NORTHVILLE STALLIONS VARSITY CAPTURES THE WIN OVER THE WALLED LAKE BRAVES, 24-22
By Maureen Schmidt
The Varsity Stallions (1-1) got their first win of the season against the Walled Lake Braves on Saturday, Sept 8th. The Stallions started off strong on their first drive of the game with running backs Shane Rankin and Brennon Pelland getting them into a 1st and goal position. Rankin ran in the first TD of the game, and kicker Jake Moody added 2 points to give the Stallions an early 8-0 lead. The Stallion defense, led in the first quarter by Conner McKee, Ben Schmidt and Alex Iafrate shut down the Braves offense with key tackles. Although they held tough, the Braves were able to tie the game. The Stallion offense answered back with strong runs and first downs by Jack DeBrabander, Jack Barnes, Jonathan Michalak, Pelland and Rankin.
The second quarter started with the Stallions at the Braves 11 yard line. A quick pass by Michalak to receiver Tyler Troyer in the end zone put the Stallions back in the lead, and another Moody kick made the game 16-8. The Braves returned the kickoff for a TD, but Stallion defender Michalak blocked the extra point and the Stallions kept the lead. The Stallion offense moved the ball with strong runs by Barnes, Rankin and Pelland. Rankin broke through the Braves line for a 60 yard run, putting the Stallions within scoring position, and Pelland’s run pushed the Stallions to first and goal. Rankin took the ball into the end zone and Moody kicked his third extra points for the day, giving the Stallions a 24-14 lead. The defense, with strong tackles by Michalak and Iafrate, along with a key QB sack by Troyer, held the Braves at bay.
The third quarter was a defensive struggle with the Stallion defenders pushing the Braves back. Pelland sacked the Braves QB, and Iafrate broke up a pass on the next play. The Braves drive was interrupted by an interception by Schmidt, and the Stallions took the ball on their own 15 yard line and moved down the field. Despite efforts by Rami Al-Awadi, Schmidt and Moody, and Michalak’s 25 yard pass to Troyer to move the ball into Braves territory, the Stallion offense couldn’t score again.
The defensive battle continued into the fourth quarter, with Troyer, Rankin, Nolan Ouellette, Kevin Morris, Alex Ajlouny and Brady Leverton all making sure the Braves did not get into scoring position. Not even the strong defensive moves by Pelland and a sack by Jaquan Crawford could prevent the Braves from scoring one more touchdown with less than 2 minutes left in the game. The Braves’ on-side kick was recovered by Schmidt, and the Stallions hung onto their lead to win the game 24-22.