Cousino’s Nick Palmer hands off to Steven Charles Jr during first half action Friday, October 10, 2014 at Grosse Point North.
Although Warren Cousino still needs two more victories to clinch a playoff spot, what it accomplished Friday night at Grosse Pointe North more than likely assured the MAC Blue Division championship.
Quarterback Nick Palmer had a touchdown pass and TD run — and North’s chance to tie sailed right on a field-goal attempt — as the Patriots sprang the upset, 24-21.
Cousino is 4-3, 4-0 in the Blue; the Norsemen are 4-3, 3-1.
“It was a very physical game, and I just can’t say enough about our seniors,” Cousino coach Brad Nettles said. “I can’t say enough about our guys.”
Cousino took the lead for good on a 3-yard TD run by Palmer with 4:33 left in the third quarter.
North had a chance to tie with 1:30 left, but a 26-yard field goal attempt didn’t hit the mark, allowing Cousino to run out the clock.
“It was a tough one,” North coach Frank Sumbera said. “They stuffed the play, and it was fourth down. We have a kicker, and he just kind of pulled it. We were playing for overtime. We put the ball in (QB) Dan’s (Robinson) hands, and they stopped it. Give them credit for that. I thought we made a couple of mistakes out there offensively in the first half, and our pass blocking wasn’t good.”
There’s no secret to the Grosse Pointe North offense. Longtime coach Sumbera wants to run the ball. Junior LaTorris Greer finished with 206 yards rushing on 22 carries.
In the second quarter, Robinson sprinted 40 yards on a fourth down up the middle and down the left sideline past a host of defenders to give the Norsemen a 7-3 advantage with 9:36 left in the half.
Sophomore Steven Charles Jr., bottled up the entire first quarter, then stunned the Norsemen by bursting 71 yards up the middle, eluding only one tackler, to give the Patriots the lead back, 10-7, with 8:06 left in the half. He had 111 yards on 10 carries.
Greer responded with a with a 35-yard jaunt through the defense with 1:35 left in the half to regain the lead for North at the break, 14-10.
Palmer opened the third quarter with a 60-yard sprint down the right sideline as the Patriots regained the lead, 17-14.
Robinson threw a 41-yard TD pass to Tristan Richardson on third-and-30, then Palmer used a 48-yard pass to Brendan Oles to set up his own 3-yard TD run as the Patriots regained the lead for good.
“We knew it was going to be a hard-hitting game,” Palmer said. “We hit hard and never stop.We’re always about big plays and getting things done.”
Contact Perry A. Farrell: 313-222-2555 or email@example.com.