Utica High downs Grosse Pointe North

By: Zachary Manning | Online Only | Published September 6, 2019

 Utica High's Sami Elfakir runs the ball against Grosse Pointe North Sept. 6. Utica defeated North 41-6.

Utica High's Sami Elfakir runs the ball against Grosse Pointe North Sept. 6. Utica defeated North 41-6.

Photo by Sean Work

GROSSE POINTE WOODS –– After falling to Grosse Pointe North 21-17 a season ago, Utica High looked determined to leave the field on different terms when it played the Norsemen Sept. 6 on the road.

Opening the game with the ball, the Chieftains marched down the field on a nine play, 70-yard drive, resulting in a 6-yard touchdown run by Sami Elfakir.

Following the score, Utica scooped up a fumble on the kickoff and started its second drive of the game at the Norsemen 27-yard line. Less than two minutes later, Zackri Jacobs plunged into the end zone from 5 yards out to give his team a 14-0 lead.

“We started quick. We were able to make some plays early and get a couple touchdowns. That helped us out,” Utica coach Matt Marulli said.

That would be all the Utica defense would need, as the Chieftains stifled the Norsemen offense all game long. The unit collected a safety, hauled in two interceptions, added four sacks and allowed the Norsemen to run just five plays in their territory.

Later in the game, Zach Keen and Brett Berg would hookup for two touchdowns and Elfakir had another rushing touchdown. Utica would eventually go on to win 41-6.

“They made some huge plays,” Marulli said of his defense. “We knew they had some guys on their offense that could make some plays, and we’ve been preparing for that all week. Our defense did a great job of coming in and shutting them down and making some plays for us.”

With the loss, North falls to 0-2 overall, and penalties hurt the Norsemen throughout the game. In total, North committed 15 penalties in the contest.

Offensively, North’s lone score came in the third quarter when Brendan Cwiklinski found Dynale Washington streaking down the sideline for a 50-yard touchdown pass.

“I thought we had a good offensive game plan going into it,” North coach Joe Drouin said. “The plays were there, but the attention to detail wasn’t there.”  

Utica will hit the field again at 7 p.m. Sept. 13 at home against Utica Ford II.

North will look to pick up its first win at 7 p.m. Sept. 13 at Macomb L’Anse Creuse North.