Mike Birney leads Detroit Catholic Central past Detroit Mumford, 42-6, in a first-round state Division 1 playoff football game
Jake Thielen | MLive.com, November 01, 2010 11:34 a.m.
Mike Birney only threw two passes on Saturday afternoon, but both went for touchdowns, as Detroit Catholic Central won its first-round state playoff matchup with Detroit Mumford, 42-6.
The defending state champion Shamrocks (8-2) will move on to host Northville (9-1) in a second-round game set for 1 p.m. Saturday. Northville beat Livonia Franklin 37-7 on Friday night.
Birney finished the game with 80 total yards and three total touchdowns.
“Mike has done a great job for us this year, and he’s turning into a very good quarterback,” Catholic Central coach Tom Mach said. “He runs the team very well.
“He’s a runner and a passer, so we have great confidence in both areas.”
Catholic Central took control of the game early, after Birney’s 17-yard rushing touchdown gave the Shamrocks a 7-0 lead just three minutes into the game.
“The blocking from my line really helped,” Birney said. “I had a lot of time for the pass and good fakes by the running backs for the run to get me going.”
Detroit Mumford’s Jarelle Leavell returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards to the Catholic Central 10-yard line, setting up Jalen Holley’s 2-yard rushing touchdown on fourth-and-goal to make the score 7-6.
Mumford chose to go for a two-point conversion, but Holley was stopped just short of the goal line.
That was as close as the Mustangs would get, however, as Catholic Central was able to control the clock and keep the Mumford offense off the field.
“Our line did a very good job and our backs ran hard,” Mach said. “We did what we wanted to do on offense as far as controlling the football and controlling the clock.
“That’s what we wanted to do, and try to keep them off the field as long as possible, and we were able to do that today.”
Catholic Central running back Justin Messner rushed for 90 yards on seven carries. His 15-yard touchdown reception on Birney’s first pass of the game extended the Shamrock lead to 14-6.
Running back Wyatt Shallman added 20 yards on four carries, including a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs.
Backup quarterback Kyle Cooper caught a 38-yard touchdown reception from Birney that made the score 35-6 going into halftime.
Andrew Erickson scored the other touchdown for Catholic Central, a 3-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter.
Shallman’s second rushing touchdown put the Shamrocks ahead 42-6 in the third quarter, which prompted a running clock for the rest of the game.
As a team, Detroit Catholic Central outgained Detroit Mumford 382-66 in total yards.
The Shamrocks had 17 first downs, compared to four for Detroit Mumford.
Mach said Catholic Central still has some work to do to prepare for its second-round game with Northville.
“We have to look at the spread offense,” Mach said. “We’ve seen a little bit of that this year, and they run it very well.
“They do an excellent job of spreading you out and running and causing you a lot of difficulties.”