Pilot Football Blanks Port Huron, Wins District Championship

 

Ten district championships in program history.  

That's what the Pilots can now lay claim to, after their 36-0 victory over the previously undefeated Port Huron Big Reds Friday night. 

In the district final tilt, senior running back Brett Stanley started right where he left off a week ago. 

After scoring the final two touchdowns in the Pilots' 35-6 win over St. Clair Shores Lakeview in the district semifinal round, he scored the first one in Friday's contest with the Big Reds. 

It was of the rushing variety from one yard out, and it gave De La Salle a 7-0 lead with 5:38 to play in the first quarter.

DLS scored twice more in the quarter, with the first of the two scores coming on the heels of a forced fumble from the Purple and Gold. 

The Pilots cashed in on the very next play, via a 28-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Brady Drogosh to fellow sophomore Jack Yanachik. 

On the following offensive possession, Drogosh & Co. scored again, this time via a 15-yard toss from the talented sophomore passer to freshman Rhett Roeser. 

It gave the Pilots a 21-0 advantage headed into the second quarter.

The Purple and Gold, via a strong game from the offensive line, continued to dominate the time of possession in the second quarter. It led to both one more score before the half and the Pilots keeping the Big Reds off the scoreboard. 

The touchdown came with 4:53 to play in the half, when senior JC Ford scampered in for the quarterback keeper. 

It was followed by a successful two-point conversion, that came to be after a botched snap on the point-after try. Yanachik, the holder on the play, proceeded to loft the football into the end zone, at which point the pass was deflected and ended up in the hands of Roeser.

Additionally, the first-half shutout pitched by the Pilots' defense was accentuated by a big hit from Roeser to end the half. 

The freshman put together a very solid all-around game -- and easily the best performance of his young high school football career. 

DLS head man Dan Rohn is very glad to have him as a part of his team. 

"He's a very mature freshman and very physical," Rohn commented after the game. "You know, it's odd to sometimes think that he's only a 14-year-old kid. But, he's a strong football player, a great athlete and we're fortunate enough to have him as one of our Pilots." 

The Purple and Gold walked into halftime with a 29-0 lead. 

The highly effective defensive play from DLS continued into the third quarter.

Port Huron was driving late in the quarter, when DLS senior linebacker Jayden Conklin came through with a big play. 

He picked off a Big Reds pass on second-and-goal, which prevented Port Huron from stealing any kind of real momentum away from Rohn's squad. 

Conklin feels that he and his teammates have really been starting to hit their stride during the postseason. 

"We are red hot. We are really coming together at the right time," Conklin said. 

After Conklin and the defense flexed their muscles with the interception, Drogosh and the offense did so, as well, to start the fourth quarter.

With 10:23 remaining in the quarter, he found junior tight end Gavin Grzywacz for his third touchdown pass of the contest. 

It was an impressive performance from the young signal-caller and a sign -- according to Rohn -- of how much he's developed as the season has progressed.

"You know, when you're a sophomore and you're 15 years old and you play our schedule, it's been tough. But, he's growing every day, and him and Ford give us the flexibility to do a lot of things at quarterback," Rohn said. 

The final Drogosh score of the night was the finishing touch on a masterful performance from the Pilots on both sides of the ball.

Through three playoff games in 2020, the Purple and Gold have been absolutely dominant, outscoring their opponents, 129-20. 

And the Pilots now will play the 8-1 Warren Mott Marauders, who won their district championship via a Birmingham Groves forfeiture, for the Div. 2 Region 4 championship next weekend (time TBD).
 

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