August 15, 2012 - Gridiron heroes began a new time-honored tradition four years ago when they turned their pre-season scrimmage into something bigger.
Joe Popp faces off with a defender from the blue team during the first half of Football for a Cure. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
They turned it into Football for a Cure. As money was being raised for McLaren Breast Center and McLaren Cancer Institute - Clarkston, the boys donned blue and pink jerseys with each play and score honoring loved ones.
"It is a time to celebrate our loved ones," said Dr. Stephen Franklin, Radiation Oncologist at McLaren Cancer Institute - Clarkston. "We are blessed with wonderful weather to watch a football game. This has been great. Thank you everyone."
"It was a wonderful event," Elizabeth Luddington smiled.
Bonnie Acosta, a cancer survivor, accounted her experience with McLaren.
"It was truly a miracle," she said.
The blue team won the game, 34-6.
A boost for the blue team came when Alex Dicea intercepted a throw by the pink team's quarterback, DJ Zezula. Dicea caught it in the endzone and in turn ran 100 yards for a touchdown with 8:22 to go in the first quarter.
Shane Hynes, kicker for both sides, made the PAT.
The blue team strike again inthe second quarter but this time with a 49-yard run made by Caine Watlington.
Less than four minutes later the pink team was out of tries but gave it one more attempt as they set Hynes out for a field goal kick. He made it, putting the pink team on the board.
The blue team took control of the ball but the ball was fumbled and the pink team recovered to take possession in the blue's territory on the 19-yard line.
Just as the pink team moved closer to the endzone Jared Yaroch intercepted the ball to get possession back for the blue team.
A few plays later, the blue team scored again off a 55-yard run by Ian Eriksen. Hynes scored a PAT.
With 40.7 second left in the first half, Hynes kick a 30-yard field goal for the pink team.
Missed out on getting your Football for a Cure apparel? T-shirts, shorts and hats are still available to purchase at McLaren Cancer Institute located at 5680 Bow Pointe Drive in Suite 106.
"We appreciate the support," Deanna Hart, from McLaren said to the team and the fans. "Our patients appreciate the support."
The boys play another scrimmage this Thursday at 4:30 p.m., at CHS stadium.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.