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PLAYOFF FOOTBALL: QB Doyle tosses Melvindale over Riverview (PHOTOS/TOUT VIDEO)
Jason Doyle, here protected by Quincy Gibbs (23) helped Melvindale get past visiting Riverview Friday. Photo by Dave Chapman
Marcus Samuels could not get away from Devin Wise and the Melvindale defense enough Friday night as the Cards beat the Pirates in a Dowrniver League-Huron League playoff match up. Photo by Dave Chapman
Next week the Cardinals (8-2) will travel to Milan and take on the Big Reds (10-0) for the district title.
Doyle threw three touchdowns to three different receivers and finished 21-for-35 passing with 280 yards and no interceptions against the Pirates (7-3).
On the other side of the ball, the defense of the Cardinals kept the high-powered Riverview rushing attack in check most of the night, allowing 184 yards to a team that came in averaging almost 350 yards per game on the ground.
The Pirates were able to grab the early lead, however, and led almost the entire first half.
At the 6:09 mark of the first quarter, running back Marcus Samuels carried in a 35-yard touchdown and in the final minute of the quarter kicker Matt Bacon hit a short field goal, giving his team the 10-point lead.
Melvindale Coach Jason Carriveau said his squad didn’t look strong out of the gate, but was able to quickly bounce back and play to its own strengths to get back in the game.
“We came out slow and sluggish and they got theirs early, but once we settled in I think our team speed and internal quickness kind of gave them a little bit of trouble,” he said.
With 1:18 left in the second quarter, Cards’ running back Quincy Gibbs scored from six yards out. The extra point by Khalid Mousa was good, making it a 10-7 game. Gibbs finished with 93 yards on nine carries and scored two rushing touchdowns.
With the ball back, and only a few seconds left in the half, Doyle quickly led his team down the field and then found receiver Devin Wise with a 25-yard pass for a touchdown. The scoring strike put the Cards up 14-10-after Mousa’s PAT-and they took the four-point lead into the half. Wise finished the night with six catches for 53 yards and a touchdown.
Just three minutes into the third quarter, Doyle found receiver Kle’Sean Clark with a 52-yard touchdown pass and Melvindale suddenly held a 21-10 lead.
Doyle said he had faith in Clark, and the rest of his talented receiving corps all night, especially after spotting single coverage in the Riverview secondary.
“They were playing man almost the whole game and I just got the ball to my receivers,” Doyle said. “They made the plays. They’ve been doing the same thing they’ve (done) all year.”
On the ensuing kickoff, Riverview’s Josh Smith was back deep to receive and went on a long run to the end zone. However, his score was called back on a penalty and instead the visitors started the drive backed up deep in their own end.
About halfway through the third quarter, it looked like the Cards were about to put the game out of reach, as they had driven deep into Pirates territory.
Instead, Riverview was able to force a turnover on downs, but unfortunately for the visitors they gave it right back with on an interception of quarterback Drew Kroll by Melvindale’s Demetrius McKinney.
With about two minutes left in the third quarter, Doyle found Malik Boynton for a 15-yard touchdown. Mousa’s PAT was blocked and the Cards went up 27-10. Boynton led all receivers with nine catches for 114 yards and a touchdown.
At 9:19 of the fourth quarter, the Pirates got on the board again, as Samuels capped a drive with a six-yard touchdown run. Bacon’s PAT was good and Riverview was down only 10 points.
The Pirates were unable to get into the end zone again, however, and Gibbs hit pay dirt for Melvindale with about five minutes left, from 25 yards out, to ultimately put the game away.
With the 34-17 victory, the Cards advance to take on unbeaten Milan next week, on the road, for the district championship.
“It should be interesting,” Carriveau said. “I know that they’re a tough football team. Any time a team is 10-0 you’ve got your hands full.”
Last Updated: 11/3/2013 2:27:42 PM EST