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Gabriel Richard's Tyler Blaszczak (24) takes out the legs of Cabrini running back Pat Sekerak during their Catholic League Inter-Sectional gamae in Allen Park Friday night. Sekerak had the game-clinching touchdown and two-point conversion as Cabrini won the hard-fought battle 36-27. Photo by Dave Chapman
FOOTBALL: Cabrini gets first win at expense of Richard (PHOTO and TOUT VIDEO)
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For the Monarchs, it was the season’s first victory and for Richard it was the squad’s first defeat of 2013.
Cabrini opened the contest with a first-quarter scoring drive that took more than six minutes off the clock.
At the 4:32 mark of the quarter, standout fullback Pat Sekerak rushed in from two yards out and put his team up 6-0. The six-point lead would stand, following a failed attempt at a fake on the point-after kick.
With possession of the ball for the first time, the Pioneers promptly put it on the turf deep in their own territory. The Monarchs recovered, then later cashed in with a 10-yard touchdown run from Jonathan Cyster. Cabrini came up short on the two-point conversion and settled for a 12-0 lead.
Richard Coach Thomas Michalsen said the fumble, along with some later mistakes, hurt the Pioneers chances of winning Friday night.
“We can’t turn the ball over, we gave them the ball on our 10 twice,” he said. “We got down in the red zone and a costly penalty killed us, took a touchdown off the board, we’ve just got to get better.”
In the second quarter Richard was able to put together a scoring drive, which was capped by quarterback Jacob Lipetzky, who scored from a yard out at the 3:51 mark. Kicker Quinn Stackpoole nailed the extra point and cut the deficit to just five points.
Once again, however, the Monarchs quickly answered a Pioneers score and about 50 seconds later Nick Lozarka busted free for a 76-yard touchdown run. For the night Lozarka carried nine times for 155 yards and one touchdown.
Cabrini Coach Mark Shea said he realized that the Pioneers defensive game plan involved keying in on halting Sekerak, so he wanted to get the ball in Lazorka’s hands.
“Everybody focuses on Patrick, he’s an all stater,” Shea said. “We were watching, they were having an overflow to stop our off tackle plays, so then we started using (a) counter (play) and he was able to cut back and make some big plays”
Following Lozorka’s score, Cryster ran in the two-point conversion and gave the home team a 20-7 advantage.
With about three minutes left in the half, Richard got the ball back deep inside Cabrini territory, following a penalty on the Monarchs. The Pioneers moved quickly and Lipetzky was able to rush into the end zone again from a yard out. Stackpoole hit the extra point and Richard went into the half down 20-14.
To open the third quarter, Cabrini kicked off and the Pioneers’ Devin Dickow promptly caught it took it all the way back for a touchdown. After a Stackpoole extra point kick, the visitors grabbed a 21-20 lead.
It was a lead that wouldn’t last, however, as the Monarchs took advantage of good field position after the kickoff, thanks to two Richard penalties. After a drive into the red zone, quarterback Nick Shirey ran in a one-yard touchdown and Sekerak carried in the two-point conversion to Cabrini up 28-21.
Early in the fourth quarter, Dickow pulled Richard within one point with a 29-yard touchdown run. Stackpoole lined up to kick the extra point and tie the game, but the Monarchs were able to block it.
Late in the fourth quarter, Sekerak was able to help put the game away, as he busted off a 28-yard touchdown run with less than three minutes to go and Cabrini went up 36-27. Sekerak finished the night with 143 yards rushing on 25 carries and two touchdowns.
To end Richard’s hopes of comeback, Lazorka came up with an interception on defense with a little more than a minute left. It was a ball that hit his one his cleats, bounced up and allowed him to snag it.
“That’s something new, off the foot and into the hand,” he said.
Afterward, he said earning the season’s victory, against a longtime rival, was a great way to start league play.
“It just feels great knowing it’s a rivalry game,” he said. “We knew we could come out here and do this, it was just a matter of time and we came out and got our first win.”
Up next for Cabrini is another home game, which will be against Shrine next Friday night. Richard will welcome Cranbrook next Friday night.
Last Updated: 9/22/2013 3:07:37 AM EST