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Grosse Pointe Woods, Royal Oak

August 29, 2013

Defense shines in football season opener as Shrine beats Liggett 14-6

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Shrine quarterback Tim Niehaus passed for a touchdown and rushed for another as his squad beat Liggett 14-6 in the season opener for both teams.

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — The post-game rhetoric was nearly identical from both opposing coaches, but as John Goddard summed it up, “it’s a lot easier to build on a win than it is a loss.”

Goddard and his Royal Oak Shrine football team can build away following their 14-6 victory against Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett Thursday evening at Liggett.

“This was probably the hottest day we’ve had all year, and we’re out here in the first week with some new kids, some new faces and two teams making some early season mistakes,” Goddard said with a smile. “But our defense played very well, and the offense controlled the ball enough to get us the win.”

“We played great. We played a good, tough game,” said Liggett coach Dan Cimini. “Give (Shrine) credit, they kept the ball away from us."

Shrine struck first when senior quarterback Tim Niehaus connected with sophomore receiver Mike Miller on a 26-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.

Liggett sophomore Tommy Jackson returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a score, but the team missed the extra point and trailed 7-6.

The teams traded chances after the two quick scores, but Shrine extended the lead for good with 7:22 remaining in the third.

After Niehaus scampered 40 yards to get into Liggett territory, he eventually scored on a 2-yard run.

Liggett had chances late, especially after junior Caleb Stokes returned an interception to the Shrine 36 yard line.

But the Liggett offense, which totaled just 91 yards the whole game, turned the ball over on downs four plays later.

“I liked what I saw,” Cimini said. “This is a Shrine team that beat us (26-0) last year and (49-7) in the playoffs two years ago. I’m so proud of the way our guys battled.”

Liggett (0-1) is back in action at 7 p.m. Sept. 6 at Montrose Hill-McCloy.

Shrine (1-0) plays its first home game of the season at 2 p.m. Sept. 7 against Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.