ORCHARD LAKE – Jermaine Gonzales has been around sports, particularly football as player, coach and athletic director, to know the impact of the time-worn truism he uttered in the wake of Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 22-8 season-opening loss to Rochester Adams last Friday evening.
“Who can make the less mistakes and who can execute off the mistakes,” Gonzales said which pretty much summarized the plight of both teams, more so the Eaglets.
Less than five minutes into the game, Adams returned an intercepted pass by St. Mary’s QB Alex Newell 40 yards for a 7-0 lead. Three minutes later, Newell’s throw was deflected by an Adams lineman, then fumbled by a St. Mary’s receiver, the loose ball picked up for a 42-yard TD run.
Adams scored a 20-yard pass play near the end of the first quarter. The Eaglets scored in the second quarter via a 21-yard pass from Newell to senior wide receiver Zane Wilson and a safety.
All told, Newell, a junior making his first start under center, tossed four interceptions.
“We got to clean up some stuff on offense,” Gonzales said. About Newell, “He’s a great leader, a tough kid. He’ll rally the troops. Axel’ll carry us all the way through. I’m looking for him to be doing better.”
Gonzales couldn’t say enough about the Eaglets defense. “We got a fast defense, very physical. We’re going to be all right. They made stops when they had to. They had turnovers when they had to (two recovered fumbles, an interception). Our defense showed that we can be the best in the state.”
St. Mary’s faces three away games in a row, starting Sept. 1 at Toledo St. John’s Jesuit, then at Warren De La Salle Feb. 8, and at Novi Detroit Catholic Central Feb. 15.
A near 24-hour football game
It took nearly 24 hours for De La Salle and Davison to conclude their season opener. The game started about 7 p.m. Thursday evening at Atwood Stadium in Flint and wound up about 6 p.m. the next afternoon on Davison’s field.
Play was suspended at halftime Thursday evening with lightning and storm threats in the area. The teams agreed to resume the contest at 4:30 p.m. the next day.
“We didn’t get home until after midnight,” Pilots AD and coach Dan Rohn said. “The kids were back at the school for classes at 7 in the morning. We left about 1 o’clock. It took us two hours to get to Davison because of a lot of road construction.”
De La Salle led 14-0 at the half on Thursday evening, but lost 31-26 on Friday afternoon in the final 19 seconds. Damian King scored two touchdowns and Phoenix Glassnor and Sante Gasperoni each scored one.
The Pilots will be on the road again this Friday, Sept. 1, at Muskegon.
Everest had to relocate, too
Weather was a factor in Clarkston Everest Collegiate having to open its season against Ubly on the road rather than at home. Recent heavy rains made Everest’s natural grass field unplayable. “It would have been a mud bath,” one person said.
Instead of kicking off at 7 p.m. Thursday evening, the teams met at 2 p.m. the next day in
Ubly. To make matters worse for Everest, the Mountaineers were walloped, 50-13.
Toledo Central Catholic and Detroit Catholic Central will clash at 7 p.m. Friday in Toledo. We’re certain Central Catholic versus Catholic Central will never get confusing.
Catholic High School League teams didn’t fare well in season-opening football, winning seven games and losing 15.
Of small consolation for Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice fans, stunned when the Warriors were shut out 41-0 by Roseville last Thursday. It was the first time in 28 games they were scoreless since Nov. 13, 2020 (13-0 vs. Chelsea), but just the 11th time in 311 games since Nov. 1, 1996 (28-0 vs. Catholic Central). Rice hosts Toledo St. Francis de Sales at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31.
Contact Don Horkey at [email protected]