JV team loses to Stevenson, 35-14

Chuck Wright
September 12, 2011

(Livonia, Michigan)   The Wildcat JV visited the Livonia Stevenson Spartans on Thursday night, for the 3rd game of their 2011 season.   Novi had difficulty kick-starting its offense in the opening series, and fell behind one touchdown early in the game. The Wildcats second possession appeared to be floundering as well, when quarterback Isaac Burgess unleashed a long pass to Austin Racicot, who galloped for a touchdown. The kick was good, tying the score at 7-7. Novi’s defense kept the pressure on, with tackles behind the line of scrimmage by Andrew Wilchynski, and a great sack by Jalen Ward. Kicker Bryan Klosterman kept an offensive drive alive by running for a first down on a broken punt play. He later nailed a long kick out of bounds at the Spartan 5 yard line, forcing Livonia into bad field position.

The game turned Novi’s way as the Spartan offense sputtered midway through the first half of play. Linebacker Patrick Wojtylo gave the Livonia quarterback only seconds to throw, and the pressure paid off for Novi with a beautiful interception by Keith Pravato.  Novi took over on their 15 yard line, and the offensive line opened up a huge hole for Racicot, who ran 85 yards for another Novi TD. Down 14-7, Livonia got serious and put together two solid scoring drives. The Spartan QB scored first from short yardage on a keeper, and again on a short pass over the middle. Score at the half, Livonia 21, Novi 14.

The third quarter of play was a draw, with neither team able to score. Novi cornerbacks Billy Ulle and Ali Taha were able to break up many of the Livonia passes, and provided strong open field tackling. Offensively, Burgess connected with receivers Daniel Mellon and Keaton Figurski, but the Wildcats were not able to put points on the board.

In the final quarter the Novi defense seemed to be tiring, and the Spartans were able to capitalize on a strong running game.  Livonia broke several plays for long yardage and scored two more touchdowns. Down 35-14, Novi linebacker Mark Ryan shut down the Livonia offense with three successive tackles behind the line of scrimmage, forcing a punt in the last minutes of the game. Novi took over, and Burgess completed a long pass to Mellon for an 18-yard gain. He followed with his best pass of the night, a rifle shot to Ryan over the middle for a 22 yard gain. Unfortunately, Novi’s drive was cut short by an interception. Novi’s defense held the Spartans one last time, and the game ended with a score of Livonia 35, Novi 14.