Varsity Northville Stallions Drop Finale to Novi, 35-16
A valiant effort by the Northville Stallions Varsity squad was not enough to keep its WLJFL Superbowl hopes alive against a tough Novi Bobcats team on Oct. 27. A strong rushing attack led Novi to a 35-16 victory, ending the Stallions’ season on a sour note.
Despite the eventual outcome, the Stallions quickly struck first. On the first play from scrimmage following the opening kickoff, Brennon Pelland carried the ball 85 yards down to the Novi 2-yard line. Shane Rankin punched the ball into the endzone two plays later, and with Jake Moody’s successful PAT kick, the Stallions jumped out to an 8-0 lead. Although Jonathan Michalak’s recovery of the subsequent onside kickoff would continue the Stallions’ early momentum, the Bobcats controlled the 1st half action from that point on, scoring four unanswered touchdowns to give them a commanding 28-8 lead at halftime.
The 2nd half saw the Stallions continuing to battle despite the scoreboard. Strong blocking by Stallions Alex Ajlouny, Rami Al-Awadi, Jordan Grewe, Joseph Minghine, and others contributed to a second Rankin touchdown run and Moody PAT kick late in the 3rd quarter, cutting the Novi lead to 28-16. The Stallions’ defense and special teams also hung tough, with notable efforts including a Tyler Troyer forced fumble recovered by Michalak, a Troyer blocked punt, and strong defensive plays by Jaquan Crawford, Jack DeBrabander, Spencer Ishaq, Nolan Ouellette, Ben Schmidt, and others. The deficit from the 1st half would be too much for the Stallions to overcome however, with a late 4th quarter Bobcats’ touchdown securing a 35-16 Novi victory.
Although ending in disappointing fashion, the Stallions can take pride in a successful season, finishing with a winning 5-3 regular season record and being just one victory away from clinching a WLJFL Superbowl berth.
By Chad Moody