MARQUETTE - Alex Sherbinow rushed for 166 yards, Steve Newby ran for two touchdowns and the Marquette Senior High School football Redmen scored 35 points Friday night.
But ask MSHS head coach Dave L'Huillier the key to his team's 35-12 nonconference win over visiting Detroit Denby and he'll say it was defense.
"The defense stepped up and made plays," he said after his team's opening-season victory. "For the most part, it played well."
Detroit Denby’s Jalen McCroy (3) is tackled by Marquette Senior High School’s AJ Grazulis (44) during the second quarter at Marquette Senior High School on Friday. (Journal photo by Matt Keiser)
The Redmen intercepted three passes, stopped the Tars on a fourth-and-1 just before halftime and forced Denby to give up the ball on downs five times. It also stopped two extra-point runs.
"We just had to adjust to their passing game, but we did well on defense," said MSHS senior linebacker Shane Duquette, who picked off two Denby passes. He ran one back 33 yards for a TD.
The Tars of head coach Tim Muir got a 19-of-44 passing performance for 235 yards and a score from quarterback Raynard Lewis, Jr. But Denby managed just 64 yards rushing on 24 carries.
Marquette 35, Detroit Denby 12
Score by quarters:
DETROIT DENBY 6 0 0 6 - 12
MARQUETTE 7 7 7 13 - 35
MSHS - Alex Sherbinow, 4 run (Max Bednarek kick), 6:16
Denby - Jalen McCoy, 7 pass from Raynard Lewis, Jr., (run failed), 0:00
MSHS - Shane Duquette, 33 pass interception, (Bednarek kick), 9:06
MSHS - Steve Newby, 5 run (Bednarek kick), 2:17
MSHS - Jimmy St. Cyr, 5 run (Bednarek kick), 7:45
MSHS - Newby, 8 run (Bednarek kick), 2:23
Denby - Deiontae Barber, 40 pass from Lewis, Jr. (run failed), 1:26
First downs - Denby, 15; MSHS, 14
Rushes-yards - Denby, 24 for 64 (leader unavailable); MSHS, 58 for 240 (Alex Sherbinow, 31 for 166)
Comp-Att-Int-Yards - Denby, Raynard Lewis, Jr., 19-44-3-235; MSHS, Zack Sherbinow, 1-2-4-0
"We're a passing team. We try to spread it out," Muir said. "We played well and didn't give up. But we made some critical mistakes and Marquette did a great job."
Said L'Huillier: "I was impressed with their QB. It was hard to contain him."
Duquette's first interception came early in the second quarter and resulted in his TD runback for a 14-6 MSHS lead.
"I was in my defensive zone and a kid tipped the ball. I caught it and just returned it," he said.
Duquette's second pick came late in the third quarter with the Redmen ahead 21-6.
"A receiver ran inside and I watched the quarterback," he said. "I saw the play coming my way and just made it. I was playing my key."
Brett Beauchamp also intercepted a pass for MSHS, returning the ball 60 yards and helping the Redmen go up 28-6 on a 5-yard scoring burst not long later by Jimmy St. Cyr.
"We were a little sloppy at times, but we made the plays when we had to," L'Huillier said. "We made some key fourth down stops."
None perhaps so important as the defensive stand the Redmen made with 33 seconds left in the first half and ahead just 14-6. A sneak by Denby's Lewis, Jr., was stopped by a host of Redmen defensive linemen.
"That was a momentum-changer," L'Huillier said.
Muir, whose punter/kicker didn't make the trip north, forced the Tars to try many fourth-down plays. Muir said "I don't know it was a turning point."
"We stopped them, too."
Denby couldn't stop Sherbinow much of the night, however. The senior fullback continually ran the ball up the middle, earning his 166 total yards and 4-yard TD run in the opening quarter.
"It was the way their defense was set up," L'Huillier said in explaining his team's conservative offensive attack most of the game. "Their defense was a 60 front and left a couple of linebackers outside to slow down our outside game.
"That left the middle open for some straight dives."
In all, the Redmen rushed for 240 yards in 58 carries.
"It wasn't a pretty game, but a win's a win," L'Huillier said.
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.