Livonia — A week removed from missing what would have been the game-tying field goal with three seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Livonia Churchill quarterback/kicker Brian Alsobrooks redeemed himself, scoring the winner on a 1-yard run with no time left — sealing a 37-35 victory over Livonia Stevenson Friday.
“We got that last inch this time,” Alsobrooks said. “Last week, (I) hit that crossbar and came up an inch short. This week, we got the last inch and got the win. It feels good to win the city championship.”
Alsobrooks completed 15 of 27 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns for Churchill (7-2, 5-1).
“I think (the difference is) just having the ball last and just having that opportunity,” Churchill coach Bill DeFillippo said. “The game was almost eerily similar to the last week.”
The win over Stevenson snapped a three-game streak in which Churchill lost in the last minute.
“They made the plays,” Stevenson coach Randy Micallef said. “They made the play at the end. They’re an awesome football team and they’re well coached.”
Chris Tanderys was 20-of-29 for 217 yards and two touchdowns for Stevenson (6-3, 4-2).
After missing a 43-yard field goal on the team’s first drive, Alsobrooks took his team 50 yards on nine plays, finishing with a 33-yard field goal to capitalize on a Stevenson three-and-out.
Churchill capitalized on a fumble recovery on Stevenson’s next drive.
Alsobrooks led a six-play, 23-yard drive that ended with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Tim Dulin and a 10-0 Churchill lead midway through the first quarter.
After forcing Stevenson to go three-and-out for the second time in three possessions, Alsobrooks connected with Dulin on the first play — a 52-yard touchdown pass with less than a minute remaining in the first quarter.
After Alsobrooks put the ensuing kickoff out of the end zone, Stevenson marched 80 yards in 11 plays — helped by a 15-yard chop block penalty — finishing with a 15-yard quarterback keeper by Tanderys that cut its deficit to 10 with 6:44 to go in the first half.
On its next drive, Churchill went 31 yards in 11 plays, but the drive stalled and it downed the Alsobrooks punt at the Stevenson 12-yard line.
Stevenson needed only three plays to score its second touchdown, a 1-yard rush by Frank Carlin which was set up by an 86-yard burst by CJ Weiss.
Alsobrooks connected with Dulin one more time before the half, a 57-yard pass to put Churchill ahead 24-14
Neither team scored again until Tanderys found Austin Petrie on a 19-yard touchdown with 5:41 remaining in the third quarter.
Churchill and Stevenson exchanged the lead twice in the last 10:06 before Alsobrooks scored the winner.
Al Willman is a freelance writer