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WL Western romps over Fenton, 61-21

11/12/2016, 10:15pm EST
By Tom Lang, Special to the Free Press

Western wins back to back Regional titles

A short field and a strong offensive line led to multiple big plays for Walled Lake Western, which scored touchdowns on seven of its eight first-half possessions to break away from visiting Fenton and win a Division 2 regional crown, 61-21, Saturday afternoon.

“We’ve been working on getting out to a quick start and today we got out quick,” said Western quarterback Johnny Tracy. “The line played great, from start to finish. They gave me great protection and we had great run blocking.

“And I have to give the defense credit. They played their hearts out all game too.”

Western’s defense was focused on Fenton quarterback Josh Czarnota, who had scored 26 passing touchdowns (2,225 yards) and 16 rushing TDs (1,160 yards) coming into the regional.

“What worried us the most was their quarterback running the ball,” said Western coach Mike Zdebski. “And he got away a few times, but not as much as he has in the past. Our defense stayed on top of their routes and we didn’t give up any home runs, until late. But the biggest thing was keeping their quarterback in check. He’s a good player.”

Czarnota did score on a 44-yard run in the first quarter but was held to 50 yards rushing the remainder of the game. Fenton running back Dylan Crankshaw totaled 94 yards, but 56 of those came on a touchdown in the fourth quarter under a running clock against Western’s subs.

Otherwise, the entire game was under Western’s complete control.

Justin Thomas got the offense going by catching a 7-yard slant pass for a touchdown on the Warriors’ first possession. Jalen Marshall then ran 1-yard for another score and a 14-6 lead. After forcing a Fenton punt, Western scored on the first play, a 42-yard pass from Tracy to Thomas, to end the first quarter.

After another Fenton 3-and-out, Western’s Jamon Benson ran seven yards for a 28-6 lead with 7:06 remaining until halftime — yet that was enough time for the Warriors to score three more touchdowns, starting with Kameron Ford’s 43-yard reception he caught on the wing and cut through the Fenton defense.

That was followed by a 40-yard touchdown run up the gut by Cody White. With just 21 seconds remaining until halftime, thanks to a fumble recovery by Western’s Johnny Schiavi, the Warriors scored on Benson’s 4-yard run and had a 48-6 lead.

“Our defense was really clicking together today,” Schiavi said. “Everything was going the way we wanted to, but we need to make more improvements next week.”

In the third quarter, White scored on a 5-yard slant pass from Tracy. In the fourth, backup receiver Ilija Lazich grabbed a 56-yard TD pass from backup QB Dylan McGorisk to finish Western’s scoring with under five minutes remaining. Western totaled 522 yards of offense to improve to 11-1 heading into a semifinal matchup against Lowell (12-0).


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