Roseville High's Darrian Smith runs up the sideline during his team's 17-14 Oct. 20 win over St. Clair Shores Lake Shore.

Roseville High's Darrian Smith runs up the sideline during his team's 17-14 Oct. 20 win over St. Clair Shores Lake Shore.

Photo by Sean Work

Roseville football headed to playoffs after win over Lake Shore

Panthers defense stars in win

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Online Only | Published October 20, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Brenner Norman’s interception with 1:58 to play helped Roseville High secure a 17-14 win over St. Clair Shores Lake Shore Oct. 20 and ensured the Panthers of their first playoff trip since 2011.

“I read screen, bumped the guy, moved slightly, and went up and got the ball,” Norman said. “This is unbelievable. We’ve fought all year for this.”

Roseville ends the regular season at 6-3. Lake Shore, which had a shot at a playoff spot with a win, finishes the year at 4-5.

Six wins secures a guaranteed spot in the postseason. Five-win teams have a shot to make the field based on strength of schedule or if there are not enough six-win squads to fill out the field. Check back Oct. 22 for a full listing of local playoff qualifiers.

Roseville is back in the playoffs for the first time since three straight trips from 2009 to 2011.

Panthers coach Mike Mahar, who led Warren Woods Tower to the postseason in 2013 and 2014, capped the triumph a program win.

“Coming into a program, you’re trying to teach kids how to win. We’ve had some ups and downs this year, even this week getting ready for this game,” Mahar said. “But these kids fight. They’re a great bunch of kids, and I’m so proud of them and what they’ve accomplished.”

The home team went up 6-0 after running back Decarlo Bowden took a handoff and scampered 60 yards up the sideline for a score with 6:47 left in the first quarter.

After punts by both teams on back-to-back possessions, Roseville on a seven-play drive tied the game as running back Tayshaun Jones took an option pitch 64 yards for a score. A successful two-point conversion gave the Panthers an 8-6 edge with 10:40 left in the half.

The Shorians took a 14-8 lead with 6:11 left in the half on a 7-yard Bowden run and a successful two-point try. A 45-yard run by Christian Gaiera on second and 18 set up the score.

The Panthers edged closer when on the 13th play of a drive Austin Behnke connected on a 34-yard field goal with 22 seconds left to cut the Shorians lead to 14-11.

Roseville had a solid drive going to open the second half before Gaiera scooped up a bad snap and took it back 46 yards to the Panthers 9-yard line. The Panthers defense held and forced a turnover on downs after a Brandon Tatters pass fell incomplete in the end zone.

Roseville forced a Lake Shore three-and-out early in the fourth and capitalized as running back LeVonte Harris — who finished with 52 yards on the ground — scored from 9 yards out to give his team a 17-14 lead with 7:53 to play. The play of the drive came when Panthers quarterback Dhamon Riley hit wide receiver Jacoby Dale for a 31-yard gain on second and 13 that gave Roseville first and goal. Riley finished with 105 passing yards and 96 rushing yards.

Lake Shore had a last gasp after recovering a fumble at its own 22 with 3:10 left after a Roseville timeout on second and 8 before Norman’s heroics.

Bowden managed just 2 yards in the second half after rallying 105 yards and two scores in the first half. Lake Shore coach Rich Popp said Roseville on defense switched up its front and showed some different looks. The Shorians after halftime didn’t get a first down until 6:12 left in the game.

“Our offense wasn’t on point tonight so our defense had to step up and it did,” Mahar said.

Lake Shore’s last playoff appearance came in 2009. The Shorians last playoff win came in 2008.

“Those guys battled all season long. I’m proud of them, and they should be proud of themselves,” Popp said.