BELLEVILLE SHOWS DRIVE TO SUC­CEED

The Detroit News - - High Schools - BY DAVID GORICKI The Detroit News

Belleville — No. 4 Belleville earned its first re­gional cham­pi­onship Fri­day night with a 1310 come­back win over No. 14 West Bloom­field in cold, wet con­di­tions.

First, Belleville (12-0) made a big, fourth-down stop when West Bloom­field ju­nior Cor­nell Wheeler, a Michi­gan com­mit, was stopped short of the Belleville 19 on fourth and inches with eight min­utes left.

Then, Belleville pounded the ball on the ground, scor­ing on the 81-yard drive with se­nior Khalid Craw­ford bust­ing loose for runs of 16 and 33 yards to set up Jalen Hunt’s 3-yard TD with 3:49 left.

Still, West Bloom­field (9-3) — which lost to Clark­ston in the Divi­sion 1 cham­pi­onship game last year at Ford Field — had one more chance to pull out the win or force over­time, but C.J. Har­ris’ third-down pass from mid­field fell in­com­plete and he was sacked by Hunt, an Iowa com­mit, on fourth down af­ter scoop­ing up a bad snap with less than 2 min­utes re­main­ing.

West Bloom­field had yet an­other chance af­ter Belleville failed to pick up a first down, then opted to run the ball on fourth down from its own 47 in­stead of punt.

Har­ris & Co. had the ball at the Belleville 40 with 18 sec­onds left, but af­ter two in­com­ple­tions, he was sacked once again to end the game.

Belleville piled up more than 240 yards rush­ing with se­nior Deon Selma pick­ing up 142 yards on 29 car­ries Sopho­more quar­ter­back Chris­tian Dhue-Reid, who en­tered the game with 37 TD passes, 11 in the pre­vi­ous three games, hit on just 3-of-16 passes for 53 yards with five passes dropped.

Dhue-Reid also had two TD passes called back due to penal­ties in the first half.

Belleville dom­i­nated the first half, hold­ing a 141-67 ad­van­tage in to­tal yards and 33-16 edge in plays, but trailed 3-0 at half­time.

Why? Well, Belleville had two TDs called back for penal­ties and an­other chance for a score erased by a fum­ble in the red zone.

Belleville went on a 15-play drive on the open­ing drive, eat­ing up more than 6 min­utes, but Dhue-Reid threw an in­com­plete pass in the end zone on sec­ond down, then on third and goal from the 6, fum­bled the snap and de­fen­sive tackle Beau Davis re­cov­ered at the 16 to end the threat.

On Belleville’s sec­ond

drive, Dhue-Reid found Michi­gan State-bound re­ceiver Ju­lian Bar­nett down the right side­line for a 38-yard pass to West Bloom­field’s 45.

Then, on fourth and 3 from the 43, Dhue-Reid found Jalen Wil­liams over the mid­dle for a TD pass which was called back for an il­le­gal shift, forc­ing a punt.

Dhue-Reid went back to work on Belleville’s third drive from its own 35, find­ing Bar­nett over the mid­dle on a cross­ing route near mid­field with Bar­nett tak­ing it to the end zone, only to have that play called back for an il­le­gal man down­field.

West Bloom­field — which had two three-and-outs — fi­nally reached Belleville ter­ri­tory on C.J. Har­ris’ 10-yard pass to Michi­gan State-bound re­ceiver Tre Mosley, then Har­ris ran for 31 yards on a quar­ter­back keeper to the 14.

But Belleville’s de­fense stopped Har­ris on a third and 3 from the 6, mak­ing West Bloom­field set­tle for a 25-yard field goal by Jake Ward with 3:02 left in the half.

West Bloom­field in­creased the lead to 10-0, scor­ing on a 60yard drive to open the third quar­ter with Har­ris run­ning for 12 and 14 yards, then find­ing Mosley down the left side­line for a 28-yard TD.

West Bloom­field had a chance to add to that cush­ion af­ter forc­ing a three-and-out, then watch­ing the ball bounce through the punter’s legs, giv­ing West Bloom­field the ball at the Belleville 23.

But West Bloom­field failed to take ad­van­tage, los­ing yardage and then hav­ing Har­ris’ screen pass fall in­com­plete on fourth and 16.

Belleville pulled within 10-6 with 5:14 left in the third when Deon Selma picked up 28 yards on a fourth and 10 from the West Bloom­field 32 to set up Jalen Hunt’s TD run.

Less than a minute later, Dhue-Reid and Belleville had a short field to work with af­ter fresh­man corner­back De­shaun Lee re­cov­ered a fum­ble at the West Bloom­field 16.

But, this time around, Selma was stopped on a fourth and 3 at the 9 to end the threat, just a play af­ter Dhue-Reid’s third-down toss was dropped in the end zone.

West Bloom­field’s de­fense again came up big late in the third when Selma was met at the line of scrim­mage by Penn State­bound linebacker Lance Dixon at the West Bloom­field 37 on fourth down.

Pho­tos by An­thony Lanzilote/Spe­cial to Detroit News

West Bloom­feild's Christo­pher Har­ris runs for a nice gain dur­ing the game against Belleville, which won 13-10.

Christo­pher Har­ris car­ries the ball for West Bloom­field. Belleville scored on a late drive to pull out the vic­tory.

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