CHSL Prep Bowl XLVII displays a veritable feast of CYO and high school football

West Catholic quarterback Vincent Marcon stiff-arms St. Regis defender Andrew Kulka during Prep Bowl XLVII at Ford Field in Detroit on Oct. 19. West Catholic came away with the victory and the C/D CYO championship, 24-13. (Photos by Mr. Mack Photography)

St. Anne, West Catholic come away victorious in CYO championships; CHSL titles to be decided this weekend

DETROIT — “This was a fine example of CYO football on display.”

Coach Tom Maclean’s reflection, graciously made in the aftermath of his heartbroken players from Bloomfield Hills St. Regis losing in overtime, could well serve as the theme for the daylong football feast at Ford Field on Oct. 19.

Carrying on with the notion of a “feast,” the Catholic League’s 2019 Prep Bowl XLVII, usually served in one a.m.-to-p.m. helping, will last a week this time — “Prep Bowl Week I”? — according to CHSL director Vic Michaels. An explanation will follow, but you might want to keep a supply of Pepto handy.

The appetizer: CYO championship

I can imagine a youngster going to bed in his football uniform with visions dancing in his head of playing on the same field as his Detroit Lions heroes.

You wonder how early the kids from the Ann Arbor Saints squad or from Pontiac Marist Academy had to get up to make it to downtown Detroit for a 7:50 a.m. kick off, not even for a full game, but for a 20-minute exhibition.

Northwest Catholic, Utica St. Lawrence, Dearborn Divine Child and Rochester Hills Holy Family Regional No. 1 followed suit to set the table for the championship games.

Warren St. Anne (8-0) topped Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes (7-2) for the C/D Division title, 24-13, in the first game.

St. Anne took advantage of a Lakers gamble early in the first quarter to jump in front, 8-0.

Warren St. Anne CYO football players hoist the C/D Division championship trophy Oct. 19 during Prep Bowl XLVII at Ford Field after a 24-13 victory over Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes.  

On fourth down and six from their own 33-yard line, Lakers quarterback Bill Burton faked a punt and threw an incomplete pass.

It took the Eagles just four plays to score on an 18-yard pass from quarterback Dylan Trondle to running back Kandaki Sherman. Landon Ryska kicked for two extra points. In CYO rules, extra points are worth two points if kicked, one point for a run or pass.

Trondle connected on another touchdown pass midway in the second quarter, a four-yard flip to halfback Eddie Cesar. Ryska converted again to make it 16-0.

The Lakers responded with a drive from their own 29 to the Eagles' 21, only to see that threat fizzle when Cesar intercepted Burton’s pass at the 2-yard line.

A bungled center snap on a punt attempt on St. Anne’s 30-yard line gave new life to the Lakers to start the third quarter.

Burton hit end Brody Kosin for consecutive 13-yard and 4-yard passes, the latter good for a touchdown. A missed extra point attempt made it a 16-6 game.

On the ensuing onside kick-off, St. Anne took possession on the Lakers' 39. Cesar ran eight yards for the touchdown and Ryska converted the extra points to wind up the scoring for the game.

Cesar carried the ball 13 times for 59 yards, scored two touchdowns, and intercepted two passes. He’ll be taking his gridiron talents to Macomb Lutheran North next fall.

Trondle completed eight of 17 passes for 58 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw four interceptions. On defense, he made two interceptions. He’s thinking of University of Detroit Jesuit for his next step. His father and coach, Jerry Trondle, is a 1995 De La Salle alum, is hoping his son will become a fellow Pilot.

On the Lakers side, Joey Ross covered 65 yards in 11 carries. Burton was five for 17, but four were intercepted. Kosin caught four passes for 42 yards and a score.

“We played our best game,” Lakers coach Chris Mersito said. “We emptied our playbook.”

West Catholic players show off their A/B Division CYO championship trophy Oct. 19 at Ford Field.

West Catholic, representing the Canton-Livonia area, came up short in regulation to claim the CYO’s A/B Division championship, but got the job done in overtime for a thrilling 22-20 victory over St. Regis.

In overtime, each team started on the 10-yard line.

West Catholic went first and wasted no time, taking three plays to cross into the end zone. Halfback John Almeda plunged ahead for four yards, Matthew Aleva rushed the ball down to the 1-yard line, and quarterback Vince Marcon applied the finishing touch on a sneak.

Logan Pheiffer kicked the extra two points for a 22-14 lead.

St. Regis quarterback Aidan Agbay’s pass to Gabe Winowich gained only a yard. An illegal procedure penalized the Raiders back to the 14. Agbay fired a bullet over the middle to Andrew Zawahdeh, who dived across the goal line to make it 22-20.

A successful extra point kick would tie the score and the teams would be declared co-champions.

Eighth-grader Victoria Miller has been the Raiders’ kicker all season long. “She’s a deadeye,” said coach Maclean. “We didn’t want to make too much that she’s a girl. She made a 30-yard field goal during the season. She just wanted to play and help the team.”

Her kick was blocked by Aleva streaking from the right side. “No one touched me,” he said.

West coach Scott Bobin employed eight different runners for 27 carries and 156 yards. Quarterback Marcon completed five of nine passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. He was sacked three times for 15 yards and threw an interception.

St. Regis' Gabe Winowich races for a first down Oct. 19 against West Catholic. 

Marcon, by the way, has either Catholic Central or Orchard Lake St. Mary’s in his sight for high school.

Agbay and Winowich comprised the totality of St. Regis’ offense. Agbay completed five passes for 73 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception.

Winowich rushed 20 times for 150 yards, one touchdown running, one touchdown via a pass, and an interception on defense. He will be attending Detroit Country Day next year.

The pair combined on a 60-yard touchdown pass play near the end of the first quarter. Miller kicked the extra points for an 8-0 lead.

Midway through the second quarter, Marcon found end Brody Wojcik with a 28-yard touchdown spiral. Pheiffer’s extra point attempt was wide to make it an 8-6 game at halftime.

Both teams scored in the third quarter. Winowich swept left end and raced 55 yards along the sideline for a touchdown and a 14-6 lead. Miller’s kick was blocked, but it didn’t seem consequential at the time.

With three seconds remaining in the quarter, West Catholic assembled a seven-play, 52-yard drive, climaxed by Wojcik’s 8-yard run. The key play was a 46-yard pass from Marcon to tight end Jordan McKeith. Pheiffer’s kick tied the score at 14-14.

St. Regis threatened to retake the lead with a 32-yard drive in the fourth quarter. Winowich carried the ball eight times and caught a two-yard pass.

On fourth down and less than a yard at West Catholic’s 24, Winowich’s effort to go up the middle for a drive-saving first down was met by a mound of humanity. To the consternation of St. Regis fans, officials eyeballed the placement of the ball rather than bringing in the chains for a measurement and determined that the Raiders were inches short.

“We knew it would be rough,” Maclean said. “We prepared. We thought we had a good plan.”

“It was a 40-minute war,” coach Bobin said. “God is good. It’s a blessing to be here, in the CYO where we are teaching kids playing football and helping them to know Jesus.”

The entrée: High school football

Sorry, no rebates or refunds on this part of the feast. The high school games were on the opposite end of the excitement and interest scale.

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Prep built a 35-0 halftime lead en route to a 42-0 shutout of Dearborn Divine Child.

Riverview Gabriel Richard was equally inhospitable to its Downriver neighbor, smothering Allen Park Cabrini 44-3.

Only Warren De La Salle worked up a sweat in the last game on the schedule, holding off feisty U-D Jesuit, 17-7.

The grand entrée: CHSL championships

Here’s where we can make it up to you. However, you’re going to have to travel to Ypsilanti and Eastern Michigan University.

The CHSL couldn’t change its reservation for Ford Field for next Saturday, Oct. 26, because the Lions' den had been spoken for a concert by a country western entertainer. So, the CHSL is reverting to a site it once upon a time used for its events.

Here’s what’s on the menu:

At noon, a showdown between the two top Double A teams: champ U-D Jesuit (5-3, 4-0) and runner-up Divine Child (4-4, 3-1). The Cubs clipped Falcons four weeks ago, 32-0.

At 2:30 p.m., this should be a lulu: a clash between undefeated Intersectional champs — Riverview Gabriel Richard (7-1, 3-0) and Clarkston Everest (5-1, 4-0). Some of you might remember one of the most exciting games in Prep Bowl history a year ago when Everest slipped past Richard 36-35 — blocking a game-winning field goal with 11 seconds to play. Just like those CYO kids.

At 5 p.m., two monsters of the Central Division: St. Mary’s Prep (7-1, 2-1) and Novi Detroit Catholic Central (4-4, 2-1). The Shamrocks two weeks ago spoiled the Eaglets' perfect season, 20-14. There’s a lot of pride at stake.

Now, you know why you should stock up on Pepto.

Contact Don Horkey at [email protected].