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Grosse Pointe Woods

November 8, 2012

Liggett football ends 2012 in second-round playoff loss to Loyola

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Liggett quarterback Nate Gaggin, pictured during a playoff opener against Douglass, capped his career Nov. 3 in a loss to Loyola.

In the end, he could admit the better, bigger and the more physical team eventually won.

The scoreboard said it, and Lou Ray could admit it.

“They were just big, athletic and tough,” Ray, the Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett football coach, said of a Detroit Loyola team that won a Division 7 district final 50-7 on Nov. 3. “They beat us up in that one, and we had too many guys out with injury. It just wasn’t our game. It was tough to play a game like that.”

Loyola entered the game unbeaten — a team on a mission with an arsenal of weapons to call upon.

Its defense was suffocating, picking up 10 sacks in the win.

Its offense came in waves, pounding the ball over and over again.

Still, one loss wasn’t going to alter the entire season.

“This year was a blast,” Ray boasted. “This was the group of seniors that has been here since the beginning. You’ve got guys that started this program up again, built it up and have been here the whole time to see it through.”

Just four years ago, Liggett football was resurrected.

A 2-7 first season served as a steppingstone.

Things quickly got better and better.

A year ago, the Knights went unbeaten in the regular season.

This year, the goal was playoff success.

“And you know what, this group probably had no business beating (Detroit) Douglass in the opener,” Ray said of a 15-14 win in the pre-district, the first playoff win for Liggett since a Class C postseason victory in 1997. “But they came together. This was a great group of kids that accomplished so many things.”

In the end, the Knights were an 8-3 team that could light up the scoreboard and punish teams defensively.

And they did so with a roster of 25 kids, at the most.

“That’s the main key, moving forward,” Ray explained. “We have to get the numbers up in this program. We’re going to lose some very skilled guys, kids that will be tough to replace. But if we can get our numbers up and get deeper, it’s going to make us a better team in the future.”

As for the here and now?

“This was a great season,” he said. “For these guys to do some of the things they did, it was awesome.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.