Everett’s suffocating defense held East Lansing to 48 yards of offense and the undefeated Vikings went on to a 6-0 CAAC Blue football victory on Friday night.
Everett (6-0 overall, 4-0 CAAC Blue) qualified for the state playoffs while playing in front of its home crowd on Homecoming night.
“The young men played really hard,” Everett head coach Marcelle Carruthers said. “We knew it was going to be tough. Our defense stepped up.”
Everett’s offense wasn’t much better in the first half. East Lansing (4-2, 2-2) held the Vikings to 59 yards through the first two quarters of a scoreless game.
But Everett nearly doubled its yardage on its first drive after halftime. The Vikings went 54 yards, keyed by a 44-yard run by senior Alec Cambric that took the ball to the East Lansing 1-yard line.
One play later, Cambric would punch it in to put the Vikings up, 6-0.
“It’s because of our offensive line,” Cambric said. “They made the holes, and they made it possible to score that touchdown.”
Cambric finished the game with 26 carries for 141 yards and a touchdown. He received the bulk of the carries after senior running back Anthony White was ejected from last week’s game against Lansing Eastern and forced to sit out the next game due to MHSAA rules.
“Those are big shoes to fill,” Cambric said. “Anthony White is a great player. We knew with him gone we would have to step it up.”
The defense also elevated its game to account for the absence of White, who also plays linebacker. The shutout against the Trojans was Everett’s first of the season.
East Lansing managed 35 yards on the ground and just 13 yards in the air. Accounting for most of the offense was junior running back Faymous Tyra, who finished the game with 23 carries for 44 yards.
But seeing the Trojans run the ball for most of the game wasn’t too much of a surprise for Everett.
“We are a real disciplined team, and we take pride in that,” Everett senior defensive back Jaleel Canty said. “In our film study, we know what they are going to do, and we just need to execute.”
The Vikings’ defense is allowing just 7.2 points per game this season.
“They always do what they have to do,” Cambric said. “They haven’t let us down yet, and I have a lot of faith in them.”
The win over East Lansing, which won the CAAC Blue last season, is the latest triumph in a tremendous turnaround for Everett.
The Vikings won two games in 2009, went winless in 2010 and won four last season.
Now the Vikings will focus on next Friday’s CAAC Blue showdown with Grand Ledge (5-1, 4-0).
“It’s going to be a big week for our seniors,” Carruthers said. “It’s their last time in the stadium for the regular season.”