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Dominant rushing attack leads Canton past Churchill, to district title

Football   | Ben Szilagy

Dominant rushing attack leads Canton past Churchill, to district title

Canton — Canton imposed its will early and often in its Division 1 District Final match-up against Livonia Churchill.
 
The Chiefs used its balanced running attack to claim its first district title in five seasons with a convincing 56-21 win.
 
“We went into tonight thinking we might have to score every time we get the ball to beat these guys,” Canton coach Tim Baechler said.
 
Canton did just that scoring on all eight of their offensive drives of the game, and it started after the opening kickoff.
 
The Chiefs (9-2) cashed in a five-play drive that started with a 48-yard run by senior Chuck Turfe. Fellow running back sophomore Marcus Sanders gave Canton a 7-0 lead on a 20-yard touchdown run with 9:56 left in the first quarter.
 
Churchill quickly answered with a methodical drive that senior quarterback Brian Alsobrooks set up with two big passes on second and third downs. Alsobrooks finished the drive on a 1-yard run for a 7-7 tie.
 
Sanders would lead the charge from then on.
 
“He makes things happen. He isn’t the fastest kid, but he has great balance. All the holes were there for him to take advantage of. We have a system where each night a different guy can have a big night, and tonight was his night,” Baechler said.
 
Sanders had a carbon-copy run off the left guard for a 19-yard touchdown run for a 14-7 lead with 1:21 left in the first quarter. At the half, the sophomore had 17 carries for 206 yards and two touchdowns.
 
He’d finish the game with 316 yards on 25 carries and three touchdowns. In fact all of Canton’s running backs broke the 100-yard mark in Friday’s game.
 
Senior Brian Newton finished the game with 19 carries for 119 yards and three touchdowns. Fellow senior Charles Turfe had 106 yards and a touchdown, all earned in the second half.
 
The night was spe