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FOOTBALL: Truman demolishes Melvindale; clinches a share of second place (PHOTO/VIDEO)
With a 58-28 win over Melvindale Friday night, Devonte McGregor and the Truman Cougars capped a 7-2 season. Over the course of the past two years, Truman is 15-3 in Downriver League games. Photo by Larry Caruso
That was the case Friday night in the Cougars’ 58-28 victory over Melvindale in front of the home crowd.
“Our kids came out with an attitude that we weren’t going to be stopped tonight,” Coach Eric Stiegel said.
The Cougars scored on four of six drives in the first half and every drive in the second half en route to their victory over the visiting Cards. The team was led by Contreras, McCuien, McGregor and Massey with two scores each.
Melvindale has never been a team to give up and brought the game within 16 in the second half, but mistakes ultimately cost the team.
Truman intercepted two of Jason Doyle’s passes and two resulted in touchdowns.
At the end of the third, the Cougars led by 30, 44-14, but the Cards made it a game with two more scores. On a drive that dragged into the fourth quarter, Melvindale found itself on a first-and-goal on the 1-yard line. Quincy Gibbs pushed through for the easy score and a 44-21 game. The Cards recovered an onside kick attempt and capitalized on the next drive when Doyle found Malik Boynton for their second score of the night, a 27-yard toss to the right corner of the end zone to put the Cards within two touchdowns and two two-point conversions away from tying the game.
But the Cougars weren’t having it and added two more of their own in the last 10 minutes.
With 8:25 to go, Truman’s Clarence Massey easily busted through the Cardinal defensive line for a 40-yard bolt to the end zone.
Melvindlae was making its way back down the field on the next drive when Quinn Wurmlinger intercepted a pass from Doyle, fumbled and Tyler Pruse recovered to give the Cougars the ball back.
They again capitalized when Leon Contreras ran 25-yards up the middle for the 58-28 score and the game was all but in the books.
Things stayed fairly close in the first-half, and Melvindale even led after the second drive of the game.
Truman scored on its first drive of the game, as the Cougars have so many times this year when Contreras ran 30-yards up the middle, but a failed two-point conversion only gave the team a 6-0 lead.
Melvindale responded with a score on its first drive, a 60-yard toss from Doyle to Boynton that was almost picked off. The extra point gave the Cards a 7-6 lead.
The Cougars scored on their next two possessions in the opening quarter and never really looked back.
Devontae McCuien ran three-yards up the left to cap a seven minute drive and with 14 seconds to go, Devonte McGregor seemed to pop out of nowhere for a 39-yard score and a 22-7 advantage after the first quarter.
The team’s traded possessions to start the second quarter and the Cards scored on their second with a five-yard toss from Doyle to Kle’Sean Clark for a 22-14 game.
Truman ate up over five minutes of the quarter on the ensuing drive and McCuien capped it with a 33-yard rush up the left.
The teams traded chances again and Truman got the ball back when Wurmlinger intercepted another Doyle pass, but time ran out for a 30-14 advantage at the half.
The third quarter featured a Melvindale fumble and interception, both of which were turned into Truman points.
After the fumble, McGregor pushed through one-yard with 8:19 to go and when Devain Newbill intercepted Doyle’s pass the Cougars capitalized again.
A drive that took over five minutes and 13 plays ended with Massey running around the left, 17-yards for a 44-14 game.
Melvindale Coach Jason Doyle knew the mistakes hurt his team, but credited the Cougars.
“We lost to a good football team,” he said. “Not much to say, we got our butts kicked.
“It is what it is; we made too many mistakes. We can’t turn the football over against a team like this and we couldn’t get our defense off the football field. And that’s a good offense; we had a hard time stopping them.”
On the other side of the field, Stiegel was pleased with some players for stepping up when needed and also credited Melvindale.
“We’ve got tough kids (and) they fought through,” he said. “We had some kids who really stepped up in different roles at different times and we did some good things on both offense and defense and special teams.
“(But) I was not expecting 58 points against them; they’re a very good defense.”
Stiegel said he felt comfortable with his team throughout the contest.
“I don’t know if there was a turning point,” he said. “I felt good anytime our offense had the ball tonight (and) I thought it was just continual great play the whole game.”
The Cougars amassed 498 yards of total offense on the ground to the Cards’ 43.
In the air, Doyle was 15-for-27 for 245 yards.
With the win, each team is now 7-2 and will turn to the playoffs next week. For Truman, it’s the first time ever the school has secured back-to-back playoff trips.
Carriveau says his team never gave up in the loss and will be ready for the state run next week .
“We’re men of character over here,” he said. “We preach doing the right thing and fighting to the end and that’s what we do.
“We’ll get these kids ready to go; they’re tough and we’ll be okay.”
Stiegel says his team too will be ready to go.
“Now it’s the playoffs; it’s a new season,” he said. “Whoever we get, we’ll be excited (and) we’ll be ready to play hard.”
Last Updated: 10/26/2013 1:13:19 AM EST