Birmingham Groves senior running back Johhny Rex carries the ball Sept. 17 in a game against Farmington High on the road. Rex scored two touchdowns to help lead Groves to victory.

Birmingham Groves senior running back Johhny Rex carries the ball Sept. 17 in a game against Farmington High on the road. Rex scored two touchdowns to help lead Groves to victory.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Birmingham Groves holds off surging Farmington High

By: Jacob Herbert | Online Only | Published September 17, 2020

 Farmington High junior quarterback Jalen Silver attempts to shed a tackle Sept. 17 in a home loss to Groves. Silver accounted for one touchdown in the loss.

Farmington High junior quarterback Jalen Silver attempts to shed a tackle Sept. 17 in a home loss to Groves. Silver accounted for one touchdown in the loss.

Photo by Donna Agusti

FARMINGTON — The crisp chill in the air late in the year can only mean one thing, high school football is back in the state of Michigan. Farmington High and Birmingham Groves were part of a group that kicked off the delayed season Sept. 17 and while the air was cold, the play on the field heated up as Groves knocked off Farmington 42-31 on the road.

“It did feel surreal,” Groves coach Brendan Flaherty said. “It’s so awesome that we can play, and I’m just so happy that these guys can play football.”

It appeared as if Groves had the game locked up with 7:23 to play in the fourth quarter as it led Farmington 42-17. However, a 40-yard touchdown run by Farmington junior Jacob Sanders allowed his team to cut the lead to 42-24. The Royal Oak Shrine transfer would finish the game with two touchdowns on the ground. 

Following Sanders’ second score of the night, Farmington junior Larry Edwards picked up a Groves fumble and returned it for a touchdown to cut the lead down even further.

Groves would fumble again on the ensuing drive, setting Farmington up at its own 40-yard line with a chance to bring the game to within a single score. After a pair of fourth-down conversions that extended the drive, Groves senior defensive back Jackson Tinsley sealed the game with an interception. 

Aside from the two touchdowns from Sanders and the defensive score, Farmington added scores from Silver on a run play and a 37-yard field goal from senior Eli Bride.

Farmington coach Kory Cioroch said his team has a lot to fix before its next game, but he was encouraged by the fight and effort his team showed. The Farmington offense racked up a total of 307 yards, 120 passing and 187 rushing.

“I like coaching here because we have tough kids,” Cioroch said. “We made a lot of mental mistakes, but my kids are never not going to fight. I think the effort was a positive, we have a ton of things to clean up, but I don’t think effort is one of them."

The Groves offense seemed to pick up where it left off last season, even with all the players the team lost to graduation. On its second play of the game, senior quarterback Jack Woods took the ball to the house on a 56-yard run. Woods finished the game with two touchdowns on the ground and two in the air. The touchdown passes went to juniors Stavros Panos and Jaden Mangham.

Also adding to the scoring frenzy was senior Johnny Rex, who finshed with 205 yards total rushing, including two touchdowns on runs of 77 and 53 yards. The Groves offense exploded for 412 yards of offense as a whole.

“I was pleased with the execution,” Flaherty said of his offense. “For it being the first game against somebody else, the execution was pretty good in the first half. There’s stuff to build on.”

Farmington will look to rebound Sept. 25 when it travels to Birmingham Seaholm at 7 p.m. Groves will look to continue its winning ways Sept. 25 when it hosts Rochester Adams at 7 p.m.