Cousino runs past Ford

Patriots top Falcons, locks up MAC White, playoff berth

By: Jon Malavolti | C&G Newspapers | Published October 14, 2011

 Warren Cousino senior running back Israel Hicks (28) ran for a pair of touchdowns as the Patriots beat Utica Ford II 42-6 Oct. 14 at home, clinching the MAC White title outright and a playoff berth.

Warren Cousino senior running back Israel Hicks (28) ran for a pair of touchdowns as the Patriots beat Utica Ford II 42-6 Oct. 14 at home, clinching the MAC White title outright and a playoff berth.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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WARREN — Warren Cousino got a big win thanks to a big night from its ground game.

The Patriots locked up the Macomb Area Conference White Division title and a state playoff berth thanks to six rushing touchdowns in a 42-6 victory over Utica Ford II Oct. 14 at home.

“Our kids played really, really good,” Cousino coach Mike Powell said. “I’m very proud of our Patriots. Bottom line is, we’re back in the playoffs and we’re really excited about that.”

Both teams entered the game 5-2 overall, in search of a sixth win and an automatic state playoff berth. Cousino also locked up sole possession of first place in the league. The Patriots came into the game already guaranteed a share of the MAC White crown sporting a 4-0 league record, while Ford was 3-1 and in a tie with Grosse Pointe North for second. The win pushed Cousino to a perfect 5-0 mark in the division.

“That’s huge too,” Powell said of winning the league. “One of the goals this week was to be outright MAC White champs, and that’s what we accomplished. Credit goes to all those kids and our coaching staff.”

The Patriots got on the board first thanks to a touchdown by senior Troy Cross with a little less then four minutes to play in the first quarter. Senior Stephen Annoni scored on a 2-point conversion to give the Patriots an 8-0 lead.

Cross scored on another run a few minutes later, but Cousino failed to convert the 2-point attempt to leave the hosts up 14-0 with 10:30 to play in the opening half.

Senior Israel Hicks enhanced the Patriots’ lead a little more than two minutes later, scoring on a 50-yard touchdown run. The play came immediately after Cousino recovered a Ford fumble at midfield. Cross connected with Annoni on another 2-point play to give the Patriots a 20-0 lead.

Hicks found the endzone once again at the 3:12 mark on another touchdown run. The Patriots missed the ensuing 2-point attempt, leaving them up 28-0 heading into the half.

In the second half, Cross scored on a short run while the Patriots missed another 2-point attempt to put Cousino ahead 34-0 with 3:24 left in the third quarter.

The home team put its final points up on the board with 9:31 left to play as Annoni snuck in from short distance and junior Darnell Parham scored on a 2-point play to make it 42-0.

Ford finally found the endzone with five minutes to play as Alex Gauronskas ran in for a score. The Falcons missed a 2-point as the score settled at 42-6.

Ford fell to 3-2 in the division and 5-3 overall, needing a win in the final week of the season to automatically qualify for the playoffs.

“They came out and they took it to us from play number one,” Ford coach Todd Winters said about Cousino. “They ran the ball down our throat. They executed what they wanted to do very well — we did not. They came out ready to win a championship tonight. They wanted it, they went after it, and they got it.”

Ford hosts Macomb Dakota at 7 p.m. Oct. 21 in the regular season finale. The Falcons fell 28-20 to the Cougars in a district playoff game last year.

“We’re 5-3, and we’ve got Dakota, and last year we played them pretty tough in the playoffs,” Winters said. “We just have to come back, regroup on Monday and tell our kids that they have a shot, play for that one shot.”

Cousino plays at Utica Eisenhower at 7 p.m. Oct. 21 in its regular season finale.
 

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