Macomb CountyAugust 25, 2012
Ike kicks off new era with big win
By Jon Malavolti
C & G Sports Writer
DETROIT – The head coach was new and so were the uniforms, but everything else remained pretty much the same for Utica Eisenhower football as the Eagles rolled past Port Huron 35-14 Aug. 25.
Running back Shane King found the end zone three times and receiver Dan Chmielewski caught a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Joe Zerafa as Ike kicked off the year with a big win over the Big Reds at the Detroit Sports Commission Prep Kickoff Classic at Wayne State University.
“It was a lot of fun for our first game,” new Ike coach Chris Smith said. “I’ve got great coaches around me, a great team, so it makes it really easy.”
Smith coached his first game in charge of the Eagles after taking over for Bob Lantzy — the only other varsity football coach the school has ever had. Lantzy retired after more than 40 years at the helm, leading Ike to the state semifinals in his final season in 2011. Smith had been the defensive coordinator under Lantzy the past 15 seasons.
Kicker Eric Dulinski converted all five of his extra points on the day for Ike, while Logan Fredal recovered a fumble on defense for the Eagles.
King rushed for two touchdowns and scored his third after catching a short pass from Zerafa and then eluded defenders as he dashed down the sideline. The Eagles’ lead running back earned Most Outstanding Player honors for his efforts, along with Port Huron’s elusive dual-threat quarterback Mark Chapman.
Chapman ran in both of the Big Reds’ touchdowns. His first came early in the second quarter to tie the game after King had put Ike ahead late in the opening quarter. But Chapman and Port Huron would be held scoreless until late in the contest, as Ike put up 28 unanswered points to avenge its only regular-season loss from last season.
Smith said the revenge factor contributed a little as far as motivation for his team, but more importantly, was the momentum the Eagles can build on as they attempt to pick up where they left off last year.
“These guys are a great team,” Smith said of Port Huron. “I think getting a win over a top program like this is a boost for our kids.”
Ike returns for a second straight game in Detroit when it takes on Utica Ford II in their Macomb Area Conference Red Division opener at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 31 at Ford Field. Ford lost its season opener 43-3 to Bedford.