Football: Father Gabriel Richard turns over Clio to win season opener

The Father Gabriel Richard football team is trying to turn over a new leaf and get back to being a playoff team following last year’s 2-7 result. The Irish turned over visiting Clio on Thursday and turned the Mustangs’ mistakes into points – a lot of points – in an impressive 31-8 victory before a fired-up home crowd.

Good teams don’t look a gift horse in the mouth and the Irish were more than willing to turn turnovers into touchdowns The Irish capitalized on Clio’s misfortune to take a 23-0 lead into halftime and never looked back.

The Mustangs scored on their first possession of the second half but the game was really never in doubt after a dominating first half by the Irish.

On the first offensive play of the game, FGR’s Matthew Montgomery took off and raced to the Clio 32-yard line to set the tone. Another nice run by the senior running back took the ball to the 9-yard line. Senior QB Gregory Kendzicky, who did an excellent job running the offense, raced around the right side from three yards to give FGR a 6-0 lead. A pass to Brandon Victor pushed the lead to 8-0 with 7:58 still to play in the first quarter.

FGR got the ball back and failed to convert a fourth-and-two near midfield. But Clio fumbled on their first play to give the ball right back to the Irish. FGR missed a 30-yard field goal.

The Mustangs ran off a big run to take the ball to the FGR 30-yard line. But the Irish recorded a sack on the next play and then Clio fumbled again and Thomas Grayson recovered at the Irish 31-yard line with 9:42 left in the half.

The Mustangs would hold and get the ball back. They converted a fourth and short deep inside their own end of the field. But the Mustangs AGAIN fumbled and this time Luke Madden scooped it up and ran it into the end zone for a score. A 30-yard extra point (FGR was called for a penalty on the previous two-point attempt) gave the home team a 15-0 lead late in the second quarter.

Clio fumbled AGAIN. This time on the kick off giving the Irish the ball at the 18-yard line. A six-yard run by Montgomery added six more points and a pass from Kendzicky to Paul Hehmann brought two more and a 23-0 lead with 53 seconds to play in the first half.


After the Mustangs cut the lead to 31-8 early in the fourth quarter, the Irish answered in the fourth quarter. Kendzicky hit Victor for a 23-yard TD pass and the two-point conversion was successful for a 31-8 lead.

The Irish play Detroit Old Redford (1-8 last year) next week before playing Macomb Lutheran North in week three – the Mustangs beat the Irish 13-7 last year and reached the playoffs for the first time since 2010.