Updated: Dec 6, 2022
The Port Huron Northern football season came to a close last night as the Huskies hosted Lakeview in a district semifinal and fell 33-27.
“I’m so proud of our kids tonight. They never quit, no matter what was going on,” head coach Larry Roelens said. “I’m so proud of my seniors. Ending the season 8-2 is nothing to hang your head about whatsoever. They showed that and they played until the clock hit zero tonight.”
Lakeview scored early and struck again four minutes later to take a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter. Its running game was fast and efficient, challenging the Northern defense. The Huskies recovered, however, forcing their opponent to punt, which then sparked new life into their offense.
They marched downfield to start the second quarter with a pair of solid passes from senior quarterback Dylan Bloink to senior Kanye Cole and freshman Amir Morelan. Senior Hayden Prone finished it off with a 17-yard carry into the end zone.
By halftime, Lakeview struck again and led 21-6. With 5:27 left in the third, the lead was extended to 27-6, but as Roelens said, his team never gave up.
Senior Alex Armstrong blocked a punt and junior Daniel Moore recovered it for a touchdown with 1:12 left in the third – a huge momentum boost. From there, Northern’s defense forced Lakeview to punt, and senior Luke Fletcher chased down a bad snap, recovering it near Lakeview’s 30-yard line to put his team in scoring position.
The Huskies took advantage of the momentum with a touchdown from sophomore running back Reace Buckhana to narrow the game 27-20 with 8:45 remaining.
And even when Lakeview went up 33-20 with 5:25 to go, Northern still answered with a 31-yard touchdown pass from Bloink to junior Maximus Williams. Junior Dimitri Kasparian sent the ball through the uprights for his third extra point of the night, helping the Huskies to a 33-27 ball game with 2:56 on the clock.
By then, however, it was too late and Lakeview lined up in victory formation. The Huskies would conclude their season an 8-2 overall with a share of the MAC-Blue title.
As Friday’s game proved, Northern boasted a well-balanced team on both sides of the ball this season with strong seniors – like Bloink who threw for 136 yards and one touchdown to five different receivers and Prone who led the running game with 83 yards and a touchdown – and promising underclassmen – like Morelan who had 76 receiving yards.
“The future’s bright. We’ve got a good JV team and we’ve got a lot of young pieces around here right now,” Roelens said. “I’m just proud of our kids and how we played this year and tonight, even though we lost, it was a great game to be a part of.”
Lakeview will move on to the Division 2, Region 4, District 2 championship next Friday against the winner of this afternoon’s game between Port Huron High (7-2) and L’Anse Creuse (5-3) at 2 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.
For in-game updates and other news, follow Calli on Twitter @ newberry_calli
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