Junior quarterback Greg Piscopink hands the ball off to James Donaldson in a Oct. 5 loss to COF Academy. Piscopink threw for one touchdown in the game.

Junior quarterback Greg Piscopink hands the ball off to James Donaldson in a Oct. 5 loss to COF Academy. Piscopink threw for one touchdown in the game.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes


Red zone struggles hurt Brother Rice in loss to C.O.F. Academy

By: Jacob Herbert | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published October 5, 2018

 Brother Rice coach Adam Korzeniewski huddles with his team during a first half time out. The loss drops the Warriors to 4-3 on the season and they will now need to win out to make the playoffs.

Brother Rice coach Adam Korzeniewski huddles with his team during a first half time out. The loss drops the Warriors to 4-3 on the season and they will now need to win out to make the playoffs.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

Advertisement

BERKLEY — A blocked extra point and a missed field goal are a small sample size of things that cost Birmingham Brother Rice in its Oct. 5 loss to the Christians of Faith Academy Ironmen out of Columbus, Ohio. The Warriors fell 14-13, dropping them to 4-3 overall. 

“We were flat,” Brother Rice coach Adam Korzeniewski said. “Obviously, we need to be better on offense. There were a number of plays that were slanted in our favor, and it comes down to, ‘We can move the ball, but when are we going to go ahead and convert in the end zone.’”

It was the defense of Brother Rice that got the scoring going. After the offense stalled on its opening drive, junior linebacker Ohannes Sarksian scooped and scored on a 79-yard fumble return to give the Warriors an early 7-0 lead.

The lead was short lived. On the ensuing kickoff, the Ironmen returned it 97 yards for the score. A subsequent converted two-point conversion gave the visitors the 8-7 lead, which would stay until halftime. 

As the teams went into their respective locker rooms at halftime, Korzeniewski, who went with a run-heavy approach in the first half, tried to make some adjustments.

“In the passing game, it was just the route combinations,”  Korzeniewski said. “We got a couple of those in the second half that we didn’t try to go after in the first half. I felt like the run game was there almost the whole night. It was a little more on the passing side, and it was nothing more than some route concepts.”

The Ironmen took a 14-7 lead late in the third quarter after a 17-yard touchdown throw. The two-point coversion failed. 

Late in the fourth quarter, Rice got back on the board when when quarterback Greg Piscopink found DaRon Gilbert in the corner of the end zone on a 23-yard pass.

The extra point was blocked and the Ironmen led 14-13.

After another Brother Rice defensive stop, Piscopink led the offense down the fied and gave his team a chance to win. But on a fourth-and-3 play with just over one minute to play, Piscopink’s pass fell incomplete.

With two games left in the regular season, Brother Rice has to win both to clinch its third straight playoff berth. But there are plenty of things Korzeniewski wants his team to clean up if that’s going to happen.

“Tackling on defense would be one,” he said. “On the offensive side, it’s the red zone. End of story, it’s the red zone. We keep getting the ball down deep, but we’ve got to be able to do something about it.”

Up next for the Warriors is Orchard Lake St. Mary's at 1 p.m. Oct. 13 at home.  

Advertisement