It didn’t start out well, but the final results are all that matters.
Early on, it appeared that visiting Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood was going to have its way with host Father Gabriel Richard on the gridiron in a Catholic League Intersectional 1 battle for the top spot in the league. But appearances can be very deceiving.
In the first quarter, the Cranes twice got the ball into the red zone but both times came up empty. The third time they scored to take an early lead.
But FGR quickly found its groove and confidence – and started making plays. The Irish led 10-7 at halftime and scored twice in the second half to knock off the Cranes 24-17 and improve to 2-0 in the CHSL and 2-3 overall.
FGR quarterback James Kendzicky is getting better every time he steps on the field. The sophomore QB went 20 for 26 with three touchdowns, 1 interception, and 354 passing yards in the victory.
Senior WR Tommy Hamann also had a huge day with 150 receiving yards and two catches for scores.
The Cranes drove down deep into FGR territory on their first drive but an interception by FGR sophomore Thomas O’Meara gave the ball back to the Irish. Cranbrook-Kingswood got the ball back and moved it again deep into Irish territory but were stopped on a fourth-and-three play at the 9-yard line.
The Cranes got the ball again and again started moving. A pass interference call on FGR at the 15 set them up for success and this time they cashed it in on a 4-yard TD run to take a 7-0 lead with 1:41 left in the first quarter.
A big run by Jack Smith got the FGR offense rolling. And a 30-yard field goal by Luka Jurasek cut the deficit to 7-3 with 10:38 to play in the second quarter.
Smith then recovered a fumble at the FGR 26-yard line to get the Irish the ball back with 6:56 left in the first half.
A couple of big pass plays between Kendzicky and Hamann brought the Irish inside the 10-yard line. A 21-yard pass from Kendzicky to Hamann gave FGR the lead with 1:58 to play in the first half. Jurasek added the extra point to make it 10-7 Irish – and that’s how the first half ended.
Kendzicky and Hamann connected twice in the second half for scores to secure the victory.
After dropping their first three games, the Irish have now won two in a row. They play Wyoming Kelloggsville (1-4) on Friday in a non-league game at EMU. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. and is the school’s homecoming game.