September 27, 2012After two tough losses, Grosse Pointe North's football team returned home to win a big game, 28-20, over Warren Cousino last weekend.
Playing without all-star running back Tod Long, the Norsemen still managed to control the clock, especially in the second half.
"We made some adjustments at the half and stopped Cousino's trap offense," head coach Frank Sumbera said. "It was a nice effort from the offense and defense, especially in the second half."
In the opening half, senior Chris Hamilton, filling in for Long, scored on a 17-yard run with 5:40 left. The extra point was blocked, making it 6-0 Norsemen.
The Patriots scored the next two touchdowns and converted the extra points to give them a 14-6 lead late in the second quarter.
On the ensuing possession, the Norsemen marched 80 yards in 10 plays to score as senior quarterback Sean McHale used a jump pass while jumping out of bounds to get the ball in the end zone.
McHale's 5-yard pass went to senior wide receiver Robert Tillman. The Norsemen tied it after McHale hit senior wide receiver Taiwan Wiggins for the two-point conversion.
The biggest turn of events came in the first possession of the second half when the Norsemen received the kickoff and flexed its muscles.
The offensive line did a solid job of blocking, which Hamilton and McHale used to grind out yards and wear down the Patriots' defense.
Hamilton scored on a 9-yard run and junior Sal Ciaravino kicked the extra point, giving the home team a 21-14 lead.
Tillman intercepted a pass on the next possession and returned it to Cousino's 2-yard line. Two plays later, junior Martice Dunlap scored. Ciaravino's PAT made it 28-14 late in the third quarter.
The Patriots scored in the fourth quarter, but senior Devin Palmer blocked the PAT.
The Norsemen had 5:30 left on the clock and they promptly gained the needed first downs to run out the time and win the game.
During the fourth quarter, Sumbera had to move McHale to running back and insert Ciaravino at quarterback due to an injury to Hamilton. He is fine and will be back for the next game.
Hamilton finished with 88 yards rushing on 13 carries, while McHale had 82 yards rushing on 10 carries.
Grosse Pointe North improved to 3-2 overall.
Coming up for the Norsemen is a 7 p.m. division game Friday, Sept. 28, at Fraser.