Auburn Hills Avondale football gets upset win against Ferndale High

By: Mark Vest | C&G Newspapers | Published September 8, 2017

FERNDALE — In what could be considered a stunner, Auburn Hills Avondale’s football team beat Ferndale High 21-13 Sept. 8 on the road.

Ferndale came into the game undefeated, having outscored its opponents 87-7 in the first two weeks of play, with Avondale (1-2 overall, 1-1 Oakland Activities Association Blue Division) entering the contest having not won a game.

“I thought we were up to the challenge,” Avondale coach Ed Couturier said. “Ferndale’s a good team. … Our defense played great. Offense, we struggled a little bit; made a couple plays when we had to. … It’s a huge win for us to keep us back into things for the Blue Division. … Our first two games, I think we beat ourselves. Today I think we eliminated some of those mistakes. Excited for the kids, it’s a big win for our program.”

With the game tied 7-7 in the fourth quarter, Avondale took its first lead of the game when quarterback Adam Mather connected with Derrick Hinton Jr. for a 10-yard scoring play.

That touchdown came after the Yellow Jackets had blocked a punt deep in Ferndale territory.

Although the Eagles (2-1 overall, 1-1 OAA Blue) answered back with a touchdown run by Zoser Little, a missed extra point allowed Avondale to maintain its lead.

Ferndale had possession late in the game, but turned the ball over on an interception.

After that, with no timeouts remaining, Ferndale coach Eric Royal said he strategically let Avondale score to get the ball back.

The Eagles were unable to capitalize on their last possession.

Aside from the possibility that a loss could have ended any realistic chance Avondale had at winning an OAA Blue title and qualifying for the playoffs, the team’s morale could have been at stake had Ferndale won the game.

"It’s really big because we came (into) this game 0-2, as the underdogs,” Hinton said. “Everybody had their heads down, and we had to come together as a team and play fast and play physical.”

Royal credited Avondale for being well coached. And although he wasn’t pleased to see his team turn the ball over multiple times and come up “short” when it came to desire in some parts of the game, Royal also thinks something could be gained from the loss.

“This could be a blessing in disguise,” he said. “We still control our destiny. We can still get all of our goals, in terms of a league championship, playoff berth and everything like that. Maybe this is a good sign in terms of knocking us back down to earth and getting back to playing our style of football.”

The first score of the game came via a touchdown pass from Ferndale quarterback KeShawn Smith to Anthony Merriman.

Avondale got an 80-yard kickoff return from Kobe Anthony later in the quarter.

The game was tied 7-7 at the half.

Ferndale plays at 7 p.m. Sept. 15 away against Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day.

Avondale will also be on the road, with the Yellow Jackets playing at 7 p.m. Sept. 15 against North Farmington.