Most coaches would be happy with the 52-14 victory that Walled Lake Northern earned at Waterford Kettering on Friday, Sept. 28, to extend its winning streak to four games.
But not Knights’ Head Coach Brett Moore.
“We talked to the kids and told them that they didn’t show up to play the way we should have and I think we were looking past Kettering,” Moore said. “The score is not indicative of what it should be and I do think it was a trap game.”
The Knights (4-2 overall, 4-0 in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association North Division) were coming off their first-ever victory over Walled Lake Central the previous week to clinch their very first Walled Lake City Cup.
With the Battle of Bogie Lake looming on Friday, Oct. 5 at Huron Valley Lakeland with Northern’s first-ever division title at stake, temptations loomed for the Knights to drop their guard against the winless Captains (0-6, 0-4 in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association North Division).
“We had some defensive lapses and some offensive lapses in the first half. High school kids are high school kids,” Moore said.
The Knights grabbed a 21-0 lead in the first quarter as Collin O’Donnell threw a 63-yard touchdown pass to Matt Kosmalski before P.J. Kern scored on a 1-yard touchdown run and Kosmalski scored a touchdown on an 8-yard run.
The Captains finally got on the scoreboard with a 48-yard touchdown pass to trail 21-7 at the end of the first quarter.
O’Donnell struck again in the second quarter as he threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Josh Paul before scoring on a 29-yard touchdown run for a 35-7 lead.
Kettering would score on a 6-yard touchdown pass with 38 seconds left in the second quarter to cut the Knights’ lead to 35-14 at halftime.
Northern then scored 17 unanswered points in the second half, as the Knights finished strong against the Captains.
Kosmalski scored on a 14-yard touchdown run in the third quarter before Andrew Fee added a field goal in the third and Kern scored on a 9-yard touchdown run in the fourth.
O’Donnell completed 12-of-18 passes for 323 yards and 2 touchdowns, in addition to rushing for 100 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
Kosmalski finished with 58 yards and 2 touchdowns on 5 carries, as well as 2 receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Kern also had 40 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 10 carries.
On defense, Mike Peer finished with 11 total tackles while Aaron Chretien and Jack Garrett each had seven total tackles. Kosmalski had 6 tackles and an interception.
Jake Ginster also had an interception for the Knights, who finished with 549 yards of total offense compared to 334 for Kettering.
Now Northern will prepare for its biggest game in recent memory as the KLAA North Division title will be at stake against Lakeland on Friday.
Last season, the Knights defeated the Eagles, 28-21, to snap a five-game losing streak to Lakeland.
The Eagles are now looking to clinch a state playoff berth and the division title.
“We’re going to prepare for Lakeland the same way we did against Walled Lake Central and Western,” Moore said.
Meanwhile, Kettering will prepare to host its biggest rival, Waterford Mott, on Saturday, Oct. 6, as it looks to snap a 17-game losing streak that dates back to 2010.
The Captains were shut out, 21-0, in last year’s meeting with the Corsairs and their last victory before their losing streak began came in the 2010 matchup with Mott, 21-14.