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FOOTBALL: Lakes holds off Shrine to clinch CHSL-Intersectional title on special night

| October 7, 2016 | Comments (0)

BY DAN STICKRADT

SENIOR EDITOR

dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com

Twitter: @LocalSportsFans

WATERFORD TOWNSHIP — On a night where Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes honored its all-time greatest coach, the Lakers posted a pair of firsts in school history.

Our Lady held off visiting Royal Oak Shrine Catholic, 28-20, to clinch the CHSL-Intersectional Division 2 title on a night where the school named the field after former coach Michael Boyd — fittingly tabbed the Mike Boyd Athletics Complex fin honor of the third-winningest coach in Michigan history. The win also moved the Lakers into the CHSL Prep Bowl for the fourth straight time.

The homecoming game was played under portable lights for the first Friday night football game in the school’s 60-year history.

“It’s our fourth straight Prep Bowl — the first time in school history,” smiled Lakes coach Josh Sawicki. “With all of our great teams, that has never happened before. We have never played here under the lights before, too, so this was a very special day.”

Lakes (5-2, 3-0) will play Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood in two weeks at Ford Field in the Prep Bowl Intersectional title match. The berth was earned thanks to a fine defensive effort that limited Shrine to only 12 plays from scrimmage and 70 total yards in the second half.

Leading 21-14, Lakes put together a 13-play drive that chewed up 7:34 of clock and ended on a surprise play — sophomore quarterback Noah Robak faking a handoff, spinning around and racing 23 yards untouched for the score and a 14-point lead with only 2:17 to play.

Shrine (4-3, 2-1) did answer back with a quick-strike, five-play, 60-yard drive which ended when senior quarterback Asher Smith connected with Michael Niehaus for a 20-yard scoring fade pass to the corner of the end zone. The Knights could not regain the ensuing on-side kick attempt and Lakes ran out the clock.

Capturing the league crown on a special night was great night for WOLL football, according to Sawicki — a former player at the school under Boyd.

“In the 10 years I’ve been coaching football here — with what this game meant and all who was back, it was special,” said Sawicki. “And the way we won it, the way we called the game. That was an image for a fellow traveler. This was a special win, to win on a night where (they honored) coach Boyd, and with homecoming under the lights.

“We went out in the fourth quarter and wore them out with the long touchdown drive that was (over a 7:30) drive. That was Lakers football,” continued Sawicki. “We scored two touchdowns tonight with a play we call Lakers football left, Lakers football right — and then we ran it down and scored. We ran toe-to-toe with them and play as hard as we can.”

Lakes opened the scoring with an 11-play, 86-yard drive capped by Kurt Romkema’s 3-yard plunge.

Shrine responded with two touchdown drives. The first ended when Dan Romano scored on a 4-yard run up the middle, while the second saw Michael Niehaus run around right three yards for a 14-7 lead.

WOLL tied at 14-14 with 2:42 left in the first half when Isaac Oliver corralled a high snap and raced 50 yards for a paycheck.

Oliver’s 1-yard plunge untouched with 10:58 left in the fourth quarter to put the Lakers up for good at 21-14.

Oliver was a workhouse with 29 carries for 171 yards for WOLL. Robak added 68 yards on nine rushes for the Lakers, who amassed 306 yards on the ground and 25 yards in the air.

Niehaus had 58 yards rushing, seven catches for 81 yards added 12 tackles for Shrine. Smith finished 10-for-23 passing for 109 yards.

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Category: Featured Articles, Football, High School, High School (M-Z), Most Recently Updated Stories, NOS reference, Prep Wraps, Top Stories, Uncategorized, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes

About Dan Stickradt: DAN STICKRADT | SENIOR EDITOR dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com View author profile.

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