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Notre Dame Prep falls to Flint Powers Catholic

By: Zachary Manning | Online Only | Published November 15, 2019

 Pontiac Notre Dame Prep's Jacob Bendtsen carries the ball against Flint Powers Catholic Nov. 15. Prep fell 12-9.

Pontiac Notre Dame Prep's Jacob Bendtsen carries the ball against Flint Powers Catholic Nov. 15. Prep fell 12-9.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

PONTIAC –– Taking on Flint Powers Catholic in a Division 4 regional final Nov. 15 at home, the Pontiac Notre Dame Prep football team had a chance to make history.

The Fighting Irish came in at 10-1 overall, tying the most wins in school history. A win would break that record and allow the program to make its first state semifinal.

Early in the fourth quarter, Prep was in a battle, holding a slim 9-6 lead over Powers Catholic, thanks to a 1-yard rushing touchdown by Connor Gaeschke.

The clock slowly ticked away in the final period, with Powers Catholic doing anything it could to put points on the board.

With just under six minutes left to play, Donavan Franklin took a handoff and powered his way in from 9 yards out to put the Chargers up 12-9.

Prep would have a chance to tie or take the lead but couldn't cash in, falling 12-9.

“It was huge. They were blocking for me, and I saw the hole, I just had to get it,” Franklin said. “I love these guys to the end. To the moon and back.”

With the loss, Prep ends its season at 10-2 overall. Fighting Irish coach Pat Fox was proud of the way his team played in the game and during the season.

This was Prep’s first time playing in a regional final game since 2004.

“We had a great year. We have great kids, fought hard,” Fox said. “We have a great school; we do things the right way, and we’re very proud of who our kids are and how they played.”  

The Fighting Irish will lose 19 seniors from this squad, and Fox was appreciative of their leadership and all they did for the program over the years.

He added that this year’s group of seniors taught his younger players how to be great leaders and hopes to continue building on this year’s success.

“What a great group of kids,” Fox said of his seniors. “They turned out to be one of the best leaders we’ve ever had, really good performers.”