The third most amazing fact that emerged from Canton’s 70-35 offense-saturated victory Friday over Livonia Stevenson was that the brand-new scoreboard at the P-CEP stadium did not blow a fuse.
No. 2 on the list: Spartans senior flanker Frank Carlin didn’t need an IV after he steered his shifty 5-foot-9, 165-pound frame through the Chiefs’ defense for 332 combined rushing/receiving yards.
And the most amazing feat that emerged following the close-to-three-hour points-fest: Canton’s offense piled up 460 yards rushing (most on runs between the tackles) — even though the Spartans’ defense knew the Chiefs were going to run the ball 97 percent of the time between the tackles.
Next in line for Canton’s wrecking ball-like tight-T, full-house offense is Northville (10-0), which edged Plymouth, 24-20, Friday night.
If the Mustangs, who will host Friday’s 7 p.m. district final game, are looking for help on how to slow down the Chiefs, reviewing the 70-point effort against Stevenson probably won’t yield too many clues.
“Tim (Baechler) has a machine going with that offense,” said Stevenson head coach Randy Micallef, whose team finished 6-4. “It’s not fancy, but their kids take a lot pride in running their five or six plays to perfection.
“We can’t simulate their speed at practice. The first time we played them two weeks ago (a 49-7 Canton victory), our kids got blitzed by how fast they come off the ball. Tonight, I thought we were a little better prepared, but all (Markus Sanders) needs is a little crease and he can go.”
Sanders led a balanced Canton offensive attack with 10 carries for 188 yards and four touchdowns, which ranged in distance from 23 (the shortest) to 72 yards.
Canton running back Jared Stephens added 99 yards and two TDs on 10 carries, in addition to a pair of receptions for 52 yards.
Chiefs junior quarterback Jake O’Donnell was the model of efficiency, completing all three of his passes (all in the first half) for 105 yards. O’Donnell’s longest hook-up was 53 yards to Brennon Pelland, who hauled in an over-the-shoulder spiral while sneaking out of the backfield before sprinting deep inside the red zone.
“Our offense did a great job tonight,” said Baechler, whose team improved to 8-2. “Our only problem was we kept scoring too fast and we weren’t giving our defense enough rest.
“And (Stevenson) didn’t quit. They just kept coming back at us. I’m not sure how many passes they threw, but it was like watching an NFL game.”
Stevenson quarterback Chris Tanderys finished with Tom Brady-esque statistics, completing 23-of-44 passes for 456 yards and two touchdowns — one each to Gino D’Agostino and Carlin.
Carlin caught 12 passes for 267 yards, turning many short hitch passes into sizable gains.
“I did get a little tired tonight,” Carlin said, moments after finishing a 10-year football career that started with many of his current teammates when he was an 8-year-old member of the Livonia Falcons. “I just kept going. I’m a captain, so I wanted to stay strong for my team.
“I’m going to miss the brotherhood we had on this team. I’ve been playing with guys like Petrie and Bowersox since I was a little kid, so I’m going to miss that.”
One of the Chiefs’ two-way mainstays was senior running back/linebacker Jacob Wickens, whose only breathers came on point-after touchdowns and punts.
“I just like to hit people, no matter if I’m playing defense or offense,” Wickens said. “We’re playing smarter now than we did when we lost to Churchill and Plymouth. We’re making fewer mistakes, so we’re scoring more points.
“Jake (O’Donnell) is a good leader. He fires us up.”