Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes could not solve its regional final jinx as it fell at Harbor Beach, 17-10, on Saturday, Nov. 10 in a Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Division 3 playoff game.
The Lakers (9-3) have not won a regional title since 2006 and have now lost their last four regional final appearances.
“We just made too many mistakes. They’re a good football team,” said Our Lady Head Coach Mike Boyd. “We didn’t do a good enough job of blocking, but you have to give Harbor Beach credit.”
The Lakers trailed 7-0 at the end of the first quarter and 10-0 at halftime.
Eli Kraft then threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Ginther in the third quarter to put the Pirates (11-1) up 17-0.
The Lakers were then able to cut the lead to 10 in the fourth quarter after a 37-yard field goal by Spencer Howell and Sal Mastromatteo’s 25-yard touchdown pass to Richie Cross.
Our Lady was driving late in the fourth quarter with 3 minutes left looking to tie the game, but Mastromatteo threw his third inception of the day, sealing the Lakers’ fate.
“We threw the ball quite well for the most part, but more than we normally do because Harbor Beach was able to shut down our running game,” Boyd said.
Despite the loss, Our Lady can take solace in the fact that this year’s team was responsible for returning the Lakers to the state playoffs after a year’s absence, and winning the school’s 11th district title in its last 13 state playoff appearances.
Boyd also pointed out that the Lakers did so despite a tougher schedule in the newly merged Detroit Catholic League Intersectional Division.
“We played four state playoff teams this year. Two of them are in the state semi-finals and two made it to regionals,” Boyd said. “This team reminded me of the 2002 state championship team I had, where there were no standouts but everyone played together, had fun, and gave everything they had.”