With an 18-point lead early in the fourth quarter Friday night, it looked like host Allen Park Cabrini would pick up a victory over Dearborn Advanced Tech Academy in the season opener.
However, the visiting Lakers hit for two quick touchdowns and trailed just four points with more than six minutes remaining.
Dearborn Advanced Tech Football Photo Gallery at Allen Park Cabrini
With the ball back, Cabrini completed a time-consuming drive that nearly ran out of time. While the ATA had one last chance, the Monarchs held on for a 42-38 win in the non-league battle.
The game was a back-and-forth affair overall, with ATA also shooting within four points in the third quarter.
“They finally dug deep and said we can win this thing, all we have to do is make one or two saves,” Cabrini coach Randy Wojtala said. “They stepped it up a notch and they made things happen when they needed it. It would have saved us a lot of headaches if they had done this in Q1 and Q2.
Monarchs quarterback Carson Bradley threw for two touchdowns in the win over the Lakers and rushed for two scores while teammates Owen Tomsic and Alexander Thompson each entered the end zone twice. Tomsic was also 4 for 5 PAT kicks.
For the Lakers, Cobey Cureton had a huge night, scoring four touchdowns and over 200 all-purpose yards.
Cureton, a sophomore, is one of several young players to outfit ATA, who is looking to bounce back from an 0-9 season in 2021.
“I’m super proud of my guys,” Lakers coach Marlon Baker said. “To grow from last year, not winning a game…I feel like they’re a great team we’ve played against, if we can play with them, we can play with anyone. who.”
Cabrini immediately took a 7-0 lead in the game when Thompson returned the opening kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown.
With 4:50 to go in the first quarter, ATA’s Christian Calloway scored on a short run. The PAT was blocked and the team trailed 7-6.
Thompson returned the ensuing kickoff to the Lakers 40-yard line. The fine return, coupled with a big carry from Tomsic, helped set up a Bradley touchdown from six yards out. Cureton blocked the PAT and the Monarchs led 13-6.
Cureton then lined up the ensuing kick-off and quickly drove 75 yards to the end zone, which brought his team within a point.
With the ball back, Bradley found Tomsic open for a big gain and soon after hit him with a 25-yard touchdown pass in the closing seconds of the first quarter.
Bradley connected with a wide-open Thompson for a 50-yard touchdown five minutes into the second quarter. Ben Maffesoli (6-3, 285), a trade lineman, took the ball and went on the 2-point conversion to make it 28-12.
This year, Bradley, Tomsic and Maffesoli are three of five seniors on the Monarch roster.
“We are really young, there is a lot to learn here,” Wojtala said. “We could be competitive all year round, as long as we improve week by week.
“We have to improve, and that’s the only thing we have to do. “We have to make better decisions offensively and defensively.”
With five minutes remaining in the first half, Cureton was able to get past Cabrini’s defenders and netted a through pass from quarterback Derreuan Polk. About three minutes later, Cureton scored on a 12-yard run. After a failed 2-point conversion attempt, ATA finally entered the break trailing 28-18.
About eight minutes into the third quarter, Julian Jones of the Lakers hit paydirt from short distance and cut the deficit to four points, following a missed PAT.
“This team keeps fighting,” Baker said. “I have a bunch of young guys here. These young people are hungry, they will continue to fight. They believe in themselves. We are battle tested, in the offseason we had a lot of 7v7s, we tangled well, so we are hungry, we have something special here.
Before the end of the third quarter, the Monarchs extended their lead when Bradley joined Tomsic for a 34-yard touchdown.
Just as the final quarter started, Cabrini’s Logan VanNorden took off on a 28-yard run deep into Lakers territory. Less than a minute later, Bradley earned his second rushing touchdown of the night and the home side had what looked like a 42-24 lead with 10:45 to play.
Two minutes later, Cureton struck again. This time around, the all-state track sprinter took off on a long run and crossed the goal line. Polk took advantage of the 2-point conversion and made it a 10-point game.
With exactly 6:16 left in regulation, Cureton opened up and picked up a pass from Polk that went for a 66-yard touchdown. A failed 2-point conversion left the score at 42-38.
Looking to run out of time, the Monarchs got a few first downs and were helped by a personal foul against the Lakers.
On a second play, deep in ATA territory, Cabrini struggled with the snap and found himself in a 3-and-16 situation with 1:23 left in the game. The Monarchs failed to get one more first down, but they cut the clock to 19 seconds before putting it back in downs.
Desperate to score, the Lakers offense failed to get downfield on the first attempt. Polk hit the ball with 0.6 seconds on the clock and gave his team one last chance. The signalman got a pass, but it was caught by Nicholas Baccella to end the game.
In Week 2, the Monarchs will hit the road for a game against Sterling Heights Parkway Christian on Thursday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. That same evening, ATA will host Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest at Lawrence Tech.