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October 11, 2012

Grosse Pointe South football defeats North for third consecutive season

By Mark Vest
C & G Sports Writer

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Grosse Pointe South’s Jack Fry goes up for an interception against North Oct. 5. South’s victory over the Norsemen clinched a playoff spot for the Blue Devils.

In last Friday’s matchup against Grosse Pointe North, the Blue Devils did something they had never done in the history of the 44-year-old rivalry between the two schools — they defeated the Norsemen for the third consecutive season.

South accomplished that feat via a field goal of approximately 35 yards by Liam McIlroy with 45.6 seconds left in the game, which gave his team a 17-15 lead and iced the victory.

South coach Tim Brandon was happy to see his squad add a new wrinkle to the rivalry with back-to-back-to-back victories over North.

“It was huge,” he said. “It’s a history-making win. We’ve never beaten them three years in a row. Everybody stepped up. Defense picked up the offense. We came back in the end. The linemen started blocking, doing what they had to do. It was just a great win.”

Things were looking good for the Norsemen early, as they scored the first 12 points of the game courtesy of a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Sean Mchale to wide receiver Taiwan Wiggins and an interception by defensive back Corey Pierce, which he returned for a 56-yard touchdown run.

The Blue Devils responded with 14 unanswered points, thanks to an interception returned for a touchdown by linebacker Jack Fry in the first quarter and a 4-yard touchdown run by running back Renell Perkins in the third.

North was able to re-claim the lead later in the third quarter, taking a 15-14 lead following a field goal by Michael Bylski. The Norsemen held onto that lead until McIlroy’s kick with under a minute left to play in the game.

North coach Frank Sumbera was disappointed his team didn’t come away with the victory, despite five turnovers from South on a rainy evening.

“Penalties just kept giving them position to keep moving the ball,” he said. “We had it in the beginning, a 12-0 lead, but we didn’t hang on to it.”

Perkins rushed for 69 yards for South, while Mchale carried the ball 10 times for the Norsemen and rushed for 63 yards. Wiggins and Mchale also had two interceptions apiece for the Norsemen.

Aside from making history in their rivalry series against North Oct. 5, the Blue Devils also picked up their sixth victory of the season (6-1 overall, 4-0 Macomb Area Conference Blue Division), which assures them of a playoff spot.

South will continue to take aim at a MAC Blue title, when it takes to the road against Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse at 7 p.m. Oct. 12.

North now sits at 4-3 overall, 2-2 MAC Blue, and is next scheduled to be in action at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 in a road game against Port Huron Northern.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mark Vest at mvest@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1112. Twitter Follow Mark on Twitter.