Trojans Barrel Through Waverly en Route to 48-7 Victory
East Lansing junior Andrel Anthony was all smiles Friday night after his two-touchdown, 136-yard receiving effort helped lead the Trojans to a 48-7 victory over Waverly at Marazita Stadium.
There’s absolutely no truth to the rumor that Michigan State University football head coach Mark Dantonio stood in the rain Wednesday behind MacDonald Middle School to study the East Lansing varsity offense in search of ways to improve his own team’s inability to advance the ball into the end zone.
Presumably Dantonio was there to watch – and recruit – Trojan junior receiver Andrel Anthony, who has received plenty of in-state and out-of-state attention this season as one of the top offensive players in Michigan.
After missing last week’s game against Everett due to illness, Anthony showed why his presence in the lineup can make life difficult for the opposing players who have to defend against him. Especially when his quarterback – senior co-captain Sam Busch – is at the top of his game, too.
“It was good to get Andrel back and working – he’s quite a player,” said East Lansing head coach Bill Feraco.
The duo was nearly unstoppable against Waverly in the first half Friday night at Marazita Stadium, as Busch completed 12 of 13 passes for 202 yards, six of which went to Anthony for 127 yards and two touchdowns. The Trojans led 21-0 after 12 minutes and 35-7 at halftime en route to a 48-7 victory, their sixth victory against two losses.
“We knew we needed a big game – it’s playoff time, and it’s time to pick it up,” said Anthony, who finished with seven receptions for 136 yards, and a pair of 10-yard touchdown receptions. “We need to keep improving even though we did pretty well today.”
Pretty well, indeed. The Trojans scored on all five of their first-half possessions, three of which were set up by the defense. After a misplay on the opening kickoff gave Waverly the ball at the East Lansing 25, the Trojans stopped two fourth-and-goal situations and regained possession at their own 6.
Seven plays and 94 yards later, East Lansing started its first-quarter barrage with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Busch to senior tight end Jayth Joseph.
The Trojan defense took over again, as sophomore defensive back Ambrose Wilson picked off the first of three East Lansing interceptions and returned the ball to the Waverly 21. From there, Busch connected with senior tight end Sebastian Smith for 14 yards before Hosey finished things off with his first touchdown scamper from seven yards out.
“Defensively, we played well,” Feraco said. “We hit a bit of a snag there in the third quarter when we gave up two or three consecutive third-down conversions, but then we stood strong down in the red zone. So we’ll take that.”
Senior cornerback Jesus (Jesse) Vasquez provided another defensive highlight when he intercepted a Waverly pass to help set up the Trojans’ third touchdown of the first quarter. Three plays later, Busch connected with Anthony in the left corner of the end zone from 10 yards out with 42 seconds left in the first quarter.
Andrel Anthony (third from right) gets a hero’s welcome from his teammates after his 10-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.
On this particular play Anthony secured the ball while falling to the turf, with a Waverly hand or two in his face.
“Sam was exceptional — he made some nice checks, and I was very pleased with his performance,” said Feraco. “The offensive line is coming around, and we felt we could do some things with the run game. I think we accomplished that.”
Hosey (nine-yard run) and Anthony (10-yard pass from Busch) each scored their second touchdowns in the second quarter. Hosey’s seven-yard run and fumble recovery in the end zone by sophomore Ahmad Kareem completed the scoring for East Lansing.
A win at home next Friday against Okemos on Senior Night would clinch a share of the Capital Area Activities Conference Blue division for the Trojans, who were led defensively by Joseph (eight tackles), Louis Booth (seven tackles), Brevin Jackson (six tackles and an interception), and the ever-present senior co-captain Jamar Mills (five tackles).
“It’s finally coming together, and it’s great time now with the playoffs ahead,” Anthony said. “Our team needed a great effort, and I think we got it.”
East Lansing head coach Bill Feraco addresses his team following the victory Friday night at Waverly.
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