HARBOR BEACH — After failing to reach the postseason a year ago, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes made amends for it this season. The Lakers reached the regional finals in Division 8.
That run was ended Saturday afternoon against state power Harbor Beach.
The host Pirates built a 17-0 lead and held on for a 17-10 victory in a Division 8 regional final despite Lakes’ late rally that included 10 fourth-quarter points.
Harbor Beach (11-1) will face Muskegon Catholic Central Nov. 17 in the state semifinals with the winner moving on to the state finals Thanksgiving weekend at Ford Field in Detroit. Waterford Lakes finished its season with a 9-3 record.
Harbor Beach never trailed, building a 7-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to a 23-yard run for pay dirt by quarterback Eli Kraft only three minutes into the contest. The Pirates’ defense did its job by intercepting a pass on Lakes’ ensuing drive and kept WOLL of the scoreboard for three quarters.
The Pirates built a 10-0 halftime lead courtesy of Mike Hessling’s 39-yard field goal and added to that total with Kraft connecting with Aaron Ginther for a 26-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to build a 17-0 cushion.
Waterford Lakes’ Sal Mastromatteo hit Richie Cross with 20-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, while Mike Howell booted a 28-yard field goal to trim the deficit down to just seven points midway through the final period.
Waterford Lakes also stopped a Harbor Beach drive at the 1 in the second quarter and recovered a botched punt in the fourth quarter but could not halt the Pirates on a first down attempt late in the game that sealed the victory for Harbor Beach