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October 18, 2013

Seaholm football beats rival for OAA Blue title

By Christian Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Seaholm's Austin Paritee breaks upfield against rival Birmingham Groves Oct. 18 at home. The Maples won 28-0 and clinched the OAA Blue championship.

BIRMINGHAM — In front of the largest crowd in Birmingham Seaholm history, the Maples won the Oakland Activities Association Blue title, beating rival Birmingham Groves 28-20 Oct. 18.

Groves started fast, leading 12-0 midway through the first quarter after a 60-yard touchdown pass from Zach Vanfaussien to Cherrod Cohen and a 65-punt return from Ross Williams.

“I looked at the kids and had to bring them together and say, ‘Listen, it’s a long game. It’s not over. They have to go with us for four quarters. I understand they made some big plays, but we have to do what we do,’” Seaholm coach Jim DeWald said. “I’ve been preaching it since day one, ‘do what we do.’”

Seaholm responded with a 1-yard plunge from Dominic Sierpien as time ran out in the first quarter to make it 12-7. The Maples then took the lead, again near the end of a quarter, when quarterback Brandon Altman found Chris Hill for a 4-yard score with 13 second left in the half to make it 14-12.

The Maples kept the momentum early in the third, going up 21-12 with 7:34 remaining in the third when Nick Vestevich scored from 13 yards out.

Seaholm scored what ended up being the game-winner off a tipped pass on third-and-24. Altman made the throw, which was tipped up in the air by the intended receiver and landed in Kerry Mott’s hands for a 39-yard score with just more than nine minutes left in the third to make it 28-12

“You know, we’ve got a lot of breaks the last four years, especially against Groves,” Altman said. “That’s just one of those special moments that only happens in the Groves game and a game like this.”

Groves fought back to make it 28-20 when Bryce Anderson ran it in from 1 yard out with 3:30 remaining. The Falcons would get another chance, but couldn’t get past their own 36-yard line.

The win moves Seaholm to 8-0 overall and 7-0 in the Blue. Groves falls to 7-1 overall and 6-1 in the conference.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Christian Davis at cdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1062. Twitter Follow Christian on Twitter.