Orchard Lake St. Mary’s began defense of its Division 3 state championship by officially initiating a new team to state playoff football.
The Eaglets slammed South Lyon East at home, 59-7, on Friday, Oct. 26 in a Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Division 3 pre-district game.
Fresh off defeating Novi Detroit Catholic Central the previous week to win the Detroit Catholic League A-B championship, St. Mary’s (8-2) was more than ready for the Cougars (5-5), who were making their first-ever state playoff appearance.
“We tried to get in the trenches and play good defense and have our offensive line get off the ball,” St. Mary’s Head Coach George Porritt said.
Tyson Smith kicked off the Eaglets’ scoring with an 86-yard kick return for a touchdown in the first quarter.
From there, St. Mary’s was off to the races.
When halftime finally arrived, the Eaglets led 45-7 and were clearly leaving the Cougars in the dust.
Parker McInnis also had a 77-yard kick return for a touchdown, while Grant Niemiec had a 36-yard touchdown run.
Anthony Renfroe scored two touchdowns on runs of 56 and 31 yards in the third quarter to cap St. Mary’s scoring, while Mark Zanders and Charles Croone, Jr. each had a touchdown run.
“In the state playoffs, you expect everything and anything,” Porritt said. “We have to be more consistent, get to the ball defensively and do things right all the time.”
The Eaglets will face a much stiffer test on Saturday, Nov. 3 when it hosts Auburn Hills Avondale (9-1) in a Division 3 district final.
The last time the Eaglets and Yellow Jackets met in a 2010 Division 3 district final, St. Mary’s prevailed in a 71-44 offensive showcase.
Avondale is coming off a 21-19 victory over Bloomfield Hills Lahser in its pre-district matchup.
“Avondale has good running backs and a big strong offensive line and defensive line. We have to control their speed,” Porritt said.