The Nouvel Catholic Central H.S. football team improved to 5-0 with a 33-12 homecoming victory over Flint Beecher H.S. at Boyd Field on the Nouvel campus tonight.
Nouvel opened the scoring after capping a 13-play, 51-yard drive when senior quarterback Tate Hausbeck broke through the end zone on a 1-yard keeper, as junior Jacob Burr kicked the extra point for a 7-0 NCC lead with 4:12 left in the first quarter.
Beecher turned the ball over on downs on its next possession, but forced a Nouvel punt, which sophomore Earnest Sanders Jr. (son of former UofM safety Earnest Sanders Sr.) fielded at his own 18-yard line, returning it 60 yards to the Nouvel 28, deep in NCC territory.
Nouvel senior Tommy Sapak had a big tackle for a loss, while the NCC defense forced back to back incomplete passes, before senior linebacker Alex Wrobel sacked Beecher QB Ja'Kobe Derricks on his own 21 yard line on fourth down to get the ball back.
Nouvel struggled on its next drive, which ended with a 4-yard shanked punt, giving Beecher the ball on the Nouvel 24 yard line, forcing the NCC defense to answer the test once again, before junior Josh Kuligowski broke free for a 5-yard rushing TD, as Burr's kick was good for a 14-0 NCC lead with 2:00 minutes left in the first half.
Wrobel then decided to take over on the offensive side of the ball, breaking loose for a 15-yard rushing TD, but the 2-point conversion attempt failed, giving NCC a 20-0 advantage with 9:01 left in the third quarter.
Hausbeck went to work through the air, finding senior Peter Snyder in the end zone for a 21-yard passing TD, but a bad snap led to a broken play on the extra point try, as NCC extended its lead to 26-0 with 1:06 to play in the third quarter.
Beecher returned the ensuing kickoff for a TD and the conversion try failed, cutting into the NCC lead 26-6 as the third quarter came to a close.
Wrobel rounded out the Nouvel scoring when he busted into the end zone from 3 yards out for his second TD of the game, as Burr's kick was good, giving NCC a commanding 33-6 lead with 8:31 left in regulation.
Beecher would add another TD when senior RB NaQuavian McDowell carried the ball into the end zone from the 3-yard line late in the fourth quarter to round out the scoring.
Hausbeck paced the Panther offense with 210 total offensive yards, along with 2 TD's, completing 12 of 20 passes for 124 yards through the air, passing for 1 TD and rushing 16 times for another 86 yards and 1 rushing TD on the ground.
Wrobel had 9 carries for 109 rushing yards and 2 TD's on offense, while adding 12 tackles on defense.
Snyder had 2 catches for 41 yards including a receiving TD, while senior Kenny Kujawa added 3 catches for 37 yards on offense and 7 tackles on defense. Senior Isaiah Rosales hauled in 3 catches for 27 yards, while Kuligowski had 5 catches for 29 yards to go along with his 25 rushing yards and 1 rushing TD.
The 5-0 Panthers will now prepare for a road test next Friday Sep. 29, against a 3-2 Byron squad with a chance to secure a playoff berth in a 7 pm game at Byron H.S.