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Pilots Lose Heartbreaker, Move On To The Playoffs

Posted by Atif Lodhi on Oct 24 2006 at 05:00PM PDT
Article Courtesy of the Detroit News http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061022/SPORTS05/610220352/1049/SPORTS05 Brother Rice 24, Warren DeLaSalle 21 Brother Rice holds on for Catholic League crown Warriors top Warren DeLaSalle for second time in three weeks. Matthew A. Goricki / The Detroit News DETROIT — Birmingham Brother Rice proved its worth Saturday at Ford Field, as it found itself having to overcome another last-minute situation. The top-ranked Warriors beat Warren DeLaSalle, 24-21, to win the Catholic League A-B championship and finish the regular season undefeated. After an 84-yard touchdown reception by DeLaSalle’s Don Fowler cut the Warriors' lead to 17-14, Rice responded with a 10-play, 80-yard drive. Caulton Ray IV scored on a 13-yard run, giving the Warriors a 24-14 advantage with 5:30 remaining. DeLaSalle (7-2) came back with a 11-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a 13-yard touchdown pass from Brian Lewis to David Blackburn. The Pilots couldn’t recover the onside kick, and one Brother Rice first down was enough to run out the clock. “That DeLaSalle team is a very good football team,” Brother Rice coach Al Fracassa said. “We were just honored to beat them. It could have gone either way again. It’s football. They sure gave us a heck of a game.” Fowler’s touchdown sparked the DeLaSalle defense, which forced Brother Rice into a fourth-and-2 at the Pilots’ 47-yard line. Sam Lentine jumped offsides, giving the Warriors a key first down. The next play, Ray ran for 29 yards, and two plays later, he scored on the run. “I thought we gave them a couple of opportunities,” Pilots coach Paul Verska said. “We jumped offsides and we had them in a key situation, and we gave them some momentum. I thought we were trying to strip the ball too much instead of just tackling. They deserved to win. We made too many mistakes to get the ‘W,’ and they capitalized on them. That’s the sign of a good football team.” DeLaSalle, which lost 10-6 to Brother Rice two weeks ago, led 7-0 early in the second quarter after Lewis’ 4-yard touchdown run. Brother Rice responded with a 3-yard touchdown pass from Mike Cappetto to Andy Lentz. Cappetto’s 1-yard scoring run late in the third quarter gave the Warriors a 14-7 edge. A 35-yard field goal by Dusty Greenbury stretched the lead to 10 with 11:20 remaining. Ray, a junior, rushed 21 times for 128 yards and a touchdown. He rushed for 104 of those yards in the second half, including 80 in the fourth quarter. “We knew it was going to be a big fourth quarter,” Ray said. “We knew we had to get things done. We had no other option than to bring it.” Senior Jimmy Berezik was the workhorse for DeLaSalle, carrying the ball 19 times for 148 yards. “He’s the best,” Fracassa said of Berezik. “That kid there can fly. We were really worried (about him). He’s dangerous. We thought if we could control him a little bit, we would have a chance to win. He’s not controllable. He’s going to cause a lot of problems in the playoffs.” ************************************************************************************ De La Salle will now host its first ever playoff game in school history against Detroit Finney on Saturday, October 28th at 7:00 PM at the Warren Community Center. The winner of this game will play the winner of Grosse Pointe North and Rochester Hills Stoney Creek on Friday, November 3rd. So until Friday, Good Luck and GO PILOTS!!! News and Notes: With the loss, De La Salle has not won a Catholic League title since 1956...Statistical leaders against Brother Rice were - Jimmy Berezik on the ground with 148 yards on 19 carries; in the air - Brian Lewis who was 6 of 16 for 112 yards; receiving - David Blackburn had 4 receptions, but Don Fowler led the lead in receiving yards with 84...The De La Salle Freshmen Football was on hand to accept its Freshmen Divisional Trophy; The young Pilots were the first DLS frosh team to go undefeated for the season and won their first sectional title since 1991...De La Salle gained a total of 345 yards, as compared to Brother Rice's 365 yards...With the 148 yards, Jimmy Berezik gained a total of 1193 yards on the ground through 9 games, the most since Vince Thomas gained 1351 in 9 games in 1995...De La Salle finished with its most regular season wins since 1994 when the team won 8 games in the regular season...For the second straight week, Brian Lewis threw two touchdown passes...De La Salle finishes the regular season ranked #2 in Macomb County (Macomb Daily), #2 in the Metro East (Detroit News), #6 in Division I (AP & Detroit Free Press), and #18 in Tom Markowski's Top 25...The two losses, both to Brother Rice, were by a combined 7 points, which compares to the 1982 De La Salle football team which lost two games by a combined 4 points (Divine Child by 3 and Catholic Central by 1).

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