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Beverly Hills, Pontiac

November 9, 2013

Offenses explode as Country Day beats Notre Dame Prep in district final for second year in a row

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

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Offenses explode as Country Day beats Notre Dame Prep in district final for second year in a row
Maurice Ways goes up for his ninth catch, and third touchdown, of Friday night's D-4 district final. Country Day won 49-27, eliminating Notre Dame Prep for the second year in a row.

PONTIAC — Where there's a will, there's a Ways.

On Friday night in Pontiac, that was the difference for the Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day football team and its quest for a second straight district title.

Maurice Ways hauled in nine catches, three for touchdowns, and the University of Michigan-bound receiver helped power the Yellowackets past Notre Dame Prep 49-27 in the Division 4 playoffs.

Same place, same teams, same prize on the line.

The same trophy is coming back to Country Day.

“When the lights come on, my eyes just get wide and I feel like I’m ready to go,” Ways said after the win. Country Day beat Prep 14-12 in last year's district final, as well. Ways finished the game with 189 yards receiving and the three scores. “I felt like I had a good week of practice. The whole team had a good week, and we were ready to go.”

On its opening drive of the game, Country Day marched 63 yards to take a 7-0 lead on a Richard Wilson score.

Quarterback Tyler Wiegers made it 14-0 with a 2-yard run at the end of the first, and then Ways hauled in a 66-yard pass to make it 21-0.

“That was huge,” coach Dan MacLean said of the early advantage. “To get the offense going right way was so key for us. We knew (Prep) was going to have some shots at us, so to go up early did a lot for our guys."

Prep got on the board when Alex Stuart caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Brenden Newvine, but Ways answered right back his second touchdown catch of more than 60 yards to reestablish a 21-point lead.

Prep scored late in the half when Reid Siano caught a pass with 14 seconds remaining from Newvine, and then the home team made things real interesting when Jermiah Johnson, who played despite a knee injury, capped the opening drive of the second half with a 3-yard touchdown run to make it 28-21.

The momentum was short-lived, though.

On the ensuing drive, Ways hauled in a 21-yard touchdown pass to push the lead to 35-21.

Prep again clawed within one score early in the fourth on a Newvine 2-yard rush, but Wilson returned the kickoff 59 yards and then on fourth down, scored on a 31-yard run.

The Boston College-bound back finished with 74 yards on just 10 carries.

Mike MacLean capped the scoring with a 4-yard reception late in the fourth quarter on another fourth-down conversion.

MacLean also added three sacks a forced fumble and a recovered fumble.

“It hurts. It hurts bad right now,” Prep coach Kyle Zimmerman said. “You put so much into thi; it’s tough when it ends. But our guys battled. That’s what you have to be proud of. To be down 21 early, most teams would fold right there. Not these guys. We were right there in the fourth quarter.”

Prep ends the season at 8-3.

Country Day, now 8-3 and winners of eight straight games, will be on the road next weekend against at Marine City High (10-1).

The game is set for Saturday night at 7 p.m.

Asked who could slow his team down at this point, Ways just smiled.

“Only us,” he said. “We’re going to get back to work this week and be ready to go for whoever we face.”

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