Father Gabriel Richard’s season came to an end with a 14-3 loss to Dundee in the first round of the MHSAA playoffs Friday at FGR. The Irish led 3-0 at halftime before turning the ball over three times in the second half. FGR finishes the season 2-2 with victories over Bendle (30-0) and South Lake (30-6).
“We battled the whole game. We just had a few mistakes here and there. They made a few more plays than us and we couldn’t get the offense going in the second half,” Gabriel Richard head coach Matt Giarmo said. “It was just ball security issues. I don’t think it was so much of what they did, it was just our mistakes.”
Father Gabriel Richard totaled more first downs (11-10) than Dundee, but the Irish were hurt by a minu-4 turnover margin. The Vikings accounted for three plays of 20 plus yards, all of which came in the second half, highlighted by a 40-yard run by Ty Schroeder. Irish senior quarterback Mitch Foley completed 60 percent of his throws in the loss.
Giarmo praised his team’s determination and perseverance during this very challenging season. “These kids are resilient,” he said. “It’s not easy to do what they have done this year. It’s not easy to have your season cancelled, put back on, and have to come back. They worked really hard this year and it wasn’t easy but they battled and fought. We couldn’t ask any more of them.”
Both Father Gabriel Richard and Dundee had trouble taking care of the ball in the first quarter as there were three turnovers within a 22-second span. Irish running back George White lost a fumble on the 33-yard line, but Carson Irwin gave the ball right back with an interception on the very next play. The score was tied 0-0 after one quarter.
FGR’s offense, and more specifically the rushing attack, put together a long drive in the final minutes of the first half. The Irish picked up six first downs on the drive but were unable to score a touchdown as Dundee’s defense held up in the red zone. Antonio Benedetto knocked through a 22-yard field goal to give the Irish a 3-0 halftime lead.
The third quarter was an entirely different story, though, as Dundee began to dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Irwin gave the Vikings their first lead of the game with a 6-yard TD run on a read-option. Dundee had five first downs and two plays of 20+ yards in the third quarter, both more than their first half totals.
Just over a minute into the fourth quarter, Schroeder scored from three yards out, giving Dundee a commanding 11-point lead. The Vikings sealed the victory with a pair of turnovers, including an interception from sophomore defensive back Colton Bordine with 3:21 remaining in the game.