Loyola (3-2, 2-0 Catholic). Divine Child is 1-4, 0-2.
Detroit Mumford 28, Detroit Cody 22: Tahj Stewart completed 11 of 14 passes for 202 yards and a TD, and rushed for a score, Bernard Williams had 18 carries for 138 yards, Bryden Evans ran for a TD and Dayohn Bostick made 11 solo tackles (three for a loss) and one sack for Mumford (4-1, 3-0 PSL Green). Cody is also 4-1.
Detroit Public Safety Academy 44, Dearborn Heights Star International 6: Devontae Webb caught five passes for 125 yards and a TD, Shundean Bridges completed 24 of 27 passes for 377 yards and four TDs, Maurice Williams had 10 catches for 227 yards and three TDs and Jalen Collins rushed for 120 yards and a TD for Public Safety (5-1). Star International is 1-4.
Detroit Southeastern 12, Detroit Henry Ford 6: Deante Barkley had 12 tackles and five tackles-for-loss, Keyser Crumsey had six tackles and an interception and Kareem Powell had a 17-yard TD catch for Southeastern (3-2). Henry Ford is 2-3.
Detroit Western 48, Detroit CMA 0: Quarterback Donovan Cole completed 14 of 17 passes for 269 yards and a TD, and rushed for two scores, running backs Marcell Cutright and Mekhi Fortt combined for 235 rushing and three TDs, Stephen McLaurin caught a TD pass and Craig Flowers returned an interception for a score for Western (4-1, 3-0 PSL Gold). CMA is 1-4, 0-3.
Ecorse 50, Hamtramck 0: Keyshawn Smith ran for 120 yards and two scores, Rice Davis rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown, Rashid Pearson had a 60-yard TD run and Jalen Mustin had an 80-yard kickoff return for a TD for Ecorse (4-1, 1-0 Metro Black). On defense for Ecorse, Mike Sessoms had three sacks and Devon Brock six tackles with four for a loss. Hamtramck is 1-4, 1-1 Metro Blue.
Farmington 28, Avondale 14: Koby Anthony returned a kick 67 yards for a TD and Derrick Hinton had a 5-yard rushing touchdown for Avondale (3-2). Farmington improves to 5-0.
Plymouth 21, Novi 0: Mike Mathias had a 35-yard rushing TD and a 55-yard interception return for a TD and Carson Miller had 21 carries for 113 yards and a TD for Plymouth (3-2, 2-2 KLAA West). Novi is 1-4, 1-3.
Riverview 20, Carleton Airport 9: Kyle Nais rushed for 75 yards and a TD and made 14 tackles, Steven Rice had 12 carries for 105 yards and a TD and Dominic Wood had a 61-yard TD run for Riverview (4-1, 3-1 Huron). Bryce Bondy rushed for 60 yards and a TD for Airport (2-3, 2-2).
Romulus 6, Redford Union 4: KaVon Lacroix had seven carries for 98 yards and a TD, Brandon Hardy had 14 tackles with four sacks, and Jordan Melchor had 11 tackles with three sacks for Romulus (2-3, 2-2 Western Wayne). Redford Union is 1-4, 1-3.
Sterling Heights Parkway Christian 59, Mount Clemens 22: Julian Davis had 13 carries for 188 yards and a score and a 44-yard receiving touchdown, Maurice Hutchinson had a TD catch and ran for 79 yards and three TDs on four carries, Robbie Thompson passed for two scores and rushed for 85 yards and a TD while Bryce Perko made nine tackles and returned a fumble for a TD for Parkway (5-0, 3-0 MIAC). Mount Clemens is 1-4, 1-2.
Utica Ford 24, Fraser 8: Taveon Thompson had 135 yards and two TDs, Graham Mason recovered a fumble for a touchdown and Jeremy Taras made a 39-yard field goal for Utica Ford (2-3, 1-2 MAC White). Fraser is 0-5, 0-2 MAC Blue.
Walled Lake Western 38, Walled Lake Northern 24: Quarterback Sam Johnson was 7-of-16 for 177 yards and a touchdown, CJ Brown ran for 174 yards and two TDs, Kevin Jackson added a 4-yard rushing touchdown, Abdur Rahman Yaseen caught a TD pass, Jared Tate returned an interception for a score and Aiden Jennings made a 25-yard field goal for Western (4-1). Walled Lake Northern is 1-4.
Warren Michigan Collegiate 34, Detroit Old Redford 0: Demarco Black rushed for 128 yards and a TD and Anthony Taylor made nine tackles and two sacks for Michigan Collegiate (5-0, 1-0 Charter School Conference). Detroit Old Redford is 0-5.
Warren Mott 42, Roseville 7: Curtis Hamilton had 12 carries for 134 yards and made nine tackles on defense, Jake Dube threw two TD passes, James Cheney threw a 55-yard scoring pass to Trevon Madison and Romeo Jones made seven tackles for Mott (4-1, 2-1 MAC White). Roseville is 3-2, 2-0 MAC Blue.
News staff contributed