DETROIT – Ishpeming’s opponents were bigger, faster and had gaudier numbers.
But the Hematites didn’t care
Eric Kostreva ran for 183 yards on 20 carries and scored all three of his team’s touchdowns, and Ishpeming beat Detroit Loyola 20-14 on Saturday at Ford Field to win the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 7 state championship.
“We’re a hard-nosed team. We don’t take any prisoners,” Ishpeming quarterback Alex Briones said. “They’re big, and we just didn’t let them dominate us.”
Ishpeming finished with a 13-1 record and has realized the goal the team set at the start of the season.
“Their goal was to get to Ford Field and win the state championship,” Hematites coach Jeff Olson said. “These guys made things go their way.”
And they did it from the start on Saturday.
“They were ready to play. They got after us, and we didn’t respond,” said Detroit Loyola coach John Callahan, who watched his team lose its first game of the season after 13 straight wins.
Bulldogs senior running back Keymonn’e Gabriel put it more succinctly.
“We were on the receiving end,” he said. “We didn’t come out as strong as we needed to.”
Gabriel rushed for 129 yards and a touchdown and caught a TD pass in the losing effort.
Kostreva’s third touchdown came with 10:36 left on a 3-yard run and erased Detroit Loyola’s 14-12 lead. Kostreva also ran in for the two-point conversion.
His first touchdown, a 55-yard jaunt, gave Ishpeming, which failed on a two-point conversion, a 6-0 lead.
Detroit Loyola didn’t manage a first down on its first two possessions and didn’t get one until the second quarter.
“Their defensive line was lower than our offensive line,” Gabriel said. “They got off the ball and clogged up the lanes.”
A 13-play, 73-yard drive that took 6:38 culminated in quarterback Toby Sharpe flipping a 28-yard touchdown pass and run to Gabriel with 3:14 left in the first half. That tied the game at 6, and Marvin Campbell then ran in for the two-point conversion to give Detroit Loyola an 8-6 lead.
Ishpeming senior defensive/offensive lineman Brad Wootke said the Bulldogs’ linemen — which includes 6-7, 290-pound defensive end/offensive tackle Malik McDowell — had figured how to cope with the Hematites’ tactic of going low by the second quarter and figured how to get around or over them.
Kostreva’s 2-yard TD run with five minutes left in the third quarter gave Ishpeming back the lead, 12-8. The Hematites once again failed on a two-point conversion.
Gabriel’s 20-yard touchdown run on the last play of the third quarter gave Detroit Loyola a 14-12 lead after the two-point conversion failed.
That set up Kostreva’s game-winning touchdown and two-point run.
It then was up to Ishpeming’s defense, which stopped Gabriel on a fourth-and-1 play from the Hematites’ 8-yard line with 5:36 left. That opportunity was set up by a fake punt by Detroit Loyola on which Gabriel ran 38 yards to the Ishpeming 17.
DETROIT CASS TECH WINS SECOND STRAIGHT TITLE
DETROIT – The score was closer, but even Detroit Catholic Central had to admit that this year’s Detroit Cass Tech team isn’t much different from the one that routed Catholic Central last year in the Division 1 championship game, particularly where speed is concerned.
“This was no different than it was last year,” said the Shamrocks’ Anthony Darkangelo, referencing Cass Tech’s 49-13 win a year ago. “We knew we had to keep containment when they got out on the edge.”
Technicians quarterback Jayru Campbell threw an 89-yard touchdown pass to flanker Jourdan Lewis on Cass Tech’s first play from scrimmage, and the Technicians went on to a 36-21 win over the Shamrocks on Saturday at Ford Field to earn their second consecutive Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 state championship.
Cass Tech becomes the first Detroit Public School League team to win two state titles and the first to win two in a row.
“We knew the city of Detroit was behind us,” Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher said. “We’ve had the other schools coming in to support us.”
The Technicians end the season with a 12-2 record and with an immediate future as bright as the present and immediate past. Both Campbell and running back Mike Weber — who ran for 186 yards on 20 carries — are only sophomores.
Campbell, who completed 4-of-12 passes for 154 yards, was also the team’s quarterback last season as a freshman. So he has begun his high school career with two consecutive state championships.
“I’m not finished at all,” Campbell said. “I’m just half done. Last year, I said I had three more and now I’m just half done.”
As good an arm as Campbell had — the 6-3, 185-pounder tied the MHSAA Finals record of five touchdown passes in last season’s title game — Wilcher is more impressed with his quarterback’s mind at this stage of his development.
“I tell him, ‘I’m not really worried about how you throw the ball right now,'” the Cass Tech coach said. “‘I love the way you think on the field. “
Wilcher said Campbell always checks into the right play.
An example came in the third quarter when Cass Tech faced a third-and-17 on its own 13, while holding a 15-7 lead. Campbell called an audible to a draw play to Weber, and he rumbled 57 yards to the Catholic Central 30. Deon Drake took it the rest of the way on the next play for a 22-7 lead with 9:48 left in the third.
Campbell, along with Lewis, made an adjustment on the 89-yard TD pass on Cass Tech’s first play.
“The play was supposed to be a stop route,” Campbell said. “But the corner was playing up. So I just looked at Jourdan, and he looked at me and we turned it into a go.”
The Technicians stretched their lead to 12-0 less than five minutes into the game when defensive lineman Kenton Gibbs returned Darkangelo’s fumble 58 yards for a touchdown.
“They hit a long throw and catch on the first play, and we made a couple of mistakes,” Catholic Central coach Tom Mach said.
Campbell also ran 3 yards for a touchdown with 7:59 left in the fourth quarter, and Delano Hill returned an interception 84 yards for a score with 1:06 left.
Portland wins Division 5 state championship
DETROIT – Portland stopped Grand Rapids West Catholic on downs with 50 seconds left, after a first and goal from the 10-yard line, to earn a 12-9 win and the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 5 state championship on Saturday at Ford Field.
A 37-yard pass from Travis Russell to David Kuzma and a pass interference penalty put the ball at the Portland 10 for Grand Rapids West Catholic. But the Falcons couldn’t move the ball and Russell’s pass on fourth and goal from the 14 fell incomplete.