The Catholic League is down to two “candidates” for a state championship in football – down from a list of a dozen qualifying teams just two weeks ago: Warren De La Salle in Division 2 and Riverview Gabriel Richard in Division 7.
Both teams continue their quest at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9: The Pilots (9-2) will play at Port Huron Northern (10-1). Gabriel Richard (7-4) travels to Madison Heights Madison (11-0).
De La Salle, the defending Division 2 champ, dominated No. 1-rated Oak Park, 35-7. The Pilots scored in every quarter: a five-yard run by Evan Vaillancourt in the first; Jordan Rogers’ four-yard burst in the second; Brett Stanley’s nine-yard run in the third quarter; Stanley again in the fourth quarter, a 25-yard run; and capped off by Dylan Wilson covering a fumble in the Oak Park end zone.
Oak Park’s total offense amounted to just over 100 yards.
Gabriel Richard won its first district trophy by shutting out fellow CHSL member, Allen Park Cabrini, 30-0. Back Nathan Palumbo scored twice on 3- and 2-yard plunges. Quinn Hess and Devin Durham each returned intercepted passes for TDs.
The Pioneers will be facing undefeated Madison, which also eliminated a CHSL opponent from the state playoffs, Detroit Loyola, 38-0. The Bulldogs finished the season with an overall 7-4 record, 4-0 to win the CHSL AA Division.
Two CHSL squads ended their season on a disappointing note. Novi Detroit Catholic Central (7-4, 2-1 CHSL Central) was beaten 20-17 in overtime by West Bloomfield. Clarkston Everest Collegiate (9-2; 3-1 CHSL Intersectional 2) lost 22-14 to Flint Beecher.