Brother Rice headed to D-2 final, rolls past Wyandotte Roosevelt 31-3 in semis
GIBRALTAR — Of all the accomplishments his resume holds from decades on the sideline, Al Fracassa has never won back-to-back state titles.
The winningest coach in MHSAA history now has that shot.
Birmingham Brother Rice stormed into the Division 2 final with a 31-3 victory against Wyandotte Roosevelt Saturday afternoon at Gibraltar Carlson, sending the defending champs back to Ford Field for a date with Muskegon High.
“It’s hard to express,” Fracassa said when asked what it means to play for a second straight championship. Rice has won seven under his tutelage. “I’ve never been there in two straight years, so this would be something special.”
Rice, 11-2, got going right away in the semifinal.
Quarterback Cheyne Lacanaria hit Sergio Perkovic with a 29-yard touchdown strike four minutes into the opening frame.
A few plays after a recovered fumble, Shon Powell scored on an 18-yard run to give Rice a 14-0 lead.
The teams traded field goals before the half, and the Warriors had a 17-3 advantage.
They would never look back.
Alex Malzone hit Grant Perry with a 19-yard touchdown pass at the end of the third quarter, and Brian Walker ran from 7 yards out with just 1:45 remaining in the game to cap the scoring.
“This will set in pretty soon, the fact we’re going back there again,” senior linebacker Jon Reschke said of playing in another title game. “It’s going to be a great test. (Muskegon) runs a great option and they have a ton of team speed, so we’re going to have to be ready.”
Rice’s defense was simply dominant,holding the Bears to a single field goa, and very few chances to do anything else.
“We’ll have to be a little better than we were today,” Fracassa said. “We did some good things, but our offense was just all right. It’s going to be a good, serious week of practice, and then we’ll go down there and throw our best at them.”
Muskegon (12-1) beat Caledonia 34-21 in its semifinal.
The D-2 final is set for 1 p.m. Nov. 23 at Ford Field.
Wyandotte ends its year 11-2.
St. Mary’s back, as well
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s will also have a chance to defend its 2011 title.
The Eaglets (11-2) beat Battle Creek Harper Creek 28-7 in a Nov. 17 D-3 semifinal.
St. Mary’s faces Grand Rapids Christian (12-1) at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 24.
Country Day moves on
Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day beat Saginaw Swan Valley 38-0 in its D-4 semifinal.
The Yellowjackets (11-2) face Grand Rapids South Christian (10-3) in a 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23 championship game.
Mike Moore will be covering all three state finals, for complete updates on the games, visit www.candgnews.com and click on the Sports tab.