Everest closer to realizing season-long goal: a return to the Prep Bowl

Cardinal Mooney running back George Szep (5) finds the going is rough against Everest defenders. Everest prevailed 21-7 in its bid to return to the Prep Bowl that Cardinal Mooney denied them a year ago. (Photo courtesy of Tracy Ulewicz | Double Play photography)

CLARKSTON — Getting back to the Prep Bowl.

“That’s what our season has been all about. It was our first goal,” said Everest Collegiate running back James Nedwick after the Mountaineers trimmed Marine City Cardinal Mooney, 21-7, last Friday evening.

The victory was all the more meaningful because it came against the team a year ago that snapped the Mountaineers' streak of five consecutive appearances.

Everest is 3-0 (4-2 overall) atop the Catholic League Intersectional Division 2 standings with games remaining Oct. 6 at Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes (1-2; 3-3) and Oct. 13 versus Royal Oak Shrine (0-3; 0-6).

Who will fill the Intersectional D1 bracket Oct. 21 at Ford Field for the Cardinal Division championship may not be determined until Oct. 13 in a showdown between Ann Arbor Fr. Gabriel Richard and Macomb Lutheran North. They share first place with 2-0 records.

Everest’s junior Oliver Neiman returned the opening kickoff 35 yards to Mooney’s 48. In workmanlike fashion, the Mountaineers needed just seven plays to take a 7-0 lead. Sophomore Andrew Gaglio circled right end three yards for the touchdown.

The Cardinals responded with an equally efficient 11-play, 67-yard drive to tie the game. Senior George Szep accounted for 47 yards, starting with a 35-yard run and closing with a 5-yard burst into the end zone.

The character of the contest changed dramatically at the start of the third quarter. On Mooney’s second down, Everest’s senior linebacker Duncan Brown pounced on a fumble at Mooney’s 21-yard line. On the next play, Nedwick raced from there untouched for a touchdown and Everest took a 14-7 lead.

Two plays later, Everest recovered another Mooney fumble but turned the ball over five plays later when Everest quarterback Patrick Cooper was intercepted.

The quality of play further deteriorated, particularly for Cardinal Mooney, cited for five major penalties. Eventually, with 1:47 to play in the game, Nedwick iced the decision for Everest with a 10-yard touchdown.

“Like most games,” said first-year Mooney coach Dan Kilian, “it comes down to penalties and turnovers. We had a couple of drive-killers that really set us back. We just go back to the drawing board.”

The Cardinals (2-1; 3-3) host Allen Park Cabrini (1-2; 2-4) at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7.

Contact Don Horkey at [email protected].


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