Warren De La Salle senior linebacker Devin Campbell, left, blows up a play during an Aug. 31 win over Grandville High. After surrendering 36 points in a Week 1 loss to Muskegon High, De La Salle allowed just 14 points in its next four games.

Warren De La Salle senior linebacker Devin Campbell, left, blows up a play during an Aug. 31 win over Grandville High. After surrendering 36 points in a Week 1 loss to Muskegon High, De La Salle allowed just 14 points in its next four games.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes


De La Salle football defense wreaking havoc

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Warren Weekly | Published October 3, 2018

 Warren De La Salle football coach Mike Giannone talks with his players during a win earlier this season over Grandville High. The Pilots’ next game is against Davison High at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 on the road.

Warren De La Salle football coach Mike Giannone talks with his players during a win earlier this season over Grandville High. The Pilots’ next game is against Davison High at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 on the road.

Photo by Sean Work

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WARREN — Thirty six.

That’s the number of points the Warren De La Salle football team has given up in each of its last three season openers — all losses. 

Following each of those season-opening setbacks, though, the Pilots’ defense always rebounds. That’s the case this season too. 

At press time, De La Salle was 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the Catholic High School League Central Division. In Weeks 2 through 5, the defense has given up 14 points total. In those contests, the Pilots have an average margin of victory of 28.75 points.

On its way to the 2017 Division 2 state championship, De La Salle allowed just 11.2 points per game.

The unit is led by a group of seniors: cornerback Josh DeBerry, linemen Michael Young Jr. and Michael McGinnity, and linebackers Jacob Dobbs and Devin Campbell.

Dobbs, a team co-captain, led the team with 54 tackles — four for a loss; Young had 24 tackles, including six for a loss; Campbell had 20 tackles, including two sacks; McGinnity had 4.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks; and DeBerry — who coach Mike Giannone called a shutdown corner — had 20 tackles. 

Opposing teams haven’t challenged DeBerry much this season. He has just two pass breakups. 

“Our linebackers and defensive ends can put a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks,” Giannone said. “We have experience in all three areas of the defense. That makes a big difference.”

Following a 31-7 Sept. 21 win over Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, the Pilots had three regular-season games remaining.

De La Salle takes on Davison High (5-0) at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 on the road. It’s the first meeting between the programs. Davison was averaging 41.2 points per game. 

The Pilots then meet rival Novi Detroit Catholic Central (4-1) at 1 p.m. Oct. 14 on the road. De La Salle beat Catholic Central twice last season, letting up an average of 10 points per game. 

Then Oct. 19 or Oct. 20, the Pilots will either play in the Prep Bowl or in a crossover, if they don’t earn a spot, against an opponent to be named later. 

“This year is big for us,” Giannone said. “Particularly coming off a state championship. We’re going to get everybody’s best game.”

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