De La Salle gained a berth into the Catholic League A-B Championship Game for the first time since 1994 by defeating Orchard Lake St. Mary's 14-7 on Parents Night at the Warren Community Center. It is De La Salle's first win over OLSM since 2002 when De La Salle defeated OLSM 14-7 at East Detroit Memorial Stadium.
The scoring started with 9:16 left in the second quarter when senior QB Brian Lewis hit junior WR David Blackburn on a 25 yard pass play to cap off a 9 play, 80 yard drive to put DLS up 7-0 after the successful PAT. The key play on the drive was senior fullback Jimmy Berezik ripping a 20 yard run to the DLS 46 to kick start the drive. St. Mary's did very little on its next drive, going three and out and punting the ball back to DLS. The Pilots then went from their 46 to the OLSM 29 yard line, but on fourth down, DLS came up just short and OLSM took over with three minutes left in the half. OLSM then wasted little time in marching down the field, going 71 yards in 9 plays, highlighted by a 43 yard catch by sophomore Eaglet Sauve Lavallis which brought OLSM to the DLS 9 yard line. Three plays later, OLSM QB Justin Siller took it in from 1 yard out to tie the game, after the PAT, at 7 going into halftime.
In the third quarter, De La Salle mustered all it could offensively, driving into OLSM territory on two separate occasions, but all the Pilots could show for the effort was a missed 38 yard field goal. OLSM, on the other hand, could not muster anything at all offensively, gaining 19 total yards in the third quarter. But as the third quarter was nearing its end, the Pilots took over on their own 44 yard line. On the first play of the drive, Jimmy Berezik took the hand off and raced 31 yards to get DLS down to the OLSM 25 yard line to give DLS a scoring chance entering the fourth quarter. Four plays later, DLS did just that as Brian Lewis threw his second touchdown of the game, this time to senior WR Don Fowler from 11 yards out giving DLS a 14-7 lead with 10:19 left in the game.
From that point on, the De La Salle defense stepped up to prevent the Eaglets from tying the score. On St. Mary's ensuing possession after the DLS touchdown, the Eaglets drove down to the DLS 45 yard line, but sophomore DB Jimmy Martinez came up with a crucial interception at the DLS 17 yard line to thwart that OLSM drive. On the next St. Mary's possession, the Eaglets went three-and-out and were forced to punt. On the last OLSM possession of the game, the Eaglets went from their 35 yard line down to the DLS 31 with less than two minutes left in the game. The DLS defense held OLSM RB Dominique White to a 4 yard gain on first down, an incomplete pass to OLSM WR Taurian Washington on second down, and an incomplete pass to OLSM RB Chris Mitchell on third down. On fourth down and 6 from the DLS 27 yard line, OLSM QB Justin Siller went back to pass, found no one open, then tried to gain the first down with his legs, but he was stopped four yards short of a first down, giving the ball back to the Pilots who then ran out the clock.
Where now from here? Well, De La Salle will now take on Brother Rice in a rematch of the Week 7 game at Ford Field on Saturday, October 21st at 7:00 PM in the CHSL A-B Championship game, De La Salle's first appearance in the Championship game since 1994. It should be a good, competitve game so come down to Ford Field and root the Pilots on to victory.
So until next week, Good Luck and GO PILOTS!!!
News and Notes: Brian Lewis had his best game as a De La Salle quarterback, going 15 for 16 and 115 yards and two touchdowns...Lewis set a school record for pass completion percentage in a game and consecutive passes completed (10 in a row)...For his efforts, Brian was named the Prime Time Player of the Week on the High School Football Show on 1130 WDFN...Jimmy Berezik led the Pilots on the ground, rushing the ball 28 times for 116 yards, putting Berezik at over the 1000 yard mark for the season, the first DLS running back to do so since Joe Novak in 2002...In the air, six different DLS football players caught passes: Don Fowler, David Blackburn, senior Shane Torzy, junior Kyle Torzy, junior Kevin Corbeil, and Jimmy Berezik...Fowler led the corps with 4 catches, but Shane Torzy led the team in most receiving yardage with 40 in this game...The overall series between DLS and OLSM stands at 9-6 in favor of OLSM...The four league wins for DLS are the most since 1994 and is more than the amount of league wins DLS had between 2000 to 2005...This is the first time DLS finishes league play in second place since 1996...Next week will mark the first time De La Salle has played a team twice in the regular season since 1982 when DLS played Catholic Central twice that season.