No matter what former Michigan players Mike Hart and LaMarr Woodley say, being a little brother is a good thing at Lowell.
“There’s nothing wrong with being a little brother in this program,” Lowell coach Noel Dean said. “We welcome it.”
Welcome it? Dean and his coaches embrace it. In fact, Dean has built one of the state’s most successful programs based on younger brothers following their siblings to the Lowell football field.
“I was thinking about that last night,” Dean said Saturday. “I haven’t done the math, but last year I did the math, and we had 18 little brothers. We’ve got seven on offense alone this year.”
One of those little brothers is junior quarterback David Kruse. His brother Connor was a walk-on tackle at Michigan State and started in the Rose Bowl. Another brother, Danny, is a freshman wrestler at MSU.
This Kruse sparked Lowell to Friday’s 21-10 victory over Rockford in one of the state’s best matchups. This was Rockford’s first game after it forfeited its Aug. 26 opener to Saline when more than 35 players became ill.
“We’ve played them three times now, and that’s the most physical they’ve ever been,” Dean said of the Rams. “They played outstanding. … Our only score in the first half was off a pick-six.”
Lowell trailed, 10-7, at halftime, and then Kruse came alive. He rushed for 98 yards in the second half and completed three of five passes for 93 yards and a touchdown.
“He did play better, but we all played better in the second half,” Dean said. “It all kind of plays off itself. The offensive line struggled a little bit in the first half and credit to all of them. In both games, actually, he’s played better in the second half.”
One of the reasons Lowell played better in the second half was freshman coach Matt Dood, who found a play that might ignite the running game, which is part of the reason the Red Arrows ran for 155 yards in the second half.
“He suggested it to our offensive coordinator a run play that might work against the way they were scheming us. Our offensive coordinator and line coach put it in at halftime, and it worked.”
Couple this victory with the 36-19 win over highly regarded Warren De La Salle on Aug. 26, and this Lowell team, with only three returning starters, might be on its way to another long state playoff run.
“Honestly, I was not anticipating it under any stretch of the imagination,” Dean said. “Before the season we had a long talk about staying the course whether we win or lose football games this year and try to get to Game 10.
“In the back of my mind, I was thinking about it as if we were losing. But I coupled it with winning or losing, and now we have to maintain an edge since we’ve won a couple.”
White now 2-0
Cody White is an all-state receiver, but with quarterback Johnny Tracy injured, he is 2-0 as Walled Lake Western’s starting quarterback.
“He was going to be our starting quarterback if Johnny didn’t transfer in in January,” coach Mike Zdebski said. “With him stepping in, our mind-set was: ‘He was going to be our guy anyway, so what’s the big deal?’ ”
The big deal is that White, who has committed to play at Michigan State, led a 33-30 comeback victory over Canton.
Canton might be the best 0-2 team in North America, suffering a last-minute loss to Dearborn Fordson in the opener.
“I think it’s good for us because we were down 13 points in the second half,” Zdebski said. “Even though we’ve been in those games over the years, now these guys have gone through that situation: OK, you’re down two scores, what are you going to do? Are you going to fall apart and point fingers or just keep playing? The guys just kept playing.”
White threw a 29-yard TD pass to Justin Thomas with 37 seconds left. White finished 9-for-21 for 190 yards and two TDs and ran for 101 yards and two TDs.
Contact Mick McCabe: 313-223-4744 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mickmccabe1.