A year ago, a single point proved the difference in one of the best Catholic League games of the season.
This time around, Birmingham Brother Rice made sure things wouldn’t be that close.
On the heels of a dominant ground game, and a defense that was suffocating all night, the Warriors rolled to a 28-0 win against Warren De La Salle Sept. 15, avenging last year’s 21-20 loss.
“A wonderful win, always wonderful when you win one of these,” said Rice coach Al Fracassa. “They had our number the past few years, games where we came up just a little short. But our guys battled so much this week to get ready, and we really controlled the ball and did some great things here.”
Brian Walker got Rice on the board five minutes into the second quarter, scoring his first of three touchdowns on an 11-yard run. Shon Powell added a 5-yard run with 2:57 remaining in the first half, and Rice led 14-0 at the break.
Walker added scores of six yards and one yard in the second half, as Rice piled up 262 yards of offense on the ground, averaging 6.6 yards per attempt.
“Any time you can rush the way we did and control the ball, it’s a huge advantage,” Fracassa said. Rice totaled 357 yards of offense to De La Salle’s 160. “I think it’s frustrating for a defense when you can’t stop the run and get off the field. So that was huge.”
De La Salle senior quarterback Shane Morris was held in check most of the night, completing just eight of his 17 passes for 87 yards before missing most of the second half with what Fracassa said was illness.
“It’s a shame, because he’s such a good player,” Fracassa said of Morris. “You hate to see someone like that have to miss a game like this, but he’ll be back, and he’s going to do some great things before the year is out."
De La Salle's Giovanni Rescigno finished the game under center for the Pilots, completing three passes for 15 yards.
Rice quarterback Cheyne Lacanaria finished the game 9-of-12 passing for 95 yards. Walker paced the offense, rushing for 153 yards on 19 carries. Powell added 54 yards on eight carries.
The Pilots rushed for just 58 yards. Damorria Lilly led the way with 34 on 11 carries.
Rice, 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the Central Division, takes on the University of Detroit Jesuit (2-2, 0-1) Sept. 21.
De La Salle (2-2, 0-1) faces Novi Detroit Catholic Central (2-2, 0-0) Sept. 21.