Terrell Porter leads Berkley High School past Farmington High School, 25-14, in a first-round state Division 2 playoff football game
Jake Thielen | MLive.com, October 30, 2010 9:15 a.m.
Terrell Porter rushed for 192 yards on 38 carries to help Berkley High School defeat Farmington High School, 25-14, and win a state playoff football game for the first time in 15 years on Friday night.
Berkley was entering its second playoff appearance in a row but had not won a playoff game since 1995.
The Bears (9-1) will advance to the second round to face Farmington Hills Harrison (10-0), which defeated Brother Rice 37-27 on Friday night.
Berkley set the tone of the Division 2 game early with an opening drive that took 7:32 off the clock.
Porter capped the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal to give the Bears an early 7-0 lead.
“I think we stunned them with that first drive,” Berkley coach Jim MacDougall said.
Berkley extended that lead just over three minutes later when quarterback Jim Birnie scored on a 1-yard rush. Porter’s two-point conversion gave Berkley a 15-0 lead that the Bears would never relinquish.
MacDougall said his team wasn’t expected to win, but he was confident about its chances.
“I thought our secondary could play well enough to stop their throwing, and I thought we could stop the run,” MacDougall said. “On offense, I told my linemen you guys might be the best group of linemen I’ve ever coached, and you have a chance to prove it because they’re very good defensively.”
Berkley controlled the clock for most of the game, rushing for 326 yards as a team and keeping Farmington’s offense off the field. The Bears managed 17 first downs in the game, compared to five for Farmington.
“We didn’t have the ball, and we didn’t connect when we did,” Farmington coach John Bechtel said. “We thought we had opportunities to make plays, and we didn’t make as many as they did today.
“They controlled the football, they did a great job up front and that was the difference in the game.”
“We fooled them enough with little stuff, but mainly it was power football,” MacDougall said. “I’ve got great confidence that we can block pretty well, and we just went at them.”
Berkley only attempted three passes in the game, one of which was a 38-yard touchdown from Birnie to Joshua Hall.
Though Farmington struggled to move the ball offensively, mistakes by Berkley’s special teams gave the Falcons opportunities to score.
A botched snap on a Berkley punt attempt gave the Falcons the ball at the Bears’ 10-yard line early in the second quarter. After two penalties moved the ball back to the 20-yard line, quarterback Matthew Craven found Dae’Von Scarber wide open on a slant up the middle for a touchdown to bring the Falcons within eight points.
Scarber returned the opening kickoff of the second half to the Berkley 40-yard line, but the Falcons could not take advantage as kicker Zach Schulz’s 25-yard field goal attempt hit the right upright.
After a 3-yard punt by Berkley on its next possession gave Farmington the ball at the Berkley 30-yard line, the Falcons again had an opportunity to score. Farmington was unable to gain any yardage, however, and Craven’s pass attempt on fourth-and-15 was broken up in the end zone by Hall.
MacDougall was pleased with the way Berkley’s defense, especially the secondary, limited Farmington offensively.
“They gave up some passes, but they’ve been doing that all year,” MacDougall said. “I’m really proud of the kids.
“I’ve never heard kids from Berkley cheering ‘we’re going to practice another week.’ They were cheering. That’s a pretty good sign.”