PHOTOS: Brian M. Wells, Times Herald
TALENTED PILOTS END NORTHERN’S MAGICAL 2017 SEASON
Let me get something out of the way before I begin… In my opinion, the Warren DeLaSalle Pilots are a Division 1 football team playing in D2 of the MHSAA Playoff Brackets this, and every varsity football season. They certainly arent the only team this can be said about. It was definitely proven on Friday Night, Nov. 3rd at Memorial Stadium as the 2017 season officially ended for our Port Huron Northern Huskies at the hands of the Pilots in a 50-0/running time rock job.
It wasn’t the fault of any PHN players. Not one bit. How could it be? They were so outmatched by the opposition it was difficult to tell if they were even playing well or not! How can teams like Ferndale (last week’s victim of DeLaSalle) and Northern (this week’s victim) get so blown out in such one sided playoff games? How can the MHSAA even accept these games? Matchups that should NEVER BE are matchups that do in fact, exist. Why? I honestly have no idea but clearly weight is put on enrollment not past/future success or in terms of overall talent like it should.
I have another question for you. Why is it that teams out of the division the Huskies play in – THE MAC GOLD play in D4 and 5 and yet, Northern is made to play in D2 where they are guaranteed to end up getting a brutal matchup like this one in the first place?
My opinion in no way should take away from 2 things though:
– 1. The incredible talent of the Pilots who came into this contest as the 3rd ranked team in the state of Michigan and FOR GOOD REASON!
And 2. The outstanding season our Huskies had whether you include this game or not. This was a very impressive year for Head Coach – Larry Roelens and the rest of his Huskies and the future definitely looks bright.
Again…this was more about the matchup, the division and the bracket that the MHSAA chose for PHN. It in no way reflects what could have or should have been in 2017 despite the fact that it was indeed an awesome season that we’ll never forget. Here’s how THE BIG D saw this lopsided contest …
There’s really not much that I can say that hasn’t already been said above as 50-0 says it all. Based on his arm, his pocket presence and his overall mechanics I think an argument can be made that Warren DeLaSalle QB – Luke Pfromm (all 6 foot 6 of him) is the most talented passing QB I’ve seen in the 21 years I’ve done play-by-play for PH Schools. This kid has a cannon for an arm, guns perfect spirals in the air and his overall throwing accuracy on the deep ball is simply SILLY. Combine that with an excellent ground attack in FB – Connor Tannyhill who basically forces himself through the opposition, an incredible offensive line that just plain dominates and a defensive line that gives you no time offensively to match and, well, you get the idea. To me, Pfromm is the real talent though. When he passed in this game he shredded PHN with relative ease to the point of only needing a running game with backup players throughout much of the rest of the contest. Northern couldnt stop this massive offensive line and quite frankly, I dont know many schools that could or if they even will. You just dont see schools at a D2 level with this much overall talent. At least, I HAVEN’T which gets me back to my original point. Regardless of enrollment, talent should be the say all and end all and this team is WAY too talented to be in the same playoff division as the Huskies… PERIOD.
I’m certainly not going to go over all the scoring for the Pilots. It would take too much writing on a blog dedicated to the broadcasting and writeups about Port Huron sports but again, watching DeLaSalle’s offense work is incredible! The first Pilots’ score took only a few plays as RB – Tannyhill and the massive offensive line took the game over right away and never let up all night long. This wasn’t Tannyhill’s only TD in the game but at 22-0 after just 1 quarter, it seemed like much of the life had already been drained out of the Northern Huskies who were pumped up coming into the night. And how about the defensive trenches the Pilots showed PHN? Husky star RB – Theo Ellis had nowhere to run all night long but it’s not about running lanes or blocking when Ellis could barely take handoffs before being flattened. There was just no time for any offensive rhythm for Northern as the Pilot pass rush simply COULD NOT BE BLOCKED. The Huskies were overmatched in the trenches on both sides of the ball in a matchup that again, never should have happened in the first place. Two fumble recoveries in the first quarter alone showed that DeLaSalle was dominating on both sides. If the final score of 50-0 still doesn’t convince you, how about the total yards in the game which were a whopping 436 to 26. That’s all I can really say about this one-sided contest besides the obvious…if there’s any team in D2 better then this Pilots squad, I sure as hell haven’t seen it. CASE CLOSED.
Again, our Port Huron Northern Huskies should NOT, in any way be down about this one because let’s be honest…no one would have beaten the Pilots on this night. The Huskies went 9-2 overall, they had a victory over Port Huron, they finished with a 4-1 MAC GOLD-second place finish and they won a playoff game for the first time since the mid-80’s. Anytime you can put numbers like that in the history books then you’ve really had a fantastic season and that’s how I look at 2017. This ridiculous football matchup hardly changes anything for me personally nor should it for any Husky players. Congratulations again have to go out to Head Coach Larry Roelens who brought this Northern team to where they naturally should be in a relatively short time period!!! Now it’s about continuing to grow with success and with Sophomores – QB – Seth Klink and the aforementioned Ellis in the offensive backfield for the next 2 seasons, I have no doubt that a MAC GOLD title or even a BLUE one (should they move up…talent wise this is not a stretch) is on Coach Roelens’ doorstep. I also want to congratulate the Husky seniors such as WR’s – Steve Mason and Noah McNutt as well as DL – Kofe Kimbrell and LB – Brandon Van Horn to name a few who played their final game as a Husky on this night. It’s been a pleasure gents and all the best wherever your futures take you.
The 2017 season was more then just a stepping stone in the right direction for a Port Huron Northern Husky organization that definitely needed it. It was more then just a few victories they could be happy about. It was more then just a Brick Fowler Trophy they could finally hoist after a 6 year drought. It was more then just a playoff first round victory over Roseville. It was more then this loss to DeLaSalle. And finally…it was more then just an 11 week journey.
For me, this 2017 Husky season was one thing – MAGICAL!!!
-THE BIG D
NOTE: All pictures in the above article were taken by Brian M. Wells for the Port Huron Times Herald (www.thetimesherald.com)
From top to bottom …
The Huskies celebrate a great year despite the results on this night
Husky WR – Steve Mason tries to set a block for Husky RB – Theo Ellis meanwhile Pilot player – Lasian Johnson attempts to make the tackle
Husky CB – Noah McNutt attempts to defend a 1-on-1 battle with Pilots WR – Jake Badalamenti
Husky Sophomore QB – Seth Klink consoles McNutt who played his last football game as a Husky. For Klink it’s onward and upward. McNutt on the other hand will never forget 2017! Nor will we!