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Ferndale High football comes up short against Allen Park High

By: Mark Vest | Woodward Talk | Published October 4, 2019

 Ferndale High running back Kelvin Lileton attempts to avoid being tackled against Allen Park High Oct. 4. With an 8-0 loss, Ferndale is 2-4 on the season.

Ferndale High running back Kelvin Lileton attempts to avoid being tackled against Allen Park High Oct. 4. With an 8-0 loss, Ferndale is 2-4 on the season.

Photo by Brian Sevald

FERNDALE — Ferndale High football’s playoff chances took a hit with an 8-0 loss against Allen Park High Oct. 4 at home.

With the loss, Ferndale is 2-4 overall (2-2 Oakland Activities Association Blue Division).

Allen Park improved to 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the Downriver League.

The only touchdown of the game came in the first quarter when Allen Park senior Nico Tiberia ran the ball in for an 8-yard score.

That touchdown was followed by a 2-point conversion.

Although Ferndale had chances to score in the fourth quarter, the Eagles were hurt by two fumbles and an interception. The interception came when Ferndale had the ball with less than one minute remaining on the game clock.

“Unfortunately, we just shot ourselves in the foot too many times at crucial times, and a good team like Allen Park is (going to) take advantage of it,” said Ferndale coach Eric Royal. “We fought ‘til the very end. … Just didn’t come out on the winning end.”

With the loss, Ferndale is out of contention to earn an automatic playoff berth, as it takes six wins to guarantee a spot. However, some teams can still make the playoffs with five wins. In order to even have a chance, the Eagles have to win each of the three remaining regular-season games on their schedule.

“We have everything in front of us to still make the playoffs,” Royal said. “We have (an) undefeated (Beverly Hills Detroit) Country Day team, potentially, coming in Week 9. … There’s 30 teams that make the playoffs at 5-4 every year. Why not us? So, we got (to) go out and close the season out with all wins.”

With its victory, Allen Park snapped a two-game losing streak.

“I thought our defense (and) special teams played really well; I thought our offense struggled,” Allen Park coach Tom Danosky said. “Sometimes, we’d move the ball and then would stall out, so to speak. I’m glad the way they kept battling, but we need to get better. … We were able to find a way, so I’ll take the win, for sure.”

Despite a disappointing loss, Royal has seen some things to like from his team recently.

“Actually, I think we’re (starting) to turn a corner,” he said. “We started off very slow. … We made some changes these last two weeks and got some momentum, got some confidence. We saw our level of play become better, but we still got some work to do. I think (we’re) trying to find our identity”

Less of what happened Friday night can help the Eagles in their attempt at a playoff spot.

“We have so many turnovers this year,” Royal said. “All the games that we lost (we’ve) been turning the ball over, losing (the) turnover battle.”

Up next, Ferndale plays at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at home against Auburn Hills Avondale.

Allen Park plays at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 away against Wyandotte Roosevelt.