Detroit – Muskegon Mona Shores came out playing physical in the Division 2 state championship game Friday at Ford Field, jumping out to a 14-0 lead and never trailed in defeating No. 12 and PSL champion Detroit King, 35-26.
Mona Shores — 12-1 and ranked No. 19 by The Detroit News — lost to Warren De La Salle in last year’s Division 2 state title game while King defeated Muskegon for the Division 3 championship.
Brady Rose, a 5-foot-7, 150-pound junior, took over at quarterback for starter Caden Broersma, who was injured in the opening quarter of last week’s state semifinal game, a 57-56 win over Walled Lake Western, and was outstanding in leading Mona Shores to its first state championship in school history.
Rose scored on TD runs of 1, 1 and 2 yards, and also found Jaylen Hopson for a 17-yard TD pass for a 28-20 cushion on a fourth-down pass.
Rose finished 8-of-11 for 122 yards and the TD pass to Hopson while rushing for 90 yards (21 carries) and three TDs. Senior Tre’Shawn Hatcher ran for 95 yards on 18 carries, including an 18-yard TD run for a 14-0 advantage with 10:07 left in the second quarter.
When asked if he changed the playbook with Rose taking over for Broersma, who was sidelined due to a back injury, Mona Shores coach Matt Koziak replied: “None. I could say that we might have been a little more option since we’re an option team where we run our quarterback, but as far as the playbook shrinking, not at all. Brady has one of the best football IQs I’ve ever coached. He’s a coach’s son and he just knows where to be and is cool and calm back there.
“He was lights out. He’s fearless, and you talk about not judging somebody by his size, it’s Brady Rose for sure.”
Rose also intercepted a pass near midfield that set up Hopson’s TD catch after King (11-3) had pulled within 21-20 on Peny Boone’s 9-yard TD run and a two-point conversion pass from freshman Dante Moore to Indiana-bound receiver Rashawn Williams.
“I was nervous, I haven’t started at quarterback since Week 2, (but) once we started rolling I got confident and knew I could lead us to the state championship,” said Rose, who took over for Broersma after Mona Shores’ first drive in the semifinal game and ran for 205 yards and five TDs, also scoring the winning two-point conversion with 17 seconds left. “Coach has confidence in me being the backup quarterback, so we just did the same thing we would if Caden was in there.
“It was huge, that first drive, chipping away that much time (5 minutes, 43 seconds) off the clock. The other team knows they are going to be in a dogfight the rest of the game if that happens.”
King coach Tyrone Spencer had high praise for Rose.
“He was who I thought he was,” Spencer said. “We knew he was going to be difficult to deal with and he did a great job. He looked like an athlete, a darn good athlete that just led his team to the state championship.
“Really, it comes down to being disciplined and doing what you’re supposed to do and I’m sure if you watch the film you’d see guys like, ‘Ah, that’s what I was supposed to do, and I didn’t do it.’ To win a state championship you have to have a couple of breaks go your way, you have to be disciplined, you have to execute, and it didn’t go our way.”
King was working hard to pull out the comeback victory to earn its fourth state title in the last five years after Boone scored on a 66-yard TD run to cut the deficit to 28-26 early in the fourth quarter, but Moore’s two-point conversion pass attempt fell incomplete.
Rose then led Mona Shores to a marathon 72-yard, 14-play TD drive on its final possession, eating 8:40, with Hatcher picking up 2 yards on a fourth-and-1 from the King 11. Rose scored two plays later on a 2-yard run with 1:57 left for the 35-26 lead.
“At the end of the day I think you have to play better defense to win games like that,” Spencer said. “They controlled the ball way too long for us.”
Boone, who will play next year at Maryland, rushed for 198 yards on 21 carries and three TDs, including the 66-yard TD run with 10:45 remaining.
“When he got going he was hard to stop; he has done a phenomenal job of running the ball for us,” said Spencer of Boone, who had 809 yards rushing (72 carries) and 13 TDs during the five-game postseason run. “He’s a tough, physical running back and we wouldn’t have gotten this far if it wasn’t for his style of running that he’s been able to do for us this season.”
Moore, who was offered a scholarship by Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh while in the seventh grade, completed 15-of-22 for 209 yards with a TD and two interceptions. He threw his second interception in the final minute with Kolbe Trovinger, who wore Broersma’s No. 4 jersey, cutting in front of the receiver and picking off the pass.
“It’s unfair to put him in position where we’re down and we’re trying to get up,” said Spencer of Moore. “You really want to be up where you have the game where he doesn’t have to come from behind. I’m proud of him the way he’s put this team on his back.”
Koziak understood why his team was considered the underdog heading into the title game, but he had confidence that it could hoist the championship trophy.
“I understand we were picked to lose, and we probably should have been picked to lose, but I told them after last game I would never bet against them in anything; they just find a way,” Koziak said. “We lose our all-state quarterback (Broersma), who played in this game last year and came up short, and a backup quarterback comes in and leads us to our first state championship.
“These guys believe in what we’re doing, and they believe in each other.”
Mona Shores took the opening kick and moved 64 yards on 13 plays with Rose leading the impressive drive and moving the chains with a 5-yard run on a third-and-3 play to the King 41, then finding Hopson for 11 yards to the King 12.
On fourth-and-1 from the 3, Rose handed off to Hatcher, who picked up the first down at the 1 and Rose followed with a 1-yard TD run.
Then, Mona Shores’ defense came up big when linebacker Cam Sobish blitzed and sacked Moore on a fourth-and-5 play at the Mona Shores 24 to end the threat.
Mona Shores used the momentum to score on a 66-yard drive with Rose finding Hopson for 27 yards on third-and-6 to the King 35, setting up an impressive 18-yard TD run by Hatcher, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound senior, who broke multiple tackles to reach the end zone with 10:07 left in the second quarter.
Moore showed a lot of poise on King’s next drive, leading his team on an 85-yard drive when he eluded Sobish’s blitz and lofted a screen pass to running back Justin Whyte for a 42-yard TD to pull King within 14-6 with 6:12 left in the second.
But Rose made sure Mona Shores would answer King’s TD with one of its own when he broke loose for runs of 9 and 18 yards to set up his own 1-yard TD run for a 21-6 cushion with 3:29 left in the half.
Hopson finished with five receptions for 103 yards and a TD.
All games at Ford Field
Division 8: Reading 33, Beal City 6
Division 2: Muskegon Mona Shores 35, Detroit King 26
Division 6: Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 7, Maple City Glen Lake 0
Division 4: Grand Rapids Catholic Central 44, Detroit Country Day 0
Division 7: Pewamo-Westphalia (13-0) vs. Jackson Lumen Christi (12-0), 10 a.m. (FSD)
Division 1: Brighton (11-2) vs. Davison (11-2), 1 p.m. (FSD)
Division 5: Lansing Catholic (12-1) vs. Almont (13-0), 4:30 p.m. (FSD Plus)
Division 3: Muskegon (13-0) vs. River Rouge (12-1), 7:30 p.m. (FSD Plus)