The Birmingham Seaholm High School Maples fed off a large, boisterous crowd to score 28 unanswered points and remain undefeated Friday night at homecoming against cross-district rival Groves.
Trailing by two touchdowns, Seaholm, coming off a 48-0 win over Ferndale last week, shook off a sluggish start and scored at the close of both the first and second quarters to muster a 14-12 halftime lead. The Maples extended the lead with a 13-yard touchdown run by Nick Vestevich, and a 40-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brandon Altman that was tipped and ended up in the hands of Kerry Mott for the deciding score with just over nine minutes left.
From there, the Maples relied on a stout defense to fend off the explosive Groves offense, which came in averaging more than 40 points a game. The Falcons scored two touchdowns barely six minutes into the game behind a 60-yard touchdown pass from Zach VanFaussien to Cherrod Cohen, and a 68-yard punt return for a score by speedster Ross Williams.
“I looked at the kids, brought them together and said ‘you know what, this is a long game and it is not over,’” Seaholm head coach Jim DeWald told www.miprepzone.com. “They have to go with us for four quarters.”
Before a stadium filled with current students and lots of alumni, the two teams played arguably the biggest game in their storied rivalry since 1978 when 8-0 Groves played 7-1 Seaholm. The Maples captured the OAA Blue Division, and the possibility to host a playoff game with the win.
The crowd over-filled the stadium and fans from both schools lined the fences and grass hill behind the end zone.
What was your favorite part of Friday's rivalry game? Tell us with a comment.