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Knights play tough, but fall to Shrine

Liggett’s Tommy Jackson runs in open space during the first half of the Knights’ season-opening loss to Royal Oak Shrine. Photo by Bob Bruce
September 05, 2013
Despite opening the season with a loss, University Liggett’s football team won a moral victory last week in a 14-6 loss to a very good Royal Oak Shrine squad.

“We were worried about this game since we’re a rebuilding program and Shrine is very experienced,” head coach Dan Cimini said. “I’m proud of our guys. They hung tough and were in position to win this game.

“It’s not fun losing, but I think we came away from the game with a good feeling about the character of my players.”

Shrine scored on a 26-yard pass midway through the first quarter and made the extra point to take a 7-0 lead.

Tommy Jackson got the Knights right back in the game, returning the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown. The extra point was missed, but it was a 7-6 game.

The Knights’ defense got the home crowd into the game late in the second half, stuffing Shrine’s offense on three straight plays from the 1-yard line.

“Keeping Shrine out of the end zone late in the half was huge for us,” Cimini said. “That was a great goal line stand.”

Shrine scored the final touchdown on its first possession of the third quarter.

The Knights had a couple of chances to get points in the second half, but a turnover and incomplete pass let Shrine’s defense off the hook.

For the game, Jackson had 70 yards rushing and Darryl Lewis had 60 yards rushing. Wide receiver Lordanthony Grisson added two receptions for 28 yards in his football debut.

Defensively, Antonio Malkoun had 10 tackles and a quarterback sack, and Caleb Stokes added six tackles and returned an interception 59 yards in the third quarter.

Liggett is 0-1 overall and prepares for game No. 2, a road contest at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, against Montrose Hill-McCloy at Saginaw Valley State University.

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