Dearborn Heights Annapolis football passes Romulus with PHOTO GALLERY – Press and Guide

On Friday, two football teams sitting at 1-3 on the season faced off, each looking to improve their position in the Western Wayne Athletic Conference.

Dearborn Heights Annapolis at Romulus Football Photo Gallery

Fresh off their first win of the season last week at home to Redford Thurston, Dearborn Heights Annapolis hit the road to take on Romulus, who on Homecoming Night were looking to bounce back from being beaten by top-place finisher Redford Union a week ago. .

It was an encouraging start for the host Eagles, but it was the visiting Cougars with a solid defensive performance that spoiled the Homecoming festivities, leaving town with a 24-6 victory.

It was a remarkable result on many fronts for Annapolis (2-3, 2-2 WWAC). The win gives them back-to-back wins for the first time since winning their last two games of the 2019 season. Week 8 of this season was also the last time they beat Romulus (1-4, 1- 3 WWAC) on the grill.

Romulus quarterback Torrence Searcy gets ready to throw a pass Friday night at home in a game against Annapolis. The hosts Eagles struck first but then suffered a 24-6 loss. (Alex Muller – For MediaNews Group)

It’s also the first time in a season (five weeks) that the Cougars have had two wins since the 2014 campaign. And just like they did a week before against Thurston, that’s what they did in end of the game that propelled them to a victory on Friday.

“We’ve played a lot in the second half the last few weeks,” Annapolis coach Anthony Linares said after the win. “We insisted with these children on the intensification of the four trimesters. Because two quarters will not be enough.

“At this point anyone in the league can beat anyone,” Linares said. “Everybody, for whatever reason, doesn’t want to play to their abilities, they want to minimize who they’re up against. You’ve seen what three quarterbacks can do, if we play four quarterbacks we can be dangerous. .

The start of the first quarter was a bit slow as both teams traded turnovers via interceptions. Annapolis’ Hassan Rivers knocked out Romulus quarterback Torrence Searcy in the red zone, only for Cougars quarterback Robert Armstrong on the ensuing run to be intercepted by Mylek Lee.

Annapolis' Hassan Rivers (1) intercepts a pass Friday night between teammate Darreus Reese (2) and Romulus' Shannon Brown (6).  A big night in total from Rivers helped guide the visiting Cougars to a 24-6 win.  (Alex Muller - For MediaNews Group)
Annapolis’ Hassan Rivers (1) intercepts a pass Friday night between teammate Darreus Reese (2) and Romulus’ Shannon Brown (6). A big night in total from Rivers helped guide the visiting Cougars to a 24-6 victory. (Alex Muller – For MediaNews Group)

Unlike Annapolis, the Eagles were able to capitalize on the turnover, ending it with a rushing touchdown from Shannon Brown from eight yards in the final minute of the first quarter.

From then on, everything was Annapolis.

After being turned on downs inside the Romulus 5-yard line midway through the second quarter, the Cougars on the very next play from scrimmage tackled Brown in the end zone for a safety.

Later in the period, after knocking down Romulus on the downs, Annapolis was able to capitalize. Again on the next play immediately after the change of possession, it was Gavin Poisson who exploded for the 35-yard run home. A successful 2-point conversion made it 10-6 in favor of Annapolis.

Romulus had one final try before half-time but Searcy was picked off by Rivers again, this time in the end zone when time expired.

“The running game worked so well for us early on,” Romulus coach Charles Searcy said. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t score enough points doing it and also struggled to stop the running game (from Annapolis).

“It comes down to mistakes,” Searcy added. “We still make a lot of mistakes. If we can correct them, we can play the rest of the season better.

Both of the Cougars’ second-half scores came in the third quarter and on consecutive possessions in the span of 69 seconds.

After forcing Romulus to three-and-out on the first drive, Annapolis used up most of the clock in the third quarter to cap off their drive with a rushing touchdown from Armstrong.

The Cougars went for the kick in play and recovered it to regain possession. Again with the ground game, they marched into Eagle territory and finished things there with a rushing touchdown from Rivers from 11 yards out.

Those are back-to-back wins for Annapolis. And after allowing 89 points in their first two games of the season, the Cougars in their last three games have allowed an average of just 16 points.

Annapolis can now head home for its own Homecoming in Week 6 which it hosts Melvindale, who fell at home Friday to Dearborn Heights Crestwood, 18-12.

There’s still plenty of football to be played, but some mid-season momentum ahead of next week’s high school festivities has encouraged Linares.

“They’re starting to realize that when the momentum is on their side, all they have to do is take advantage of it. You have to step up and realize you can make these players over and over again.

“It’s something we’re working towards,” Linares continued. “Tonight they were in control. We want them to understand that it’s not our game as coaches, it’s what they do as players, following and being responsible. That’s all it is.

As for Romulus, they will stay at home in Week 6 and host Crestwood, who have won three straight games after back-to-back losses to open the season.

“We just have to stick together, play together as a team,” Searcy said. “We always play as separate units. And we have to play football faster and not think about it too much.

Jack C. Nugent