Falcons football upsets number one team in the state

Photos by Caden Myers

Junior Jack Woods (#12) and senior Ralph Donaldson (#2) celebrate one of Groves' dominating fumble recoveries. Groves' ability to stop West Bloomfield's offense and capitalize on their mistakes was a major part in their ultimate win.

17-17. All tied up against the number one team in the state, West Bloomfield.

Two minutes later: 24-17. Groves win.

After losing to West Bloomfield two years straight, the Falcons wanted revenge on the favored and number one team in the state.

“We worked really hard in preparing for this team, especially after losing to them last year. It was an indescribable feeling to not only score the winning touchdown but to beat the number one team in the state. It was a great feeling, one I will never forget,” Eli Turner said.

After Groves dominated the three quarters, it all came down to the final drive. Within two minutes both teams made game changing mistakes that led to the tie. With an unsuccessful drive, Groves was forced to punt from their own 15-yard-line with a little over a minute remaining. The West Bloomfield punt returner muffed the forty-two yard punt by junior Orion Kendra before the ball rolled another 23-yards. Junior Kyle Coleman, seeing the free ball, pounced on it and secured Groves possession.

Photos by Caden Myers

Groves Sophomore, defensive dnd, Logan Flaherty #44, blocks back, holding up the line of scrimmage.

With under one minute left in the game, Groves only needed a field goal to win, but senior quarterback Markis Alexander and his offense pushed into scoring position. Third down and twenty five yards out, the offense had one more chance before a field goal was necessary. Off of a 5-yard hitch, with just thirty-six seconds remaining, Alexander connected with senior wide receiver Eli Turner, who then ran the extra 25-yards, dodging the West Bloomfield safety for the winning touchdown.

“Honestly, on that last drive. I was just trying to make a smart throw and not force the ball. That’s how I set it up for a nice field goal. With that specific play, I knew I needed to throw it away from the defensive back and let Eli make the play. I just had to trust him and put the ball where only he could catch it. The offensive line did a great job blocking and protecting and Eli did a great job of getting open, making the catch and taking care of the rest,” Alexander said.

With West Bloomfield playing tight man coverage throughout the game, Groves offensive coordinator Matt Turner called a play to get the team in field goal range. He didn’t predict that this would give the team a chance for much more than a 3 point field goal.

“I was not planning on the team scoring a touchdown. My intention was to just get into good field position for our kicker, Moritz Pruess, to kick the game winning field goal. However, quarterback Markis Alexander and wide receiver Eli Turner, two great players, made a connection and a great play to win the game,” CoachTurner said.

Previously ranked at fourteen according to Max Prep, after this upset victory, Groves is now ranked fourth, while West Bloomfield rests at five.

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