Centreville stymies Ubly in Division 8 for first football state title

Eric Coughlin
The Detroit News
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Detroit — For the second time in 10 weeks, Centreville played a football game, and for the first time in program history, it captured a state title.

After a season marred by COVID-19-related pauses and cancellations, and with championships being played two months later than usual, Centreville (11-0) upended Ubly (9-3), 22-0, in the first of eight finals games at Ford Field.

Centreville’s Mason Lemings (11) and Gunner Bunning (7) celebrate their win over Ubly in the Division 8 state final at Ford Field.

“What an unbelievable season,” Centreville coach Jerry Schultz said. “It was a long journey with all the shutdowns, pretty good for a team that was predicted to finish fourth in our conference. We had a chip on our shoulder.

Centreville was victorious in its first title game appearance, leaning on a stingy defense that allowed Ubly very little room to run. Ubly only managed 142 yards on 34 plays.

Senior quarterback Sam Todd led the way for Centreville in the air and on the ground. He went 6-for-7 passing for 130 yards and two touchdowns, plus 70 yards on 19 carries and another touchdown.

BOX SCORE: Centreville 22, Ubly 0

“This season has been incredibly hard,” Todd said. “We had to keep getting back into shape and relearning everything, but our team had an insane bond and that’s why everything ended so well. It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Todd’s favorite target against Ubly was wide receiver Tyler Swanwick. The junior had four catches for 97 yards and two scores.

“Everyone on our team understands that everyone else is going to have their back at all times,” Swanwick said.

Ubly made its first finals appearance since 2008, but still doesn't have a state title.

“I thought we played pretty well defensively, but some big plays in the first half hurt us,” Ubly coach Eric Sweeney said. “They had tall receivers that could just go up and get it, and that was one of our biggest concerns.”

Neither team scored in the first quarter. Centreville managed a fourth-and-goal from the 11, but Todd’s pass attempt was swatted away by junior cornerback Kyle Sweeney.

Centreville took control in the second quarter. With 6:24 left in the first half and facing fourth and goal from the one, Todd sprinted left and beat the defense to open the scoring. A successful two-point conversion made it 8-0. With only three seconds left in the first half Todd lofted a ball to the junior Swanwick, who outjumped the Ubly defender to haul in a 20-yard touchdown reception. The two-point conversion lengthened Centreville’s lead to 16-0.

Todd found Swanwick again in the third quarter, this time for a 12-yard touchdown catch, to make it 22-0.

Eric Coughlin is a freelance writer.

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