Austin Brown made quite the grand entrance to Madison Heights Madison football.
A junior transfer who started at quarterback the last two season at Detroit Catholic Central, Brown was playing his first game with the Eagles and his first contest since breaking his leg in the state semifinals last year versus Romeo.
One by one in the first half versus Warren Lincoln, the touchdown passes piled up.
And they kept coming.
By the end of the half, Brown had an MHSAA state record with eight touchdown passes in a single half. The previous record of seven was held by three players – Eric Van Swol (Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian, 2011), Cooper Rush (Lansing Catholic Central, 2011) and Mason Gee-Montgomery (Stockbridge, 2015).
For a player who says he was working his way back to feeling 100 percent physically, it was an incredible opener for Brown.
“I never would have thought that would happen but once I saw there was a shot I took advantage of it because you know it’s not going to happen again,” Brown said.
The reasons for Brown transferring to Madison are pretty obvious, a decision he made shortly after the broken leg last year.
Austin’s father, Jimmy, is the athletics director at Madison and not only is he now attending school close to where he lives, but he is now surrounded by friends he has known for many years.
“This is where I grew up and put my time in so it only felt natural to come back here,” Brown said.
Madison completed the regular season a perfect 9-0 on Oct. 20 with a 42-14 thrashing against rival Madison Heights Lamphere, which is where second-year Eagles head coach James Rogers attended high school before starring at the University of Michigan and having a brief NFL career.
Rogers did not know Brown would be transferring in until it was official.
“There was obviously always speculation with his dad being in the district and everything,” Rogers said. “I worked for his dad, he was my boss. So we had talked about it a little bit here and there, but it was always Austin’s decision to make which he did after he was hurt.”
In the nine weeks of the regular season, Rogers has seen exactly what Brown can bring to the table as a 6-foot-1 and 190-pound quarterback who is drawing some interest from Michigan State along with a few Mid-American Conference schools.
“That first game was an eye-opener for all of us,” Rogers remarked. “We found out we had some deep threats we didn’t even know about and some speed we didn’t know about. We worked on it some over the summer, but when Lincoln kept playing press man and it kept being there we continued going to it.”
Brown threw for 243 yards against Lamphere and two TDs, one being a 72-yarder to Zyaire Croskey which accounted for the game’s first score.
Heading into the postseason,
Through the regular season, he threw for 24 touchdowns and ran for six more. Brown now has 2,024 passing yards on the season.
“We’ve taken it one game at a time all season,” Brown added. “If you see our scores, some games we’re blowing teams out and some games we’re squeaking by. We have the capability of doing anything, it’s just a matter of how hard we work and become students of the game.”