Grosse Pointe South senior wideout Karter Richards hauls in a catch with Grosse Pointe North defensive back Martez Jones in coverage.

Grosse Pointe South senior wideout Karter Richards hauls in a catch with Grosse Pointe North defensive back Martez Jones in coverage.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

South captures sixth straight win over North in Great American Rivalry Series matchup

By: Jonathan Szczepaniak | Grosse Pointe Times | Published October 23, 2023


GROSSE POINTE FARMS — One of the more historic rivalries in the state of Michigan, Grosse Pointe North and Grosse Pointe South went head-to-head on Oct. 20 at South High School.

A matchup that has spanned over 50 years, North (6-3) looked to extend its 31-24 series lead, but South (8-1) had other plans as it scored 42 unanswered points to take a 42-7 win over North.

“It’s a great way to bring everybody together and bring both sides of the community together,” South junior quarterback Jack Lupo said. “I have friends that play for North and they have friends that play for South, so it’s just a great way to bring everybody together and play some football.”

North senior Matthew McLeod connected on a 70-yard pass off a trick play to junior wideout Sebastian Rouse to fire up the visiting crowd with a 7-0 lead on the opening drive, but it was all South from there. Rouse would suffer an injury a few drives later, forcing him to miss the remainder of the game.

Lupo was dominant throughout the game, finding junior wideout Vincent Vachon on a 36-yard touchdown pass and senior wideout Karter Richards on a 20-yard touchdown pass to help the Blue Devils take a 21-7 lead at the half. Junior running back Matthew Agnone also tallied a 34-yard touchdown run in the first half.

South was able to exploit the North secondary’s one-on-one coverage with its talented wide receiving corps.

“We talked about it a little bit during film, but the way they were playing it was really confusing,” Vachon said. “Thanks to our coaching, we saw instantly that, ‘All right, we’re going to give our skill players some chances to get the ball and make some plays,’ and that’s what we did.”

On a positive note from the North side, the North student section did pick up the halftime win in tug-of-war over the South student section.

The Norsemen offense found itself in Blue Devils territory multiple times throughout the game, but the Blue Devils defense locked in when it needed to.

South made it uncomfortable for Henderson all night, forcing him to escape the pocket and scramble outside for minimal yards. Despite the pressure, Henderson was effective in the loss.

While the North offense stalled through the remainder of the game, Lupo would find Vachon again on a 34-yard touchdown pass while Agnone and senior Jack Kendall each tallied a rushing touchdown in the second half.

Vachon earned the Great American Rivalry Series Most Valuable Player award with 112 yards receiving and two scores, while Agnone added 135 yards rushing and two scores in the win.

The Great American Rivalry Series highlights high school football rivalries across the country that have long-standing tradition.

South has rattled off seven straight wins and a Macomb Area Conference White league title since its week two loss to New Baltimore Anchor Bay.

Currently one of the hottest teams in the state, South is heading into the Michigan High School Athletic Association State Tournament at the right time, and Vachon said there’s one part of the team that’s helped them throughout their win streak.

“I think it was our chemistry,” Vachon said. “In the summer, we kept working and working, and we got really close. It’s almost like a family, so I think it’s played a huge role because everyone trusts the person next to them. That keeps us locked in to keep going.”

South will open up district play against Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse on Oct. 27 at Grosse Pointe South High School. South defeated L’Anse Creuse 41-7 at home on Sept. 15 this season.

North will open up district play against Warren Fitzgerald on Oct. 27 at North High School. North fell to Fitzgerald 34-14 on Oct. 7.