Posted by Atif Lodhi on Nov 17 2006 at 04:00PM PST
The season to remember keeps rolling as the De La Salle Pilots defeated Dearborn High School in a Division II State Final 17-7 at Ferndale High School. With the win, De La Salle now advances to its first ever state championship game at Ford Field on Friday, November 24th. Both teams had shots in the first quarter to take the early lead in game. For De La Salle, the team drove from its 35 to the Dearborn 24 on its opening drive, but the Dearborn defense drove the Pilots back to the Dearborn 32 yard line and forced DLS to punt. Dearborn had its best shot to score early on its second possession of the game as the Pioneers drove from their 24 to the DLS 14 yard line, but on 4th and 2, Dearborn quarterback Anthony Mifsud was sacked by Kyle Torzy to give the Pilots the ball back at the DLS 23 yard line. After exchanging possessions in the second quarter, the Pilots got on the board first, driving 57 yards on 5 plays, capped by a 47 yard touchdown pass from Brian Lewis to Don Fowler, giving DLS the 7-0 lead. Dearborn, after driving to midfield after the DLS score, pinned the Pilots deep in their own end at the DLS 5 yard line after a 45 yard punt. After getting -4 yards on 3 plays, the Pilots punted from their 1 yard line to the Dearborn 35 which was returned 10 yards to the DLS 25 by Dearborn punt returner Danny McKae. On the first play from scrimmage, Mifsud connected with wide receiver Mohamed Hamed for a 25 yard touchdown pass and tying the game at 7. DLS regained the lead late in the second quarter when the Pilots drove from their own 43 to the Dearborn 14 yard line, highlighted by a Jimmy Berezik 42 yard run. The run set up Kyle Torzy's 30 yard field goal to end the first half and give DLS the 10-7 lead. In the second half, the DLS defense rose to the occassion, especially in the third quarter when the Pilot defense intercepted two Mifsud passes, as well as sacking the quarterback twice, while allowing the Dearborn offense to gain just 29 yards in the quarter. The teams traded possessions throughout the third quarter and on the first play of the fourth quarter, Dearborn punted the ball to the DLS 39 yard line where it was then returned by Jimmy Berezik to the DLS 45. From there, the Pilots went on a 10 play, 55 yard drive over a span of 5 minutes, capped off by Jimmy Berezik's 30 yard touchdown run to give DLS, after the successful PAT, a 17-7 lead. From there, the Pioneers drove from their 25 yard line to the DLS 17 yard line in 17 plays, but on 4th and 15 from the DLS 17, Mifsud's pass intended for Hamed went incomplete, ending any chance of a Dearborn comeback. From there, the Pilots ran out the last 2 minutes of the game and completed De La Salle's first ever semi-finals appearance with a win. From here, the Pilots will now travel back to Ford Field for the third time this season, this time for a chance to win the school's first ever state title in football. De La Salle will take on Muskegon High School on Friday, November 24th at 1:00 PM. This game will also mark the end of the careers of the 25 seniors on the De La Salle football team who have worked long and hard to put De La Salle where it is today and to complete a goal set in January. So until Friday, Good Luck and GO PILOTS!!! News and Notes: De La Salle is now 11-2 on the year...De La Salle's leading rusher was Jimmy Berezik who had 122 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown...Berezik has now rushed for 1771 yards so far this year...Brian Lewis was 6 for 11 for 95 yards and a touchdown...Don Fowler caught 5 passes for 91 yards, along with his touchdown pass...With the touchdown, Berezik tied Allen Jefferson's 22 year old record of rushing touchdowns in a season with 17...Berezik also broke Joe Novak's 2002 record of most carries in a seasion...De La Salle outgained Dearborn 239 yards to 226 yards...Anthony Sabatella set the school record for tackles in a season with 130...The De La Salle offense also set a record with 533 rushing attempts in one season...With Kyle Torzy's 2nd quarter field goal, the team has now tied its 1984 record of most field goals made in a season (8)...Brian Lewis' 9 touchdown passes is the most for a DLS quarterback since Kevin Shubnell threw 10 touchdown passes in 1999...Muskegon is 13-0 on the year - this is their first ever meeting against De La Salle.


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