Livonia wins District 5-3A opener over Northwest

PRAIRIE RONDE — Although his team’s offensive effort didn’t register high marks on the artistic scale, Livonia High coach David Brewerton was thankful for his defense Friday night.

Northwest High had scoring opportunities five times inside the Livonia 25-yard line and the Raiders scored only once as the No. 8 Wildcats escaped with a 14-7 victory in a game that began District 5-3A for both teams.

A prolonged downpour that lasted most of the second and third quarters hampered the offenses of each team, but Brewerton said his defense played well in the sloppy elements.

“Ugly, man. Last week (against McDonough 35) it was such an emotional game. Not to take credit away from Northwest, but we came out tonight totally flat with our offense out of sync in the first quarter.

“We are just happy to get out of here with a win, even though it was sloppy,” Brewerton said.

The Wildcats improved to 6-0, while Northwest fell to 2-4.

Northwest gained 140 rushing yards in the first half, but ended the game with 157 on the ground.

Brewerton said his defense played well, especially after the Raiders drove 74 yards in six plays to score their only touchdown on the game’s first possession.

On that drive the Raiders scored on a 2-yard run by Chris Lee. The touchdown was set up by Lee with a 27-yard run.

“Northwest had the ball twice (in the third quarter) down inside our 10 and didn’t score and then the defense held again in the fourth quarter when they had it again down deep in our territory.

“Our turnover ratio so far has been a plus 15 and that wasn’t the case in this game. It turned out to be one of those nights.

“We figured out a way to win it and that’s what really counts,” Brewerton said.

The Wildcats fumbled two times and lost both, but none of the lost possessions resulted in a score.

After scoring on their first drive, the Raiders again moved the ball 75 yards in eight plays, but the Wildcats held NWHS on two plays inside the 10.

Brian Alleman’s 26-yard field goal attempt with 1:19 remaining in the quarter was low and below the crossbar.

Livonia tied the game at 7-all after the missed field goal. Russell Farris broke loose on an 80-yard run down the sideline for the TD.

The Wildcats used a NWHS fumble to score their second touchdown with 8:03 remaining. Diante Bridgewater recovered a D’Ante Lewis fumble that popped into the air and after scooping the ball, tossed it to Orlando Gremilion who ran to the Raiders’ 17 before he was tackled.

On the first play from that point, quarterback Kerry Savoy ran 17 yards for the touchdown.

Early in the third quarter Livonia failed to field a wet punt snap during the rainstorm and the Raiders’ Louis Valmont recovered at the Wildcats’ 9.

Northwest lost five yards on the offense series and on fourth down, turned the ball back to Livonia when Lewis threw incomplete into the end zone.

Northwest’s Kolby Joubert recovered a Livonia fumble at the 9 two plays later and it was much of the same for Northwest.

After Lee reached the 8, the Wildcats threw the Raiders back and Lewis was sacked at the 26 on fourth down.

Northwest reached the Livonia 24 twice in the fourth quarter, the last time with 2:52 remaining.

Livonia finished with 243 rushing yards. Farris gained 134 on 21 attempts. Malcolm Dedrick gained 70 on 10 carries.

Lee carried 18 times for 62, but he gained only 12 in the second half.

Lewis had 51 on eight attempts.