The D Zone

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Southfield gets revenge against Oak Park

Oak Park, MI - As we make our way towards the middle of this high school football season conference games only get bigger, with more at stake each week. This Friday we were able to see a match-up between not only two of the top teams in the OAA White, but two of the better teams in the whole state of Michigan, as Oak Park played host to Southfield. 

This must have been a game that Southfield had circled on their schedule all summer, after losing to Oak Park twice last season, including a tough overtime loss in the playoffs to end their season. 

DL Lawrence Marshall had a fantastic night, racking up 4 TFL and 1 FR 
Southfield was able to jump ahead early in this one and once they got ahold of the lead they made sure
it was one they would not relinquish. 

Adrian Carter lays a mean stiff-arm on a defender

It was a rainy, early fall night, producing slick footballs that were tough to hang on to all night for both sides. This became evident on Oak Park’s first possession as they dropped a sure completion on just their second play from scrimmage, and couldn’t get anything going on the drive. On fourth down a low snap bounced its way to punter Martez Morton, who was tackled by Southfield’s Joe Clark before he ever had a real chance to get the kick away. 

The Bluejays took over on Oak Park’s nine yard line and needed just one play for Jeremy Gates to take a handoff and scoot through the middle of his line, untouched, for a nine yard touchdown run. Unable to get the hold down on the extra-point, chalk another one up to the wet weather, Southfield was unable to convert the PAT but still went up 6-0 early in the first quarter. 

Discipline will presumably be a main focus for both teams heading into this next week of practice, as penalties hampered both squads and really drew out this game at points, with flags on what seemed like every other play. By halftime both teams had combined for 14 accepted penalties, and by the end of the game Southfield had committed a whopping 15 offenses, while Oak Park was just behind with 13. 

As the first half went on each team lost two fumbles, and neither offense could get a whole lot going until the final drive of the half for Southfield. 

Quarterback Jalen Brady was able to lead a 10 play, 38 yard march that ended with a six yard fade pass that Devontae Alfred reeled in with just 26 seconds left in the half. Brady was able to pick up a yard on a critical fourth down just a few plays before the score, which kept the drive alive, and the Bluejays went into the half up 12-0. 

Oak Park came out of the half looking like a new ball club. The first time they had the ball the Knights marched 82 yards on just 9 plays for their first score of the night. The drive was capped off by a three yard QB keep from Jordan Leonard, and after a blocked extra point we had a 13-6 game.  

Midway through the fourth quarter DaVonte Ginwright intercepted a tipped ball and took it back 37 yards to the house, but a holding call on the return brought back the score. 

Kanye Harris would move from the slot to QB on the following drive for Southfield, and would need only two plays to find pay dirt. After a 13 yard run on his first snap, Harris took his second carry 15 yards on a sweep right, beautifully following his lead blockers into the end zone. This score pushed the lead up to 20-6 with 5:18 left on the clock. 

RB John Kelly lined up behind his QB Jordan Leonard
The Knights would actually answer right back on their next drive, where they effectively  pounded the rock though the ground game, giving John Kelly seven carries and Ricardo Brown another three. Donte Only caught a six yard touchdown pass from Chauncey Lowman on a fourth and goal, making it a one score game, 20-12. While this strategy was efficient in moving the ball, it might have taken up too much clock, and the drive ended with just 1:20 to play. 

After a failed onside kick attempt, Southfield regained possession and needed just one first down before they were able to run out the clock. The loss was the first of the season for Oak Park, putting them at 3-1 on the year. Southfield is now 3-1 as well, but they are undefeated in conference play putting them currently atop of the OAA White. 

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