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Friday's high school football: Underwood, Belleville defeat Fordson in KLAA East showdown

Dearborn — Belleville freshman quarterback Bryce Underwood played like an experienced senior Friday night in leading his team to a 21-19 victory over Dearborn Fordson.

Fordson was looking for a payback on its home field after last year’s embarrassing 69-0 loss to Belleville.

Fordson looked the part of a team that entered the night 4-0 and ranked No. 9 in The News Super 20 poll. It moved the ball and played great defense, trailing 14-12 at the half.

Belleville (4-1, 3-1 KLAA East), No. 6 in the Super 20, started the game with a touchdown. It scored on a 36-yard punt return by sophomore Kevin Simes with 5:08 remaining to seal the deal.

Belleville scored on the game’s first possession, moving 80 yards on 12 plays with Underwood completing three third-and-long passes to keep the drive alive. The march was capped by a 23-yard TD pass to a Deshaun Lee on a third-and-17 play.

Fordson didn’t have trouble moving the ball, advancing into Belleville territory on multiple occasions, but failed to finish drives. It turned the ball over twice in the first half.

Fordson quarterback Alex Osman found Mohammed Sayed over the middle for 43 yards to the Belleville 33. It advanced inside the 25, before cornerback Mychal Yharbrough pounced on a fumble at the 24 to end the threat.

Fordson moved into the red zone midway through the second quarter, starting with Osman’s third-and-13 pass to Sayed for 17 yards. It advanced to the Belleville 17 before another turnover ended the drive. Running back Lenard Covington lost the ball and linebacker Cameron Dyson snared it out of the air, returning it 80 yards for a TD and 14-0 lead.

“I knew the tackle was blocking down so I had to squeeze and then there was a little muffle between the quarterback and running back," Dyson said. "Once I seen it, I popped it (the ball) out and grabbed it and took it to the crib.

"Those Fordson boys played their hearts out. We’re happy to get the win.”

Michigan State-bound receiver Antonio Gates starred for Fordson after being silenced for the majority of the first half. He made a one-handed catch down the right sideline on third-and-5, then shook off a tackle and outran multiple defenders to complete a 62-yard  touchdown. That pulled Fordson within 14-6 with four minutes left in the half.

After Fordson forced a three-and-out, Osman had a short field to work with at the Fordson 42. Covington delivered a physical, 19-yard run before Osman found Gates for a 26-yard TD pass with 50 seconds left in the half to pull within 14-12. Belleville snuffed the run on the 2-point PAT attempt.

Fordson coach Walker Zaban wanted to prevent the big play. He reached that goal in the first half, limiting Belleville to 124 total yards and holding Underwood to 102 yards passing. Gates drilled Lee for a 5-yard loss on the final toss of the half to keep the momentum in Fordson’s favor.

Lee didn’t return in the third quarter which hurt Belleville. It was also missing Michigan-bound linebacker Aaron Alexander and Arkansas-bound safety Myles Rowser due to injuries.

Fordson took advantage of the situation, possessing the ball the entire third quarter. It advanced to the Belleville 25 before a personal foul penalty brought it back to the 32. A third-down sack and a fourth-down interception by Jeremiah Beasley on the first play of the fourth quarter ensued.

Beasley’s interception gave Belleville the ball at its own 42. Underwood’s 36-yard pass to Christian Rapley set up a first-and-goal at the 2. But Fordson mounted a goal-line stand, including a fourth-down sack, to end the drive with just over six minutes left.

Belleville forced a three-and-out, prompting a Fordson punt near its end zone. Simes returned it for a touchdown with 5:08 remaining.

“I had two punt returns called back earlier this season," Simes said. "So on the punt return I caught the ball, saw a lane and I just hit it.”

Fordson wasn’t finished, scoring on a 65-yard drive. Osman found Hussein Beydoun for a 13-yard TD with 3:20 left, making it 21-19.

Fordson’s defense stopped Belleville on its first two plays from the Belleville 21. But Underwood connected with Jeremiah Caldwell for a diving catch near the left sideline for a 35-yard gain on third-and-9 with 2:22 left.

Belleville ran out the clock.

Underwood finished 12-of-17 for 184 yards and a touchdown. Osman completed 15-of-25 passes for 233 yards and three TDs with one interception.

More Friday games

Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 37, Romeo 34: Cephus Harris III had 357 all-purpose yards with a rushing and receiving touchdown, Ryan Schuster was 9-for-18 passing for 202 yards and two touchdowns, and Cameron Fraser and Jeremiah Mason each had one interception for Chippewa Valley (4-1, 3-1 MAC Red). Romeo is 4-1, 3-1.

Detroit Collegiate Prep 34, Detroit Douglass 0: Marshawn Brown had 103 rushing yards with two touchdowns, Emmitt Simpson had 105 yards rushing and one touchdown and Amil Dawson had two catches for 86 yards and one touchdown for Collegiate Prep (1-4). Douglass is 0-5.

Detroit Henry Ford 26, Detroit Mumford 8: Darren Harris had 112 all-purpose yards, two rushing touchdowns and an interception returned for a touchdown, Robert Hill had 158 all-purpose yards, LeDarius Gorre had eight tackles and Tyriq Henderson had two sacks with six tackles for Henry Ford (2-3). Mumford is 1-4.

Detroit Southeastern 45, Detroit Denby 0: Desean Matthews had 13 carries for 150 yards and three touchdowns, Julian Loddale went 9-for-14 passing for 201 yards and three touchdowns and Khris Crumsey had three catches for 67 yards and one touchdown for Southeastern (2-3). Denby is 1-4.

Garden City 18, Romulus 12: Antonio Gregory went 9-for-19 passing for 150 yards and Owen McGraw had 14 rushes for 39 yards for Garden City (2-3). Romulus is 2-3.

Hartland 22, Plymouth 0: Sam Clay was 12-for-14 passing for 217 yards and two touchdowns, Joseph Mattord had 107 yards receiving and one touchdown, and Justin Rogers had five tackles with three tackles for loss for Hartland (4-1). Plymouth is 0-5.

Livonia Stevenson 41, Wayne Memorial 0: Matthew Gazzarato had 19 carries for 170 yards and two touchdowns, Aar’Jon Thompson had seven carries for 55 yards and two touchdowns, Nikki Ajdarpasic had five tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery for a touchdown and Aiden Nolan had five tackles and an interception for Stevenson (3-2). Memorial is 0-5.

Ortonville Brandon 28, Owosso 7: Dylan Dickens rushed for 220 yards on 24 carries and scored a touchdown for Brandon (5-0), while Drew Hickmott added a 23-yard touchdown catch and a 45-yard interception return. Gio Akarwi paced the Brandon defense with 14 tackles.

Riverview 22, Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 8: Preston Thompson was 4-for-7 passing for 128 yards and a 35-yard touchdown to Jacob Shank for Riverview (5-0, 4-0 Huron). Blake Birkenheir had a 29-yard rushing touchdown for SMCC (4-1, 3-1).

Royal Oak Shrine 40, Allen Park Cabrini 14: Conor Benson went 15-for-19 passing for 202 yards and two touchdowns and had 104 rushing yards and two touchdowns, Charlie Niehous had 15 rushes for 120 yards and two touchdowns and Gus Simon had three catches for 49 yards and two touchdowns for Shrine (2-3, 2-0 Catholic). Cabrini is 2-3, 0-2.

Utica Ford 12, Warren Mott 9: Christopher Williams rushed for 216 yards, Luke Kemig threw a 80-yard touchdown to Jack Milson, and Ashton Karash had three sacks for Utica Ford (2-3, 2-1 MAC White). Warren Mott is 2-3, 1-2.

Detroit News staff contributed.

Friday's scores


Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard 24, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook 17

Clarkston Everest Collegiate 65, GPW University Liggett 30

Madison Heights Bishop Foley 36, Macomb Lutheran North 20

Marine City Cardinal Mooney 33, Waterford Lakes 7

Royal Oak Shrine Catholic 40, Allen Park Cabrini 14

Warren De La Salle 49, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s 25


Detroit Voyager College Prep 62, Melvindale Academy BT 6

Harper Woods Chandler Park 50, Mount Clemens 6

Romulus Summit Academy North 1, Detroit Community 0 (Forfeit)

Detroit PSL

Detroit Cass Tech 1, Detroit East English 0 (Forfeit) 

Detroit Central 26, Detroit Renaissance 21

Detroit Collegiate Prep 34, Detroit Douglass 0

Detroit King 1, Detroit Western 0 (Forfeit)

Detroit Osborn 42, Detroit Communication Media Arts 8

Detroit Pershing 32, Detroit Cody 0


Gibraltar Carlson 42, Wyandotte 7 

Trenton 34, Lincoln Park 7

Taylor at Southgate Anderson

Woodhaven 33, Allen Park 28


New Boston Huron 42, Carleton Airport 34

Milan 43, Flat Rock 8

Monroe Jefferson 30, Grosse Ile 15

Riverview 22, Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 6


Belleville 21, Dearborn Fordson 19

Brighton 28, Northville 27

Canton 28, Novi 21 

Hartland 22, Plymouth 0

Howell 48, Salem 8

Livonia Churchill 56, Dearborn 21

Livonia Franklin 1, Westland John Glenn 0 (Forfeit) 

Livonia Stevenson 41, Wayne Memorial 0

Lakes Valley

Milford 18, Walled Lake Western 15 

South Lyon 49, White Lake Lakeland 35

Waterford Kettering at Walled Lake Central

Waterford Mott 42, Walled Lake Northern 20


Clawson 37, Center Line 29

Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 37, Romeo 34

Fraser 35, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore 21

Grosse Pointe South 9, Utica Eisenhower 3 

Macomb L’Anse Creuse North at SCS Lakeview

Marine City 55, Clinton Township Clintondale 12

Marysville 34, Madison Heights Madison 13

New Baltimore Anchor Bay 33, Utica 14

Madison Heights Lamphere 33, Warren Woods Tower 26

Port Huron 35, Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse 23 

Roseville 65, Warren Cousino 0

St. Clair 39, Grosse Pointe North 33

Sterling Heights Stevenson 31, Macomb Dakota 16 

Utica Ford 12, Warren Mott 9

Warren Fitzgerald 60, Hazel Park 14

Warren Lincoln at St. Clair Shores South Lake


Ecorse 32, Detroit University Prep 0


Auburn Hills Avondale 21, Ferndale 0

Berkley 31, Troy Athens 20

Bloomfield Hills 41, Farmington 14

Clarkston 20, Oxford 17

North Farmington at Rochester (Postponed)

Birmingham Groves 22, Oak Park 14 (OT) 

Rochester Adams 35, Birmingham Seaholm 0

Rochester Hills Stoney Creek 21, Southfield Arts & Technology 14

Royal Oak 1, Pontiac 0

West Bloomfield 28, Lake Orion 21

Western Wayne

Dearborn Heights Annapolis at Redford Thurston

Dearborn Heights Crestwood 43, Melvindale 8

Garden City 18, Romulus 12

Redford Union 56, Dearborn Heights Robichaud 12


Harper Woods 34, Detroit Country Day 27

Livonia Clarenceville 46, Dearborn Advanced Tech Acad. 6

Pontiac Notre Dame Prep 28, Dearborn Divine Child 14

Troy 14, Dearborn Edsel Ford 0

Saturday's games


Detroit Loyola at Detroit U-D Jesuit, 12


Detroit Edison at Warren Michigan Collegiate

Det. Leadership Acad. at South.Bradford Academy, 6

Detroit PSL

Detroit Denby at Detroit Southeastern, 12

Detroit Mumford at Detroit Henry Ford, 2


Paw Paw at South Lyon East, 2:30

Pittsford at Pontiac Arts & Technology Academy, 6:30

River Rouge at Cleveland St. Ignatius (OH), 4

Sunday's game


Birmingham Brother Rice at Detroit Catholic Central, 1