South senior Tony Moore did a little bit of everything against Lakeview, returning kickoffs, punts and catching a couple of passes in the Blue Devils' playoff-clinching victory. photo by Bob Bruce.
October 31, 2013The Grosse Pointe South football team did the remarkable last weekend, qualify for the state playoffs after needing to win its final five games of the season.
The Blue Devils lost to U-D Jesuit, L'Anse Creuse North on the final play of the game, and Utica Eisenhower to sit at 1-3. They had an uphill battle and knew that 5-4 most likely would not be good enough to make the state playoffs.
The only way to get in would be to win five straight. The streak started with a homecoming win over Roseville and continued with victories over Port Huron Northern, Grosse Pointe North and L'Anse Creuse.
South clinched the playoff spot with an impressive 34-0 road win against St. Clair Shores Lakeview. The defense held the Huskies to only 85 yards of total offense, including 50 yards rushing on 32 carries.
"The guys did a great job preparing for this game," head coach Tim Brandon said. "It was a tough 24 hours with the death of one of our former players, Renell Perkins, but the guys stood tall and played a great game
"They deserve a lot of credit for not giving up after starting 1-3. Everyone wrote us off and said we just didn't have what it takes to make the playoffs after the rough start, but we stayed focused and won our last five games.
"We accomplished three of our four goals, beat North, win a division title and make the playoffs. Now, our fourth goal is to make a long run in the playoffs and this starts Nov. 2."
The Blue Devils found out about the death of Perkins, who was a freshman football player at William Penn University. He died of complications from diabetes.
They used Perkins as motivation and came out on fire against the Huskies. Senior quarterback Richie Kish scored on a 1-yard run at the 3:02 mark and then hit senior wide receiver Jordan Spratt on a 32-yard touchdown pass with 51.4 left in the opening quarter.
Junior Andrew Fabry kicked both extra points and it was 14-0, South.
Junior running back Sam Hunter scored on a 7-yard run with 2:49 left before the half and Fabry's PAT gave the visitors a 21-0 lead at the intermission.
Fabry kicked a 28-yard field goal in the third quarter to make it 24-0 and backup quarterback, junior Sam Blanzy, threw a 35-yard TD pass to his brother, junior Brian Blanzy, with 5:02 left in the third quarter to give the Blue Devils a 31-0 lead after Fabry's PAT.
Fabry concluded the scoring by kicking his second field goal of the game and the defense did the rest, keeping the Huskies out of the end zone to put an exclamation mark on the victory.
Kish had an off-day throwing the ball, completing 6-of-16 for 108 yards and one touchdown, plus rushed for one score. Sam Blanzy was 2-for-2 for 37 yards with one touchdown.
Hunter had 113 yards rushing on 16 carries with one touchdown to lead the rushing attack. Several reserves got a chance to carry the ball in the second half.
Three players caught two passes apiece with Spratt netting 49 yards receiving, senior Tony Moore collecting 48 yards receiving and Brian Blanzy collecting 43 yards receiving.
Grosse Pointe South improved to 6-3 overall and, for the second year in a row, opens the Division 1 state playoffs against defending champ Detroit Cass Tech.
Last year the Blue Devils hosted this game, but this season it's Cass Tech which hosts the game.