North Farmington downs Farmington, claims OAA Blue and city championships

By: Zachary Manning | Online Only | Published October 18, 2019

 North Farmington's Myles Gresham carries the ball against Farmington Oct. 18. The Raiders won 13-9.

North Farmington's Myles Gresham carries the ball against Farmington Oct. 18. The Raiders won 13-9.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

 Farmington's Max Martin runs the ball against North Farmington Oct. 18. The loss moves the Falcons to 7-1 overall.

Farmington's Max Martin runs the ball against North Farmington Oct. 18. The loss moves the Falcons to 7-1 overall.

Photo by Donna Dalziel

FARMINGTON HILLS –– When North Farmington hired Jon Herstein to lead its football program prior to the 2019 season, the Raiders were in need of answers.  

The program had won just five games over the last three seasons and hadn’t made the state playoffs since 2013.

Herstein, a former Farmington Hills Harrison assistant, brought over multiple coaches from the Hawks’ program to help him begin the transformation.

The new-look Raiders cruised through their first seven games of the season, posting a 7-0 overall record and undefeated Oakland Activities Association Blue mark.

But Week 8 would provide the Raiders with their toughest challenge to date, with crosstown rival Farmington High coming to town.

Farmington made a run to a Division 3 regional final last season and also entered the game 7-0 overall and undefeated in OAA Blue play.

So for the Raiders, it was a chance to see where they stood against one of the top teams in the area. They would either rise with pressure or cave in the moment.

When the two teams met on the field Oct. 18, the stadium was filled and the emotions were high. 

“This is what high school football should be like. Two great teams going against each other, guys busting their butt, big time rivalry,” Herstein said after his team's 13-9 victory.

The two teams entered the half tied at 7-7, which left just 24 minutes to decide a winner.

The Raiders’ defense forced a Farmington punt to open the second half, giving the offense an opportunity to take a lead.

With the way the defenses had played, any score was going to be big. On the second play of the Raiders’ ensuing drive, senior fullback Jon Brunette took a handoff 58 yards to the end zone for a touchdown, giving the Raiders a 13-7 lead.

“My offensive line did a great job. I saw daylight, saw people miss, and I just ran for my life,” Brunette said.

That score would prove to be the difference in the game.

The win also pushes North Farmington to 8-0 overall and solidifies itself as a program on the rise.

“It just means so much,” Brunette said. “Both teams really wanted it. At the end of the day, we came out victorious.”

With the loss, Farmington drops to 7-1 overall, but the Falcons’ season is far from over. They have already clinched a playoff berth and have a chance to make another postseason run.

“We know there’s only two schools left in Farmington. We don’t like to lose this football game, but we know that we’re going to play big games like this for years to come. We might see them again this year. I hope we do,” Falcons coach Kory Cioroch said.

The Raiders will look to remain undefeated at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at home against Ypsilanti Lincoln.

The Falcons didn’t have a Week 9 game scheduled at press time.