Royal Oak, DetroitOctober 27, 2012
Loyola muscles past Shrine 36-14 in Division 7 playoff opener
By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer
DETROIT — For the second time in three weeks, the Royal Oak Shrine football team had to face one of the top teams in Division 7.
For the second year in a row, the Knights’ season came to an end at the hands of Detroit Loyola.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 8-0 lead, then used a blocked field goal and four Shrine turnovers to roll to a 36-14 victory Saturday afternoon in a D-7 pre-regional at the University of Detroit Jesuit.
“We had our chances (to be in this one), but you can’t take anything away from (Loyola),” Shrine coach John Goddard said following the loss. “We got beat by a better team here today.”
Loyola defeated Shrine 51-20 two weeks ago, thanks in large part to a score on the opening drive that set the tone for the entire game.
Goddard said he preached all week about keeping the Bulldogs off the scoreboard early.
It didn’t work.
Loyola marched right down the field to begin the game and took an 8-0 lead on a 3-yard run by Keymonn’e Gabriel.
Later in the quarter, Shrine had a field goal blocked, but pulled within 8-7 thanks to a 1-yard run by Connor Francek with 3:16 remaining in the first half.
Gabriel scored his second touchdown of the game a minute later on a 42-yard run, though, and Loyola never looked back.
The Bulldogs scored twice more in the third, eventually leading 30-7 before Francek scored for the second time on a 1-yard run with 9:49 remaining in regulation.
Shrine recovered the ensuing on-side kick, but turned it over just moments later.
Loyola (10-0) capped the scoring on a 3-yard run by Sterlung Kimbrough.
“I think we just got beat up a little bit, especially as the game wore on,” Goddard said.
Gabriel anchored Loyola’s attack, rushing for 176 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries.
Goddard was asked if slowing him down was a key for his team coming in.
“Yeah,” he said with a smile, “but I don’t think anyone has all year.”
Francek finished the game 10-of-19 passing for 142 yards. He threw one interception and rushed for two scores.
Shrine (5-5) fumbled the ball away three times.