Marauders football team showing grit on both sides of the ball
October 2, 2013
WARREN — At press time, the Warren Mott football team had a mark of 4-0, 3-0 in the Macomb Area Conference White Division.
That makes the Marauders just one of seven MAC teams yet to take a loss this season. Two more wins qualifies Mott for the 2013 Michigan High School Athletic Association state playoffs, which begin with pre-district matchups Nov. 1. A playoff berth would be the seventh in eight years for the Marauders.
Mott has been strong on both sides of the ball, averaging 40 points per game, while allowing just 7.3 points through four contests.
The offensive output could be termed a surprise, since Mott has worked in four new starters on its offensive line. Coach Tom Milanov said it’s a group, anchored by senior center Jake Onstott, that has improved since the start of fall camp in August.
The play of the defense was to be expected, Milanov said; its defensive numbers have improved in each of the last four seasons.
“We just go out and do whatever we can to get the job done,” senior defensive end LaVonte Perdue said. “I think we’re doing really well so far, but we’re still working to get better.
“We knew that with the changes on the offensive line that we might have to step it up early on, but (the offense) is playing well, too, so I think we have the chance to do some good things this year.”
Milanov said a group of seniors has led his defense thus far, including safety Angelo Proulx, defensive back Deshawn Burley, safety Vondale Kelley, linebacker Nick Clarke, linebacker Ken Goins and linebacker Austin Ross and Perdue. Nearly everyone in that group plays on offense, as well.
At press time, Mott was one of two teams in the 36-team MAC, along with Clinton Township Clintondale, to score more than 40 points a game and allow fewer than 10.
Kelley, who plays running back and wide receiver in addition to safety, said the team is working toward the goal of winning the MAC White and having a strong showing in the postseason.
Mott finished one game out of first in league play in 2012. Despite the program’s run of playoff appearances, the Marauders haven’t won a division title since going back-to-back in 2008 and 2009.
“We’re doing all we can to get better each week, and you can see that as we go through the season,” Milanov said. “Sure, there’s always areas you can improve in, but we have talented, hard-working players who show up every day ready to work, and I think that has a lot to do with how we’ve played.”
Mott next hits the field for a crossover showdown with MAC Red foe Utica Ford II (1-3, 0-2 MAC Red at press time). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 4 at Runkel Field in Sterling Heights.