With the state spotlight shining on its home field on a wet, dreary night, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s pulled through with a thrilling 10-9 victory in overtime over Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice on Friday, Sept. 30.
After Cheyne Lacnaria threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Brian Roney in the Warriors’ first possession of overtime, Brother Rice’s extra-point attempt failed.
Then it was St. Mary’s turn, as Dan Clements threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Chris Woolen before Nathan Parry kicked the game-winning extra point, as the Eaglets triumphed in a homecoming game that they and their fans will remember for a long time.
St. Mary’s dodged a bullet in regulation as Andrew Toth missed a 40-yard field goal attempt. The attempt came after Cody Ellwanger intercepted a pass and returned it in St. Mary’s territory.
The win moved the Eaglets to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the Detroit Catholic League Central Division, tying them for first-place in the division with Novi Detroit Catholic Central; while the Warriors fell to 4-2 and 1-2 in the Central Division.
It was not an ordinary game last Friday at St. Mary’s, as it was the Eaglets’ homecoming game and also a matchup between two Catholic League and state powers.
The game also attracted statewide attention, as Brother Rice Head Coach Al Fracassa came into last Friday’s game seeking his 400th career victory.
The Warriors had also entered St. Mary’s having defeated the Eaglets twice last season, including a victory in the Prep Bowl at Ford Field.
Instead, St. Mary’s Head Coach George Porritt is now one win away from his 200th career victory.
Mother Nature didn’t cooperate with the homecoming festivities, and both teams kept their game on the ground for most of the game.
Senior defensive tackle Dylan Zerki had 12 tackles while senior linebacker James Ross had 9.
St. Mary’s will have little time to celebrate as it must next prepare to host Warren De La Salle (5-1, 1-1) in a Central Division matchup on Friday, Oct. 7.
The Eaglets have won two straight games against the Pilots, including last season’s 21-3 victory.
Meanwhile, Brother Rice will face undefeated Novi Detroit Catholic Central on the road on Saturday, Oct. 8.
St. Mary’s will then face Catholic Central next week to finish its Catholic League schedule.