In Play with Tom Markowski

Brother Rice dominates C.C. from the start

Football   | Tom Markowski

Brother Rice dominates C.C. from the start

Berkley – Birmingham Brother Rice rarely looked better in its annual game against Detroit Catholic Central.

The Warriors dominated from the opening drive and whipped the Shamrocks 41-14 in a Catholic League Central Division game on Friday at Hurley Field.

Much has changed since Brother Rice defeated Chicago Brother Rice 40-34 in its opener. Most of those changes have come defensively. Chicago Brother Rice moved the ball almost at will against the

Warriors that Saturday afternoon at Wayne State. Against C.C. the Warriors showed signs of last year’s team that was so effective defensively.

And that’s not good news for the rest of the teams in the league and in Division 2, when the state playoffs start on Oct. 31.

Brother Rice (5-0, 2-0) led 21-0 at halftime, a half that saw C.C. (2-3, 0-1) gain 57 yards and three first downs, one by penalty.

The 41 points is the most by any team in this series.

Brother Rice receiver Grant Perry’s 10 receptions (131 yards, three TDs) are the most by any receiver in the series.

Alex Malzone’s 276 passing yards are the most by any quarterback in the series.

Brother Rice leads the series 30-28-1.

The difference in this game was the Warriors' dominance on the line of scrimmage and how quickly Brother Rice's defense got to the C.C. ball carriers, and quarterback Joe Fanning.

It’s a different unit since the opener.

Linebacker Bo Pickens had a sack and his 46-yard interception return for a touchdown gave Brother Rice a 41-7 lead with 1:53 left.

“It was a new system,” Pickens said of the defense in the first week. “In week five we’ve really come along.  C.C is our biggest rival. That helped to get us up. We’re getting used to the way things are done. We trust each other.”

The credit must go to defensive coordinator and Brother Rice graduate Ben Rowden. Rowden was an assistant coach before taking over as defensive coordinator this season.

It took a few games but the Warriors are looking much like last year’s team that went 14-0 and won a third consecuttive title.

Former Brother Rice coach Al Fracassa watch the game from the stands and couldn't help but be impressed with his former team and new coach Dave Sofran.

"That was something," he said. "Those boys took it to C.C."

 Malzone was his usual self. He completed 18 of 25 attempts for three TDs and no interceptions. He's thrown just two interceptions this season.

 He led the Warriors on  five-play, 81-yard drive to open the game and his 7-yard touchdown pass to Perry gave Brother Rice a 7-0 lead.

"That was our game plan," he said. "Get the ball and go quick. We gave them a punch in the mouth. Against (Warren) De La Salle last week we were a little conservative. We had three, three-and-outs in our first four drives.

"We're getting better each week. We prepared very hard for this game. Our defense kept them off the field. (Linemen) Brad Boyer and Jack Dunaway put pressure on their quarterback".