Nate Schneider

Sports Scene

Division 2

The game turned into a rout right from the word go as Warren De La Salle became the first team at the MHSAA state finals since 2005 to score on the first play from scrimmage as Brandan Madigan took a fumble recovery 13 yards for a Crusaders TD only 16 seconds in.

That set the tone for what became a 41-6 rout for De La Salle over Livonia Franklin, holding the Patriots to under 200 yards of total offense in a 41-6 victory.

It is the second state title in program history for Warren De La Salle.

Franklin (11-3) kept it at a 7-0 score going into the second quarter, but the Crusaders (12-2) exploded for 31 points in the second quarter to go into halftime ahead 38-0.

De La Salle senior quarterback Luke Pfromm, who did not play football the last two years, completed 10-of-12 passes for 207 yards and two TDs to help lead his team to victory. He also rushed for a score. Evan Vaillancourt caught three passes for 140 yards and a touchdown. Sergio Gasperoni also caught a TD pass. Cordell Tannyhill rushed eight times for 30 yards and a score. Riley Garrison booted two field goals from 23 and 30 yards out.

The lone TD by the Patriots was scored by Isaac Moore on a 5-yard run with 9:25 remaining. He rushed 23 times for 163 yards plus the touchdown.

Division 3

Farmington Hills Harrison was in the same boat as everyone else – it had no answer in how to stop Muskegon star quarterback La’Darius Jefferson.

Jefferson, the Division 3-4 Player of the Year after a huge season at quarterback for the Big Red, guided Muskegon to a 28-10 victory over the Hawks in the D3 state title game at Ford Field in Detroit.

In what was a regular game for Jefferson rather than anything out of the norm, he carried the ball 32 times for 245 yards and the four scores. He also attempted two passes, both incompletions, but that mattered very little.

The Big Red complete the season with a perfect 14-0 record, while Harrison ends the year at 10-4.

It was actually the Hawks who struck first as Ben Williams returned the game’s opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown, giving them a 7-0 lead. The score was only the second time in MHSAA state finals history that a kickoff was returned for a TD to open the game.

Jefferson tied the score at 7-7 with an 8-yard TD, while the Hawks showed their fight by retaking the advantage at 10-7 on the last play of the first quarter on a 26-yard field goal by David Hiser.

Muskegon dominated the action the ensuing three quarters. Jefferson added a TD in each quarter on runs of 14 yards, one yard and three yards.

The Big Red outgained Harrison by a count of 363-114. Davion McCall added three carries for 50 yards for Muskegon, while Clinton Jefferson Jr. had six attempts for 38 yards.

Noah Hendricks was 9-of-14 through the air for the Hawks, throwing for 53 yards. Rapana Filemu made three receptions for 23 yards. Roderick Heard had nine rushes for 48.

Division 4

Edwardsburg made the D4 state title game interesting and worth tuning into for the duration of the contest, but ultimately it could not climb back in against powerful Grand Rapids Catholic Central.

Catholic Central (14-0) struck first on a Nolan Fugate 20-yard TD catch on a pass from Jack Bowen midway through the first quarter, but Edwardsburg (12-2) struck back with two straight touchdowns to take a 13-7 lead through one quarter.

Fugate scored his second TD of the day a few minutes into the second quarter to give the Cougars the lead back at 13-13. By game’s end, Fugate had 306 rushing yards to become only the second player in MHSAA history to rush for over 300 yards in a state final.

Grand Rapids CC scored another TD before halftime, while a Fugate 5-yard scoring run with 8:31 left in the third quarter pushed the advantage to 28-13.

The Eddies bounced right back as Caden Goggins tied a state finals record for longest kickoff return for a touchdown as he took it to the house from 99 yards. But a missed 2-point conversion kept GRCC ahead by a 28-19 score.

Fugate raced 54 yards on the next drive to put the Cougars back ahead by 16. A pair of Edwardsburg touchdowns trimmed its deficit back to 35-31, but a 32-yard touchdown run by Fugate iced it with 3:53 left.

Fugate ended with the 306 yards and four TDs on 36 carries, while he also caught four passes for 86 and a score. Bowen was 7-of-10 through the air for 128 yards plus a TD and an INT.

Kyle Shrider paced Edwardsburg with 10 carries for 162 yards and a TD. Nick Bradley recorded six carries for 96 and a TD, while Chase Sager added four rushing attempts for 73 yards and a score.