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Macomb Township

October 31, 2012

Dakota, L’Anse Creuse North football to play in district final after wins

By Jon Malavolti
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Macomb L’Anse Creuse North’s Deiontae Nicholas runs past a trio of Romeo High defenders during the Crusaders’ 35-21 Oct. 26 home playoff win; the first postseason victory in program history. North plays at Dakota next, at 7 p.m. Nov. 2.

MACOMB TOWNSHIP – Dakota will host L’Anse Creuse North in a 7 p.m. Nov. 2 Division 1 district final football playoff game after both teams won in the opening round Oct. 26.

Dakota defeated Chippewa Valley 17-7, while North knocked off Romeo 35-21. Visit our website at www.candgnews.com for photos from the game and a recap from the district final against North.

Cougars control Big Reds
Dakota beat Chippewa, in large part, thanks to its ability to control the ball. The Cougars dominated time of possession in the contest, holding the ball for about 34 of the game’s 48 minutes. While the team was exhausting the clock, it was able to avoid getting too worn out, thanks to its depth.

“It came down to, our guys are pretty fresh,” Dakota coach Mike Giannone said. “We’ve only got one guy playing both ways. I really believe it helps when you can concentrate on one side of the ball. And when you have 80 guys, and you’re only playing one both ways, that’s a pretty good tribute to the other kids that work pretty hard to get in the lineup.”

On the defensive side of the ball, senior Clay Prickett said he and the other linebackers were freed up to wreak havoc, thanks to their teammates.

“The linemen did such a good job,” Prickett said. “And the secondary really stepped up.”

Offensivelly, senior running back Nick Cattaneo paced the Cougars with two touchdowns and 126 yards rushing.

“Cattaneo ran hard,” Giannone said. “He’s a workhorse.”

Prickett summarized that the whole team turned in “an all-around great effort.”

“We definitely rose to the occasion,” he said. “Chippewa Valley, we got lucky enough to play them twice, it’s the biggest game always. They’re a great team. It was by far the toughest game of the year.”

Dakota improved to 9-1 overall, having beaten Chippewa a few weeks ago during Macomb Area Conference Red Division play.

The Cougars, the MAC Red champs, will now look to win their third district title in four years as they
prepare for North (8-2).

“We’ve got to stay focused, stay disciplined, watch the film,” Prickett said. “We did make some mistakes. We’ve got to come to practice ready to play.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jon Malavolti at jmalavolti@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1040. Twitter Follow Jon on Twitter.