The Detroit News - - Sports - BY DAVID GORICKI The De­troit News

Oak Park — West Bloom­field ended Oak Park’s un­beaten sea­son while punch­ing its own play­off ticket with a 27-21 vic­tory on a cold, rainy Fri­day night.

And, it didn’t come easy.

West Bloom­field (6-2) led 27-0 at half­time, then had to hold on with se­nior run­ning back Phillip Ste­wart lead­ing an Oak Park sec­ond-half come­back, run­ning for 205 of his 275 yards dur­ing the fi­nal two quar­ters.

In fact, it looked like Oak Park — the OAA White Di­vi­sion champs and No. 2 team in The News Su­per 20 poll — would get the ball back with 3 min­utes left for a chance at the win.

But, it didn’t hap­pen as Oak Park roughed up punter Sam Lafata af­ter he scooped up the ball on a bounce and got the punt away, giv­ing West Bloom­field a first down at the Oak Park 46. And, West Bloom­field got a pair of first downs to run the clock out.

West Bloom­field was dealt a big blow last week when stand­out sopho­more Dono­van Ed­wards, who al­ready has of­fers from Michi­gan, Ohio State and Michi­gan State, suf­fered a sea­son-end­ing in­jury (bro­ken leg) in last week’s loss to South­field A&T.

Penn State-bound line­backer Lance Dixon stepped in for Ed­wards and used his sub-4.5 speed to cause some dam­age, scor­ing on a 25-yard run for a 7-0 lead, then a 2-yard TD run to open a 21-0 lead early in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Dixon played a big role in all three phases of the game, haul­ing Ohio State-bound quar­ter­back Dwan Mathis for a third down sack with seven min­utes left in the sec­ond, then block­ing a punt on the next play, giv­ing the ball to West Bloom­field at the Oak Park 29.

Dixon’s big­gest play could have been his 18-yard run on a third-and-6 on a jet sweep in the fi­nal min­utes.

“It was my first time play­ing run­ning back, our run­ning back got hurt so I got to make up the pro­duc­tion from it,” said Dixon who fin­ished with 105 yards on 12 car­ries.

On the TD run, Dixon said: “They just called a jet and I did my best to break tack­les and get in. It’s so im­por­tant to punch our play­off ticket, to get that so­lid­i­fied.”

West Bloom­field ad­vanced to the Di­vi­sion 1 cham­pi­onship game at Ford Field last year, los­ing to OAA Red ri­val Clark­ston, 3-2.

Oak Park could get noth­ing go­ing in its first sev­eral drives, get­ting stopped on a fourth and 1 from its own 40 when ju­nior safety Makari Paige showed why he has of­fers from Michi­gan, Ohio State and Penn State, tack­ling Mathis for a 5-yard loss in the fi­nal minute of the first quar­ter.

“They called me for a blitz so I could get the job done and I did the best I could,” Paige said.

Then, on West Bloom­field’s first play, C.J. Har­ris went up top and found Ty­rone Bro­den for the 35-yard TD pass and a 14-0 cush­ion with 53.5 sec­onds left.

On the en­su­ing kick­off, Oak Park fum­bled and West Bloom­field re­cov­ered at the 32, then cap­i­tal­ized on the short field when Dixon bulled his way to the 4, then scored two plays later.

West Bloom­field didn’t take ad­van­tage af­ter Dixon’s blocked punt, but it did ex­tend its lead to 27-0 when Michi­gan State­bound re­ceiver Tre Mosley in­ter­cepted a Mathis pass and re­turned it 75 yards, break­ing nu­mer­ous tack­les for a 27-0 lead with 4:12 left in the half.

“We came into this game down five starters,” West Bloom­field coach Ron Bel­lamy said. “Our kicker got hurt in the soc­cer game last night.

“Our left tackle is out with a con­cus­sion. Our one tech­nique is out. Our run­ning back is out. I love these kids. They are re­silient.”

Other games

Auburn Hills Avon­dale 45, Hazel Park 6: Kobe An­thony re­turned an in­ter­cep­tion 95 yards for a touch­down, Derrick Hin­ton had a 40-yard run and Ja­ma­son Jod­way had a 55-yard run for Avon­dale (6-2, 4-2 OAA Blue). Hazel Park is 3-5, 1-5 OAA Blue.

Bloom­field Hills Cran­brook-Kingswood 42, Ann Ar­bor Gabriel Richard 7: Jack Fair­man was 8-for-16 for 119 yards and two touch­downs and had 13 tack­les and a sack, and Tor­rell Wil­liams had four re­cep­tions for 50 yards and a touch­down, re­turned a fum­ble 25 yards for a touch­down and had a in­ter­cep­tion for Cran­brookKingswood (5-3).

Dear­born Ed­sel Ford 41, Tay­lor 22: Steve Gil­bert rushed for 98 yards and two touch­downs, Kee­gan Rowe had six car­ries for 62 yards and a score, Joe Marano had 41 rush­ing yards and a touch­down and Max Mar­ion had a pass­ing and rush­ing touch­down for Ed­sel Ford (3-5, 3-5 Down­river). Tay­lor is 2-6, 2-6.

De­troit Cody 20, De­troit Mum­ford 14: Alexan­der White rushed for 111 yards on 14 car­ries and scored the game-win­ning touch­down for Cody (6-2, 3-2 PSL Green) in the fi­nal sec­onds. White also threw for a touch­down. Also for Cody, Joshua Wi­ley caught a screen pass and took it 80 yards for a touch­down and Joseph Thomas had two sacks and 10 tack­les. Mum­ford is 5-3, 3-1 PSL Green. Cody ad­vances to the PSL B Divi­son Cham­pi­onship.

De­troit Pub­lic Safety 50, Mount Cle­mens 0: Shun­ndean Bridges went 15-for-17 pass­ing for 275 yards and two touch­downs, Devon­tae Webb had seven re­cep­tions for 120 yards and a touch­down and two in­ter­cep­tions for De­troit Pub­lic Safety (7-1). Mt. Cle­mens is 1-7.

Grosse Ile 21, Riverview 14: Zak Thomp­son threw a 4yard touch­down pass to Max Athens and Luke Har­wood had 22 rushes for 138 yards and two touch­downs for Grosse Ile (8-0, 7-0 Huron League). Kyle Nais had 15 rushes for 69 yards and two touch­downs for Riverview (6-2, 5-2).

Grosse Pointe South 54, Grosse Pointe North 0: This is the third straight MAC White Di­vi­sion ti­tle for South (8-0, 5-0 MAC White) and the first time the team has went 8-0 since 1983. North is 1-7, 1-4.

Ply­mouth 35, Salem 13: Lo­gan Walk­ley rushed 16 times for 72 yards and a touch­down and Van Ri­ley scored twice, one re­ceiv­ing and one rush­ing, for Ply­mouth (6-2, 5-2 KLAA West). Nathan Hunt rushed 16 times for 85 yards and a touch­down for Salem (1-7, 0-7).

South Lyon 29, Walled Lake Western 19: Sam John­son was 11-of-22 for 223 yards and a pass­ing touch­down, CJ Brown rushed 11 times for 116 yards and two touch­downs and Kevin Jackson had a 42-yard touch­down re­cep­tion for Western (5-3, 5-2 Lakes Val­ley). South Lyon (8-0, 7-0) wins the Lakes Val­ley ti­tle.

War­ren Mott 35, Utica Ford 7: Alex Wells rushed 27 times for 134 yards and a touch­down for Ford (3-5, 2-3 MAC White). Mott is 6-2, 4-1.

Pho­tos by Jose Juarez/Spe­cial to De­troit News

West Bloom­field run­ning back An­thony May, left, is tack­led by Co­rion Mont­gomery on Fri­day.

Oak Park quar­ter­back D’Wan Mathis, left, scram­bles for yardage against West Bloom­field dur­ing the first quar­ter.

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