U of D Jesuit, Divine Child get off to fast starts in pair of AA victories

Luke Walewski (12) leads the way for Dearborn Divine Child quarterback Vince Booth in the Falcons’ 30-16 victory over Detroit Loyola. Booth passed for 171 yards and two touchdowns in a CHSL Double-A match. (Photos courtesy of Carol Walewski)

HAZEL PARK — Four of the five teams in the CHSL's Double-A division clashed this past weekend on Hazel Park High School’s artificial turf.

On Friday evening, a jubilant crowd and a precision-sharp marching band celebrated University of Detroit Jesuit’s home-field advantage with a 40-3 shellacking of Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood.

On Saturday, before a sparse audience on a bright sunny afternoon, home field didn’t benefit Detroit Loyola in a 30-16 loss to Dearborn Divine Child.

Coaches from Ann Arbor Fr. Gabriel Richard, the fifth division team, were interested spectators Saturday. The Fighting Irish host Loyola on Sept. 20.

Cubs overwhelm the Cranes

U of D Jesuit scored half of their points before the game was seven minutes old. The Cubs took the opening kickoff 80 yards in seven plays. Nick Johnson scored from four yards out.

The Cubs took advantage of a poor Cranes punt for a 46-yard drive in four downs, Johnson scoring again from two yards out.

Following Carson Hinton’s interception of an errant Cranes pass on U of D’s 21-yard line, sophomore quarterback Nate Brown hit speedy wide receiver Andre Spivey in stride for a 78-yard play. Brown plunged the final yard to make it 21-0.

U of D put together another 80-yard journey in the second quarter, this time in nine plays, with Hinton skirting right end for three yards for the touchdown. Johnson then hit the end zone for a third time, set up by Elijah Rikard’s pass interception. Aaron Richard Jr. dashed 16 yards for U-D’s final touchdown.

Brown completed his first six passes, and was 8 for 10 for 186 yards overall.

Richard was the Cubs' workhorse, with 25 carries for 163 yards. Johnson gained 80 yards on nine runs.

Cranbrook didn’t get on the board until there were 53 seconds left to play on a 29-yard field goal by Chase Paulus.

The Cubs defense made life uncomfortable all game long for Cranes sophomore quarterback Shane Wittenberg. He completed five of 16 attempts, was intercepted three times and sacked five times. Cranbrook’s offense amounted to 137 yards.

U of D next plays Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice from the Central Division on Friday, Sept. 13, at 7:30 p.m. at Lawrence Tech in Southfield, Rice’s home field.

Cranbrook hosts Riverview Gabriel Richard at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.

Falcons soar over the Bulldogs

Divine Child’s spread offense was just too much for Loyola to handle.

Only a half-dozen of sophomore quarterback Vince Booth’s 20 completions (of 27 attempts; good for 171 yards) went more than 10 yards downfield as he repeatedly connected on the flanks with his running backs.

Running back Colin Kelly finds an opening created by Simon Jones (20), Joe Neumann (83) and Brady Ploucha (52) en route to a good day rushing and receiving against Loyola. He caught eight passes for 84 yards and one touchdown.

Senior Colin Kelly was Booth’s favorite of five receivers he targeted, snaring eight passes for 84 yards. One went for a touchdown that typified the Falcons’ style. He caught the short four-yard pass and scrambled 23 more yards down the right sideline to the end zone.

Adam Kuczajda opened DC’s scoring with a four-yard sweep of left end.

On the ensuing play, senior linebacker Uchenna Osumadi caught a deflected Loyola pass to set up Booth’s 13-yard touchdown pass to Joe Neumann.

Simon Jones picked up 56 tough yards in 24 carries, one of them a one-yard touchdown. 

The sudden chain of events at the start of the game put Loyola into a 14-0 hole that it couldn’t escape.

Loyola’s offense was at a virtual standstill, just 93 yards. The Bulldogs’ touchdowns came in dramatic style on Johndale Chestnut’s 86-yard return of a kickoff in the second quarter and an 88-yard romp with an interception by Marquise Henderson.

Loyola coach John Callahan said, “We’ll get better. We’re aiming to get into the state playoffs.”

By the way, what a contrast the sunshine posed for Loyola from a week earlier in losing the season opener, 19-6 at Lowell. The game was suspended by rain and lightning at halftime and resumed after nearly four hours. The team didn’t arrive home until 4 a.m.

Both teams are back at Hazel Park High School this weekend: Divine Child hosts Pontiac Notre Dame at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and Loyola welcomes London (Canada) Catholic Central at 1 p.m. the next day.

Crossing the borders to play

Loyola meeting London (Canada) Catholic Central this weekend is one of seven games CHSL teams will play against opponents from across Michigan's border.

Last Friday, Brother Rice hosted Windsor Holy Name and treated them to a 53-3 pasting. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s traveled to Angola, Ind., for a 40-3 victory.

Warren De La Salle took out its frustration over the Muskegon loss by demolishing London (Canada) St. Thomas Aquinas 64-0.

Novi Detroit Catholic Central welcomed Toledo Whitmer, who didn’t play like a gracious guest, beating the Shamrocks 14-7. Detroit Catholic Central plays at Toledo Catholic Central this Friday.

And, finally, Brother Rice hosts Guerin Catholic from Noblesville, Ind., on Oct. 11.