North Central stops banged-up Trojans
CRYSTAL FALLS—Facing the top-ranked 8-man team in the Upper Peninsula and the second-ranked team in the state was going to be a big challenge for the Forest Park Trojans all along.
But throw in a couple of injuries to key players and a mess of a weather day and the challenge the Trojans faced against North Central on Oct. 5 was made tougher. And while Forest Park stayed in range in the first half, the Jets dominated the second half on their way to a commanding 34-8 Great Lakes Eight Conference West victory over the Trojans at Powers.
The Trojans (4-2, 1-1) were behind the 8-ball much of the day against an athletic, fast and powerful North Central team which has proved difficult to stop all season.
In the win over the Trojans, the Jets produced just shy of 400 yards total offense, while Forest Park mustered only 175.
“I was a little disappointed in our execution, but we had guys in different positions because we had some injuries from the week before,” FP coach Dave Graff said. “So when you start moving guys around, you’re not going to execute the way you want to. But the guys never gave up.”
Specifically, Graff had to limit the carries of starting tailback Gabe Scarlassara because of a shoulder injury and fullback CJ Post was hampered by a sprained ankle suffered the previous week against Carney-Nadeau. Graff said he also had to make adjustments in the offensive line during the NC game.
Scarlassara finished with 30 yards on 15 carries, while Post ran just two times for four yards.
The Jets (6-0, 3-0) opened the scoring on a 68-yard touchdown pass from Luke Gorzinski to Noah Gorzinski. North Central then added another on a 15-yard pass reception by Noah Gorzinski.
The Trojans pulled within four when Scarlassara ran in from the 2-yard line and after the two-point conversion trailed 12-8.
“We were able to move the ball on that drive (with a combination) of run and pass,” Graff said.
In the first half, Peltoma completed 4 of 8 passes for 77 yards, while Scarlassara caught two passes for 27 yards.
But that would turn out to be Forest Park’s only score of the game. North Central upped its advantage to 18-8 when Noah Gorzinski hit Leo Gorzinski Jr. with a 28-yard touchdown pass with 7:13 to play before halftime.
The Jet defense held the Trojans scoreless in the second half, shutting down every aspect of the FP offense, which also struggled in the rain with shotgun snaps.
Meanwhile, Noah Gorzinski’s second rushing touchdown of the day early in the fourth quarter, plus a two-point conversion, left the Jets with a commanding 26-8 lead.