Rochester Adams #24 Clarence Broadnax carries three Oak Park defenders before being brought down near the goal line during their game at Rochester Adams High School, Friday September 13, 2013. (Oakland Press Photo:Vaughn Gurganian)
FOOTBALL: Oak Park pulls ahead late to slip past Rochester Adams WITH TOUT VIDEO
Oak Park's #9 Miles Daniel is brought down by Rochester Adams #18 Parker Monahan after a short gain during their game at Rochester Adams High School, Friday September 13, 2013. (Oakland Press Photo:Vaughn Gurganian)
Rochester Adams QB #9 Matt Sokol breaks off a big gain against Oak Park during their game at Rochester Adams High School, Friday September 13, 2013. (Oakland Press Photo:Vaughn Gurganian)
Oak Park wide receiver #9 Miles Daniel breaks the tackle of Rochester Adams #14 Andy Lamkin after a short pass and scampered 62 yards to the two yard line during their game at Rochester Adams High School, Friday September 13, 2013. (Oakland Press Photo:Vaughn Gurganian)
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ROCHESTER HILLS – Oak Park junior John Kelly says he is a boxing fan, so he’ll do is best to watch the much-hyped Floyd Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez fight on Saturday night.
But if he does, Kelly and the rest of his Oak Park team will probably watch knowing they all arguably survived an even tougher fight on Friday at Rochester Adams, no matter what happens between Mayweather and Alvarez.
Back and forth Oak Park and Adams all night in what was a well-played football game, but it was Kelly and his teammates that got to raise their arms in victory following a hard-earned, 36-30 win over Adams in an Oakland Activities Association White battle.
Oak Park improved to 3-0 overall, 2-0 in league play heading into what could be one of the regular season’s biggest matchups next Friday at home against Southfield.
“As the game went on, we continued to fight,” Kelly said. “Everytime we came down, we continued to fight. It felt real good.”
To continue the corny boxing analogies, Kelly was the ringleader for the Knights, finishing the game with 139 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries.
Oak Park trailed most of the game, including 10-0 in the first quarter and then 23-14 in the third quarter after the Knights held a 14-10 lead over Adams at halftime.
The Knights then cut the lead to 23-22 on the last play of the third quarter when sophomore quarterback Chauncey Lowman hit junior wideout Juan Hernandez for a 17-yard touchdown pass. Following a successful 2-point conversion pass, it was 23-22 Adams going into the fourth.
The Highlanders scored again to take a 30-22 lead with 8:02 remaining on a 2-yard touchdown run by Clarence Broadnax, a score that came one play after senior quarterback Matt Sokol hit Nick Antenucci for a 51-yard pass play on third down all the way to the Oak Park 2-yard line.
But Oak Park responded, tying the game at 30-30 with 6:54 remaining on a 28-yard touchdown run by Kelly and a successful 2-point conversion pass from Lowman to Kelly.
Adams moved the ball on its next possession, but a critical fumble gave Oak Park the ball back at midfield, and the Knights took advantage.
With under three minutes remaining, junior Ricardo Brown scored on an 8-yard touchdown run to give the Knights a 36-30 lead.
Adams was stopped on downs deep in its territory by Oak Park on the next possession and the Knights ran out the clock to preserve the victory.
“We knew we were going to be in for a rough battle,” Oak Park head coach Greg Carter said. “This team beat Clarkston and had a great game against Harrison. We knew on the road we were going to have our hands full tonight. Our kids had to fight for the entire game to come out with a victory.”
Sokol had a nice game in defeat for Adams (1-2, 0-2), rushing for 125 yards on 21 carries.
Adams will try and regroup next week for a game at Southfield-Lathrup after going 1-2 in a brutal three-game stretch to start the season that saw the Highlanders have to play Clarkston, Farmington Hills Harrison and Oak Park.
“This is Rochester Adams and we’re not in it for the we played well, but didn’t win against a good team stuff,” Adams head coach Tony Patritto said. “If we don’t mistakes, we are 3-0.”
OAK PARK 36, ROCHESTER ADAMS 30
OP 0 14 8 14 - 36
A 10 0 13 7 - 30
A – Matt Sokol 2 run (Spencer Ward kick)
A – Ward 36 fg
OP – John Kelly 2 run (Levoon Alshabi kick)
OP – Kelly 4 run (Alshabi kick)
A – Sokol 4 run (Ward kick)
A – Sokol 6 run (kick failed)
OP – Juan Hernandez 17 pass from Chauncey Lowman (pass good)
A – Clarence Broadnax 2 run (Ward kick)
OP – Kelly 28 run (Kelly pass from Lowman)
OP – Ricardo Brown 8 run (pass failed)
RECORDS – Oak Par 3-0, 2-0 OAA White; Adams 1-2, 0-2