2017-10-12 / Sports

Cardinals stack the deck against Lapeer

By Joe Oster
810-452-2641 • joster@mihomepaper.com

Davison’s Cannon Hall drops back in the pocket against Lapeer on October 6. 
Photo by David Brovont Davison’s Cannon Hall drops back in the pocket against Lapeer on October 6. Photo by David Brovont DAVISON – The Davison varsity football team bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 35-17 victory over Lapeer on Friday. Lapeer was previously tied for first place in the Saginaw Valley League Red Division before experiencing its second loss of the season at the hands of the Cardinals.

The backfield tandem of Cannon Hall and Tariq Reid proved to be a nightmare for the Lightning, totaling 302 yards on the ground.

Both teams were slow to start in the first quarter, trading punts until a 40-yard run on keeper from Hall put the Cardinals in position to score. However, two plays later, Hall threw an interception on 3rd-and-18, ending the first quarter locked at 0-0.

Early in the second quarter, Hall exploded once again for a 48-yard run that would place Davison on Lapeer’s 11-yard line. A fumbled snap and an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty on the next play pushed the Cardinals back to the 34-yard line, facing a 2nd-and-33. On the next snap, Hall scrambled to his left and found Max Slezak in the end zone, but the touchdown was called off due to a holding penalty. On 2nd-and-45 from the 46-yard line, Hall ripped off another big run, but that was also called back from a hold. The Cardinals were pushed back to their own 41-yard line and a 2nd-and-59. A completed pass to Austin Roland and a dump-off to Reid would move the Cardinals up to Lapeer’s 33-yard line, but the drive ultimately sputtered out, allowing the Lightning to escape unscathed.

On the ensuing possession, Davison forced Lapeer to punt, but the field was flipped as the Cardinals were pinned on their own two-yard line with 6:32 remaining in the half. On the first play from scrimmage, Reid took an inside hand off to the left side, then reversed field thanks to a monster block from Roland, and trotted 98 yards to the end zone for the game’s first score.

Lapeer then moved down the field in a methodical drive that included multiple third and fourth down conversions. The Lightning faced third and goal from the six-yard line with six seconds left. Lapeer’s Brady Apple found a receiver in the back corner of the end zone, but was forced out of bounds before fully gaining possession. With two seconds left on the clock, Lapeer settled for a 24-yard field goal, leaving the scoreboard at 7-3 heading into halftime.

Lapeer opened the second half with the ball, but a botched snap on fourth down would give Davison the ball just inside the red zone with 9:51 remaining in the third quarter. Two plays later, Hall rolled to his left and found Garret Goyette in the end zone from 13 yards. Mickey Clifford’s extra point extended the lead to 14-3.

Lapeer drove right back down and answered in three plays, capped off with a 10-yard touchdown run by Jalen Kirkland, making it 14-10.

The Cardinals moved to ball to inside Lapeer’s five-yard line, thanks to a drive which included a big reception from Roland. Facing a third-and-one from the three-yard line, Reid smashed the ball up the middle for a first down. One play later, he was in the end zone with a 21-10 lead.

The Cardinals’ defense then forced Lapeer into a fourth-and-one from its own 20-yard line, but Apple would convert for the Lightning on a quarterback sneak. Two plays later, Cal Stefanko came up with a huge sack on Apple, forcing Lapeer to open the fourth quarter facing a third down with 15 yards to go. On the next play, linebacker Logan Pasco intercepted the ball at Lapeer’s 35-yard line, ultimately ending any rally that Lapeer appeared to be conjuring.

Davison added another touchdown when Hall found Goyette again, corralling a three-yard touchdown as he fell into the end zone.

The Cardinal defense forced Lapeer to turn the ball over on downs. Hall made the Lightning pay with a 14-yard touchdown run, giving the Cardinals a 35-10 lead with 6:06 remaining.

Lapeer added a 22-yard touchdown run with 5:14 left to give the game its 35-17 final score.

Hall finished the night 7-for-9 through the air for 83 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He ran the ball 14 times for 174 yards and another score. Reid had 14 carries for 128 yards and a couple of touchdowns. Reid also added a 14-yard reception. Roland and Lamar Hay also each had one carry, for eight and five yards respectively. Roland caught two passes for 33 yards, and Slezak had two receptions for 20 yards.

Gabe Ellis led the defense with 17 tackles and eight assists, including 1.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for a loss. Cari Terry had eight tackles and two assists. Stefanko finished the evening with 7.5 tackles, one assist and one sack. Pasco had five tackles, two assists, two sacks and an interception.

Mickey Clifford went 5-for-5 on extra points.

Davison, 6-1, travels to Bay City Western, 0-7, this Friday with kickoff at 7 p.m.

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