Porter leads Berkley past Birmingham Groves, 13-6, in Oakland Activities Association football
Jake Thielen | MLive.com, September 13, 2010
Berkley High School needed to overcome both a determined Birmingham Groves team and the weather to stay undefeated on the season.
With a steady rain falling throughout the game, Berkley abandoned its passing attack and relied on running back Terrell Porter to lead the team to a 13-6 victory in its Oakland Activities Association Blue Division football game on Saturday.
Porter finished the game with 27 carries for 150 yards and touchdown runs of 37 and 6 yards.
With the win, Berkley improved to 3-0 on the season and 2-0 in the division. Birmingham Groves dropped to 1-2 overall and 1-2 in the division.
Berkley head coach Jim MacDougall was impressed with the way his team battled for a victory.
“We’ve been able to put up big numbers for the last couple years,” MacDougall said. “When you face a gritty team like that in these conditions, you have to overcome some things.”
The game was delayed for 30 minutes in the first quarter due to lightning in the area. By the time play resumed, the heavy rain had already started.
Both teams had difficulty holding onto the football in the wet conditions. Birmingham Groves had four fumbles, and lost three, while Berkley fumbled the ball three times, and lost it all three times.
Groves receivers also had two costly drops on passes that would have resulted in touchdowns, and another on a two-point conversion attempt in the second quarter.
MacDougall said that he was able to make good use of the lightning delay.
“We didn’t play very well early,” MacDougall said. “That lightning break may have saved us, because we went in there and made a number of adjustments because they were slashing us pretty good.”
Groves scored first after the delay, following a muffed punt by Berkley that Groves recovered on the Berley 5-yard line. Groves running back Jalen Spicer took the handoff on the next play and ran straight up the middle for a touchdown.
Berkley answered right back when Porter broke several tackles on a 37-yard touchdown run near the halway point of the second quarter. Porter added a 6-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter that extended the Berkley lead to seven.
MacDougall praised Porter’s gritty performance after the game.
“He’s the best running back I’ve coached, and I’ve been a head coach for 41 years,” MacDougall said. “They got to him pretty good, but he’s been nursing a little bump and bruise here. But he came up tough when he had to.”