Key defensive stand helps Detroit Country Day defeat Muskegon Heights, 21-18, in high school football action
Jake Thielen | MLive.com, September 26, 2010 2:42 p.m.
Detroit Country Day improved its record to 5-0 on Saturday afternoon, in part due to a goal-line stand that helped preserve a 21-18 victory over Muskegon Heights in a matchup of independent teams.
Trailing by nine points with just over six minutes left in the game, Muskegon Heights faced a fourth-and-goal situation from the Detroit Country Day 2-yard line.
Muskegon Heights running back Adam Ross took the handoff and was met immediately by a host of Country Day defenders, who stopped him from crossing the goal line.
The defensive stand was a key moment in a game that Detroit Country Day controlled early, but nearly let slip away.
Detroit Country Day coach Dan MacLean spoke about his team’s second half struggles after the game.
“Our tempo wasn’t where I’d like it to be,” MacLean said. “You’ve got to finish the deal.
“We always seem to have to make it exciting like this, but I’ll take it.”
The Yellow Jackets built a 14-0 lead in the second quarter on short touchdown runs by running back Lee Bailey and quarterback Josh Harris.
Harris’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Knight in the second quarter gave the Yellow Jackets a 21-6 lead heading into halftime.
The Yellow Jackets had 11 first downs in the first half, while Muskegon Heights ran only 17 total plays.
Muskegon Heights quarterback Willie Snead IV was held to just over 50 yards of total offense in the half, as Detroit Country Day used its time of possession advantage to keep him off the field.
“That was kind of the hope, was that we would be able to keep the ball,” MacLean said. “That’s kind of the best defense of all, when you can keep Willie from under center.”
In the second half, though, Snead took control of the game, nearly leading his team to a comeback victory.
Snead finished the game 10-of-18 passing for 159 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 127 yards rushing on 20 attempts, but he had two costly fumbles, including one inside the Detroit Country Day 5-yard line.
“What Willie can do is, when the play breaks down, he’s at his most dangerous,” MacLean said. “He makes a lot of plays for them, and he’s a good player.
“I felt we did a really good job in the first half on him, but you just knew they were going to come back.”
Snead threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Jaleen Brooks early in the fourth quarter that cut the lead to 21-12, after the two-point conversion failed.
Two plays before the failed fourth-and-goal attempt, Snead had another sure touchdown pass dropped by a wide-open receiver.
His 10-yard touchdown pass to Darryl Terrell brought the Tigers within three points with 38 seconds left, but the ensuing onside kick was recovered by Detroit Country Day.
The Yellow Jackets were able to run out the clock to preserve the victory.
Detroit Country Day (5-0) will travel to Linden for its next game on Oct. 8. Muskegon Heights (3-2) will face 5-0 Lansing Sexton on Oct. 1.