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WL Central grabs sole possession of first place in KLAA North with win over Waterford Mott

Football   | Jeff Dullack

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Walled Lake – With sole possession of first place in the KLAA North on the line, two of the division’s top high powered offenses in Walled Lake Central and Waterford Mott went head to head on Thursday night.

But it was Central’s defense that put together tough stands to keep the Corsairs out of the end zone, including a goal line stand early in the fourth quarter, which was followed up by a long touchdown run by Nick Krumm to lead the Vikings to a 38-20 win, giving the outright lead in the division.

Central (5-1 overall, 4-0 KLAA North) head coach Bob Meyer said that he felt his team’s defense was the difference on Thursday night and credited his defensive coordinator and players for coming up with big plays when the Vikings needed them most.

“The defense stepped up,” he said. “That’s a high powered that can score in one play and you saw it. They had a fourth and four and converted it for a touchdown. They have a lot of big plays, so you kind of live with that breath ready to come out, but I give my new defensive coordinator, Dan Novak, and the defensive staff a great pat on the back, because the defense came to play and made all the plays at crucial times.”

After Central took a 24-14 lead into halftime behind two touchdown runs from Zach Goor and another from Krumm, Mott managed to trim the deficit down to 24-20 after a touchdown run from Corbin Moorer early in the third quarter to get the Corsairs back in the game.

But after that, it was all Central as the Vikings defense went on to keep the Corsairs out of the end zone and the Central offense went to work chewing up the clock.

Krumm responded to the Mott touchdown less than a minute later as he took off on a 43 yard touchdown run to extend the Viking lead to 31-20 with 10:19 left to play in the third quarter.

Krumm said that he and his teammates were a bit surprised with how well the Viking offense was able to move the ball up and down the field, but credited his offensive line, which has had some new members in recent weeks due to injuries for their play to open up holes for the Vikings rushing attack.

“We were definitely surprised,” he said. “We knew it was going to be a struggle, Mott’s a good team. We’ve had some injuries with our O-line, but we had a lot of people step up and they did a great job.”

Krumm finished the game with 232 yards rushing and three touchdowns and did not attempt a pass on the night, a part of the Central game-plan to keep the ball away from the high powered Mott offense. 

“We were trying to burn the clock,” Meyer said. “Our offensive game plan was to burn the clock and try to keep it out of that team’s hands. Nick and the offensive line ate clock and moved the ball and so did Zach Goor. It wasn’t sexy, a couple of nice runs were, but for the most part, we just do what we do, eat clock, protect the ball and get first downs.”

Then, after the Viking defense came up with a huge goal line stand to keep Mott out of the end zone early in the fourth quarter as the Corsairs had a first and goal from inside the 3-yard line, Krumm put the game out of reach as he scored on a 71 yard touchdown to push the Central lead to 38-20.

“It was a huge play,” said Krumm. “The o-line came and blocked out on the outside and they set up great blocks, so it was easy to just cut up and just run straight.”

The win now puts the Vikings in the driver’s seat to win the KLAA North, but Meyer said that more importantly the win over Mott puts his team one win away from its goal of making the playoffs after missing out the past two years.

“Everyone talks about how we can win the division, but we’re focused on making the playoffs,” he said. “Once we make the playoffs then we try to get a home playoff game. That’s what our main focus is and by doing that those other things will come.”

Mott’s two first half touchdowns came from a 44 yard touchdown pass from Dakota Kupp to Randy Bicknell and a 20 yard connection between Kupp and Avery Carter, which drew the Corsairs to within three, 17-14 in the second quarter.

The Vikings can clinch a playoff spot as they play host to rival Walled Lake Western next week, who also holds a 5-1 record after beating Walled Lake Northern 42-21 on Thursday night.