L'Anse Creuse North football picks up playoff-clinching win over Fraser
Crusaders qualify for postseason for just second time in program history
By Jon Malavolti
C & G Staff Writer
L'Anse Creuse North's Connor Carbary, pictured in a game earlier this season, caught a pair of touchdowns as the Crusaders clinched a playoff berth with a 18-17 Oct. 12 win at Fraser High.
FRASER – Macomb L’Anse Creuse North is back in the state football playoffs for the first time since 2007 and just the second time in program history after the Crusaders edged Fraser High 18-17 Oct. 12 on the road.
The win was LCN’s sixth of the season, automatically qualifying them for the postseason, which begins in two weeks.
“That’s the biggest thing we preached – playoffs,” LCN coach Anthony Kiner said. “It’s pretty special ground we’re on.”
The Crusaders and Ramblers traded scores in the first half before a scoreless second half in the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division finale for the squads.
“That’s high school football, any given Friday someone can come and beat you,” Kiner said. “They’re a heck of a ball team, and I look forward to playing them in the future.”
LCN got on the board first, capitalizing three plays after picking up a fumble in Fraser territory.
Crusaders junior quarterback Sean Koski connected with junior receiver Connor Carbary on a 33-yard touchdown pass. The ensuing point-after attempt was blocked to make it 6-0 LCN.
Fraser cut the lead in half a few minutes later, as sophomore kicker Matt Lentine kicked a 24-yard field goal with 2:37 left in the first quarter.
The Ramblers were then the beneficiaries of a turnover, as junior Joe Lamb stripped the ball and sprinted the other way 55-yards for a defensive touchdown. Lentine converted his first of two extra points to make it 10-6 with 1:10 remaining in the opening quarter.
Fraser continued to make big plays, as the Ramblers executed an onsides kick on the ensuing kickoff. After recovering the ball, the home team marched down the field and junior running back Nate Heyward slammed the ball in from two-yards out for another touchdown, putting Fraser up 17-6 with 8:42 to play in the second quarter. Heyward would finish the game with more than 100 yards rushing.
LCN got back on the board as the scoring frenzy continued a little more than a minute later. Koski scrambled from one end of the field to the other and ended up with a two-yard touchdown run. The Crusaders’ extra point was blocked again, making the score 17-12 with 7:16 left in the opening half. The scoring play was setup by a nice catch from junior receiver Deiontae Nicholas after a long throw by Koski.
Following a failed fake field goal attempt by Fraser, the Crusaders got another score to recapture the lead for good with 1:18 left in the half. Koski nailed Carbary for a 15-yard touchdown immediately after the duo hooked up for a long pass to set up the scoring play. LCN’s two-point attempt was picked off by Fraser.
Fraser came close to winning the game in the final minutes, having a touchdown called back due to a penalty and later missing a field goal.
Ramblers coach Pat Threet was proud of the way his team battled all game long, just as they have all season.
“These kids are absolutely incredible,” Threet said.
While Koski’s name will appear in the official scorebook a few teams for LCN, his signal-calling counterpart on the other sideline had an equally big game. Fraser sophomore quarterback Dean Snider made several big passing plays for the Ramblers.
North, which improved to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the MAC Blue, next plays at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at home against Marysville High.
Fraser, which fell to 1-7 overall and 0-5 in the MAC Blue, wraps up its season on the road at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at Sterling Heights High