Walled Lake Western broke open the offensive floodgates early, scoring twice in the first 5 minutes of the Kensington Valley Lakes Division championship at Brighton before coasting to a 37-7 victory.
The Warriors took only three plays to grab an early lead before many fans had found a seat. Michigan State commit Cody White pulled in a pass from quarterback Johnny Tracy and ran 36 yards into the end zone untouched for a 6-0 edge after only 1:15.
Then, on Brighton’s first series, Western’s Matt Alati intercepted a pass to reclaim possession on the Brighton 44-yard line.
Less than 2 minutes later, White displayed more of the skills he hopes to show off in East Lansing when he jumped high above two defenders in the end zone for a second TD catch and a 13-0 lead with 7:52 left in the first quarter. Late in the second, Aiden Jennings kicked a 30-yard field goal for Western to make the score 16-0 at halftime.
Brighton had two scoring chances in the first half but a missed 38-yard field goal attempt. The Western defense stopped the scramble of quarterback Cameron Tullar at the 1-foot line at the end of the second quarter.
The Warriors’ defense shined again early in the fourth quarter when Brighton drove to the 10-yard line for first down and goal. But Western stopped three passes and a running play to keep Brighton out of the end zone again.
“I think our defense has been pretty solid all year,” Western coach Mike Zdebski said. “We’ve been pretty stingy for the most part, and after giving up some points early in the year, I think we made some pretty good adjustments.”
Western’s Kameron Ford hauled in a 36-yard pass for a touchdown and 23-0 lead in the third quarter before Brighton scored on the ensuing possession — a Will Jontz 6-yard run to cut the Western lead to 23-7 with 3:42 left in the third quarter.
But White wasn’t finished.
He struck again, jumping high above two defenders to catch a 12-yard TD pass from Johnny Tracey to open a 30-7 lead. Then Jalen Marshall ran 6 yards for the final margin in the closing minutes.
The victory put Western at 8-1, 6-0 in the league. Brighton dropped to 7-2, 5-1.
“This is our fourth conference championship in a row, and the kids really wanted to make their mark that we were the best team in the history of the KLAA because this is the last year,” Zdebski said.