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Zach Bock (16) and Dylan Roney, Detroit Catholic Central, celebrate with the district championship trophy in hand following their victory over Walled Lake Western at Western Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. (Special to The Oakland Press / LARRY McKEE)

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FOOTBALL: Big plays lift Catholic Central past W.L. Western WATCH HERE

John Simmons (6), Walled Lake Western, makes a reception in front of Jack Van Acker (10), Detroit Catholic Central, during district final football action at Western Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. (Special to The Oakland Press / LARRY McKEE)

Zack Bock (16), Detroit Catholic Central, stretches our for a pass while colliding with defender John Witkowski (4), Walled Lake Western, during district final football action at Western Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. (Special to The Oakland Press / LARRY McKEE)

Brandon Mazell (27), Walled Lake Western, celebrates sacking quarterback Sean Birney (11), Detroit Catholic Central, during district final football action at Western Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. (Special to The Oakland Press / LARRY McKEE)

Game Info

Football - 11/9/2013 

Walled Lake Western 27
Novi Detroit Catholic Central 37
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WALLED LAKE – It can be argued that Novi Detroit Catholic Central has the deadliest passing attack in the state for one reason: Since the Shamrocks rarely pass, it usually works because the opponent is caught off-guard so much.

That certainly seemed to be the case in a Division 1 district final at Walled Lake Western on Saturday.

The Shamrocks opened up the playbook, and by halftime, saw quarterback Sean Birney accumulate 129 passing yards, and had two long touchdown passes and 28 points, which proved to be a nice springboard for what turned out to be a 37-27 victory over Western.

Catholic Central (9-2) advanced to meet 11-0 Temperance Bedford in a regional final next week at Bedford.

“I think anytime we pass, we catch anybody off-guard,” Catholic Central head coach Tom Mach said. “People don’t expect to throw it too much, but every once in a while we think that we should do it and open it up a little bit.”

Catholic Central’s first drive of the game was typical Catholic Central, as it marched 86 yards down the field in 12 plays, a drive that took 6:54 off of the clock and culminated in a 2-yard touchdown run by Catholic Central that gave the Shamrocks a 6-0 after a failed extra point.

But after Western took a 7-6 lead on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Bambard to Steven Meister, it was all big plays the rest of the half for Catholic Central.

Birney hit senior Zach Bock for a 33-yard touchdown pass with 9:13 left in the first half that gave Catholic Central a 14-7 following a successful 2-point conversion pass to Michael Nercesian, and then Bock returned a fumble 20 yards for a touchdown to put the Shamrocks ahead 21-7 with 4:24 remaining in the half.

Western closed to within 21-14 on an 8-yard touchdown run with 2:48 left in the half by senior John Simmons, but on the first play of their next possession, the Shamrocks took a 28-14 lead on a 64-yard touchdown pass from Birney to sophomore Alex Bock, who has become a force as the season has gone along to give opponents a pair of deadly Bocks to deal with.

“Growing up, we never got to really play with each other,” Zach Bock said. “We are two years apart, but my senior year getting to play with him has been awesome.”

The Shamrocks went ahead 30-14 in the third quarter on a safety when Western punter Kyle Bambard’s knee hit the ground in the end zone while fielding a low snap, but the Warriors found some life after that.

Western scored on a 1-yard touchdown run by Bambard with 10:04 remaining to make it a 30-21 game, and then the Warriors forced Catholic Central into a third-and-17 from inside the Catholic Central 15-yard line.

However, the Shamrocks converted the first down on a quarterback draw into the middle of the field by Birney that netted 18 yards.

Two plays later, Zach Bock ran 66 yards up the middle of the field for a touchdown with 7:01 remaining to make it 37-21 Shamrocks.

Bambard hit wideout David Walczyk on a 1-yard touchdown pass with 4:21 remaining to bring Western to within 10 points, but Catholic Central recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

In addition to the fumble return for a touchdown, not helping Western’s cause was a fumble at the Catholic Central 30-yard line in the final minute of the first half and a missed 23-yard field goal in the third quarter .

Bambard ran for 127 yards on 17 carries in defeat for Western, which finished 9-2.

“Their defense has scored points for them and they have good personnel on offense to where if you make a mistake whatsoever, they get behind you and they catch the ball and do things,” Western head coach Mike Zdebski said. “The offense did a great job and defensively in the third quarter, we played well.”

NOVI DETROIT CATHOLIC CENTRAL 37, WALLED LAKE WESTERN 27

CC 6 22 2 7 - 37

WLW 7 7 0 13 - 27

CC – Dylan Roney 2 run (kick failed)

W – Steven Meister 20 pass from Kyle Bambard (Bambard kick)

CC – Zach Bock 33 pass from Sean Birney (Michael Nercesian pass from Birney)

CC – Zach Bock 20 fumble return (Bock kick)

W – John Simmons 8 run (Bambard kick)

CC – Alex Bock 64 pass from Birney (Zach Bock kick)

CC – Safety

W – Bambard 1 run (Bambard kick)

CC – Zach Bock 66 run (Zach Bock kick)

W – David Walczyk 1 pass from Bambard (pass failed)

RECORDS – Catholic Central 9-2; Western 9-2

Last Updated: 11/9/2013 7:10:33 PM EST


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