Orchard Lake St. Mary’s stops Detroit CC in its tracks

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s stops Detroit CC in its tracks

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Orchard Lake St. Mary’s stops Detroit CC in its tracks

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Josh Ross might be only 15, but the Orchard Lake St. Mary’s junior linebacker knows football. He especially knows Novi Detroit Catholic Central football.

That’s why with St. Mary’s clinging to a 6-0 late lead, Ross knew which play the Shamrocks were about to run.

“The tight end did a drag across the field,” Ross said. “That was one of their go-to pass plays, and I knew it was coming. They didn’t pass to it the whole game, and I knew on that play they were going to pass to it. So I set up in my drop, and I got the pick.”

Ross’ interception and 29-yard return set up Justin Myrick’s 26-yard touchdown run Friday night, sparking the visiting Eaglets to a 14-7 victory.

Orchard Lake St. Mary's Josh Ross is congratulated on the sidelines by his teammates after making a key interception in the fourth quarter at Novi Detroit Catholic Central in Novi, Mich. on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. St. Mary's won the game 14 to 7.

Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Josh Ross is congratulated on the sidelines by his teammates after making a key interception in the fourth quarter at Novi Detroit Catholic Central in Novi, Mich. on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015. St. Mary’s won the game 14 to 7.

St. Mary’s didn’t allow Catholic Central to score until the final minute and limited the Shamrocks (5-2, 2-1, No. 7 in Division 1) to 34 yards rushing.

“We usually can run against everybody, but not tonight,” CC coach Tom Mach said. “They did a real good job of shutting our run down and forced us into doing some stuff we might not have wanted to do a lot of the time, but that’s what happens sometimes.”

St. Mary’s loss was a 31-8 defeat to Warren De La Salle, and the Eaglets (6-1, 2-1, No. 3 in Division 3) needed to atone for that performance.

“When we played De La Salle, we played awful so today we wanted to redeem ourselves,” Ross said. “We watched so much film on them, we were ready for everything they had. It was just there, flying to the hole.”

St. Mary’s pushed CC around on the field, but had difficulty once it reached the red zone. The Eaglets had managed only two John Kwiecinski field goals, but with the way St. Mary’s was playing defense, they were almost enough.

Myrick finished with 122 yards rushing for St. Mary’s, and he earned every inch, trying to slug it out with the CC defense.

“It’s always tough against CC,” Myrick said. “They have huge linebackers, a big line. We were challenged, and we overcame that challenge and it was a great game.”

Ross’ interception gave St. Mary’s the ball on the CC 37-yard line, and four plays later Myrick finally broke through and scooted 26 yards for the score and a 14-0 lead with 1:26 left.

“It was time,” Myrick said. “It was a big relief. All game we were in the red zone, they’d been stopping us. Once we broke it through, and it was open. It was a tight run, ran it through the middle, we’re always going to run it up the gut. It was a good play.”

It was a terrific play in a game ruled by the defenses, which is usually the case when St. Mary’s and CC meet.

“I thought we made our reads tonight and took their running game away from them,” said St. Mary’s coach George Porritt, whose team will play De La Salle in the Week 9 Prep Bowl if the Pilots beat CC next week. “We stayed disciplined in our reads. We were slanting to the ball right, and our linebackers did a great job reading their keys.”

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