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Burney's Bites will focus primarily on the local preps sports scene, but will also touch on some college and pro athletics, mostly in regards to athletes who hail and have played high school sports in Oakland County. My goal for the blog is to be conversational and anecdotal, a more relaxed and free formal take on high school athletics than you see in regular game day coverage.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


CC Rolls Into D1 State Final With Another Shutout
Scott M. Burnstein
Special to The Oakland Press
Things are finally back to normal for the Novi Detroit Catholic Central football team. After surviving an a rare nip-and-tuck overtime battle against Canton last week, the Shamrocks got back to their lopsided winning ways on Saturday afternoon by decimating Holt 31-0 in a Division 1 state semi-final game played at Lansing Everett High School.
Catholic Central improves to 13-0 overall on the season and has reservations for its 13th state finals appearance next weekend at Ford Field in downtown Detroit. The Shamrocks defense, which has been winning games by over a 28-point per game average margin of victory, now has a total of eight shutouts for the 2009 campaign.
"One for the thumb" will be the program's motto this week while preparing for the state finals as Catholic Central will seek to get head coach Tom Mach his 10th career state championship ring. The last time the Shamrocks won a state title was in 2003.
Mach, in his 34th season on the sidelines, was more than pleased with his team's effort. "This was CC football in its purest form," he said. "We came out there like crazed dogs and got after it on every play. The running game was superb and are defense was bringing it's "A-game" on every snap. Everyone came to play today, from the coaching and training staff down the line to every player that suited up. They all got the job done when it was needed the most. I'm very proud of the whole team."
This game was over fast – literally and figuratively. The entire contest lasted less than two hours and the Shamrocks wasted little time imposing their will on their opponents. Scoring touchdowns on its first three possessions of the game, Catholic Central took a comfortable 21-0 halftime lead.  Senior tailback Anthony Capatina's 16-yard scoring run opened the Shamrocks' first half scoring output and then senior fullback Niko Palazeti closed it with a pair of goal-line end zone-plunges.
Following a scoreless third quarter, Justin D'Agostino connected on a 37-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 24-0 and Justin Messner's 2-yard touchdown run closed things out late in the game.
Palazeti continued punishing defenders as he as all season long by rushing for a game-high 142 yards. Making it to a Division 1 state championship is a dream come true for the bruising 6-2, 240 pound runner. "Getting to the state final has been my goal since putting on a CC uniform in the ninth grade," he said surrounded by reporters after the game. "I've been dreaming about it for over three years and we finally did it. This team is all heart. We live and die together as a group. I'm going to cherish this moment for the rest of my life, no matter what happens from here on out. We had a great week of practice and it carried over onto the field. The defense was hitting hard all game and the offense was getting outstanding blocking, so we were able to break open some holes and do some damage. We're a pretty difficult team to stop when we're hitting on all cylinders like we were today."  
Senior middle-linebacker and co-captain, Mike Kinville led a brick wall of a defense, which came up with a huge goal-line stand early in the second quarter, with nine tackles and two sacks. Shamrocks' senior quarterback Sam Landry kept up his steady play behind center, managing the game perfectly for Mach and his staff.
Holts concludes its year with a final overall record of 11-2.


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