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Norsemen win big

Grosse Pointe Northís Luke McGarvah, No. 72, congratulates Martice Dunlap after scoring a touchdown in the Norsemenís win over Fraser. photo by John McTaggart.

October 04, 2012
After a lone possession in the entire first quarter last Friday night against Fraser High School, the Grosse Pointe North football team’s offense exploded, routing the host Ramblers, 45-9.“We only ran like three plays in the first quarter,” head coach Frank Sumbera said. “The defense was on the field the rest of the time. We were bending a little bit, and giving them a little too much room. But, we made some adjustments and the kids really brought it up and really stopped them. “Then, once we got the ball again in the second quarter, we really started to put some points on the board.”The offensive output was the most the Norsemen have mustered to this point in the 2012 campaign and was highlighted by a trio of big plays, including a 63-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Sean McHale to Robert Tillman in the second quarter, a 61-yard run by McHale in the closing minute of the first half, and a fourth-quarter 45-yard run from Chris Hamilton.McHale’s bootleg scoring run pushed the North lead to 18-3 at the break.“I thought Sean played a great game at quarterback passing the ball,” Sumbera said. “But that run he had at the end of the first half. I think that really hurt them.”North picked up where they left off in the third quarter, driving down the field on their first possession to within 3 yards of the end zone before getting stuffed and turning the ball over on downs.“We didn’t get it in, but next time we got it we did,” the coach said.North’s defense, which was stellar yet again, forced the Ramblers into a three-and-out, setting up the squad’s first score of the second half, an 18-yard rushing touchdown from Martice Dunlap.Dunlap’s draw-play score pushed North’s lead to 25-3.Fourth quarter scores from Tillman, Niguel Barkside and Sal Ciaravino capped off the 45-point performance, while the team’s defense simply squashed any hopes the Ramblers may have had of a late-game comeback.Fraser’s Nate Heyward punched the ball in late in the closing quarter, long after the outcome was already decided.“The key was we didn’t have any turnover to speak of,” Sumbera said. “We had a fumble late in the game, but overall we didn’t turn the ball over. Eliminate the turnovers, play solid defense. We’re just taking it one game at a time.”The next game for the Norsemen is unquestionably the biggest of the regular season — a showdown with Grosse Pointe South.“We’ve just got to stay focused,” Sumbera said. “The one game everybody is looking for is the one next week. It’s going to be a big week for us. But, the important thing, no matter who we play, is to keep getting better as a football team. Just keep getting better.”The Oct. 5 game against rival South is a home game for the Norsemen and each squad comes into the contest on the heels of an impressive victory. The Blue Devils trounced Port Huron Northern, 53-15, while North ran roughshod over Fraser.

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