Detroit Catholic Central has 11-minute drive in 27-7 win over Warren De La Salle in Catholic League Central Division play
Jake Thielen | MLive.com, September 27, 2010 5:23 p.m.
Detroit Catholic Central improved to 5-0 on the season, and 1-0 in Catholic League play, by running the ball and dominating time of possession in its 27-7 victory over Warren De La Salle on Sunday afternoon.
In the third quarter alone, De La Salle (4-1) kicked off to begin the second half, already trailing Catholic Central 21-0. The Pilots didn’t get the ball back until only 53 seconds remained in the quarter.
Detroit Catholic Central’s 11:07 drive to begin the quarter was a statement as to how effective its running attack was all game long in the Central Division matchup.
Catholic Central coach Tom Mach said he had never seen a drive like that before.
“That was a great effort on our line and backs’ part,” Mach said. “We had 125 yards on that drive, I think, with penalties.”
Catholic Central was called for three penalties on the drive, two for holding and one for illegal procedure, but the setbacks didn’t slow down the offense.
“That’s what we try to do,” Mach said. “We try to keep the ball away from the other people if we can because it keeps them off the field.”
The drive ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Anthony Darkangelo, his second of the game, and it put Catholic Central up 27-0. Darkangelo finished the game with 11 carries for 63 yards and the two touchdowns.
De La Salle coach Paul Verska credited Catholic Central for its strong performance.
“They just took the ball and controlled it,” Verska said. “They’re a very good football team.
“It’s going to take a heck of a team to beat them.”
Catholic Central kept the De La Salle defense off balance by mixing up the running backs and running some plays out of a shotgun formation.
“It was a little bit of a spread,” Mach said. “We actually practiced that.
“I’ll tell you one thing, I was worried about the snap to the quarterback. We haven’t run that at all this year, so that worked out well for us.”
Mach said he thought the difference in the game was the way his offensive line opened up holes for the running backs.
“It was won up front,” Mach said. “It wasn’t anything spectacular that we planned on doing, it was just the battle of the lines and the battle of the backs running hard.
“They kept getting the first downs that we needed.”
Catholic Central running back Justin Messner ran the ball 10 times for 93 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Quarterback Mike Birney added a 22-yard touchdown run, and running back Justin D’Agostino had 17 carries for 82 yards.
Catholic Central’s bid to post its fourth shutout of the season was ended when De La Salle’s Damorria Lilly scored on a 6-yard run with 1:47 left in the fourth quarter. Lilly finished the game with 10 carries for 33 yards and a touchdown.
“Our kids played hard, we just couldn’t match up physically with them,” Verska said. “It’s a long season and we just played a great football team.
“They set the bar high every year, and now we know what it takes. Hopefully, our younger kids will just keep working to get better.”
De La Salle, 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the conference, will host Inkster (1-4) next week. Catholic Central will put its undefeated record on the line as the team travels to Detroit U-D Jesuit (2-3).