The emphasis Southfield A&T football has placed on strength and conditioning has helped it late in games this season.
That was especially so for the Warriors (3-3) on Friday at West Bloomfield. They overcome a scoreless first half and avoided late fatigue to beat the Lakers, 33-14.
“We didn’t change our game plan in the second half, but some of the things we’ve done as far as weight training really helped us,” A&T coach Tim Conley said. “We’ve been really good in the second halves of games, even in the games we’ve lost. I think our conditioning and weight training program we stick to is really paying off.”
A&T’s Arthur Nichols, who rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns, took the second play of the third quarter for a 60-yard rushing TD.
On the next drive, Marquise Thorns raced 65 yards for a TD, giving A&T a two-score lead it never relinquished.
The Warriors defense stepped up late, too. Lorenzo McCaskill led with eight tackles, Keith Powe added six stops and Marcus Fuqua and Reese Kelly each had one interception.
“We’ve always played good defense, and they haven’t let us down all year,” Conley said. “They did a good job putting on pressure.
“West Bloomfield is a high-powered passing offense, and our defense put pressure on their QB and made him have to play perfectly.”
Thorns finished with nine carries for 120 yards and two TDs.
Like Conley said, A&T’s success started with its strength and conditioning, led by assistant James Cook, who puts the Warriors through two dedicated lifting days each week.
When the Warriors built their weight room, they first visited Michigan State to see what equipment the Spartans used to make their players bigger, stronger and faster.
“We copied a lot of stuff Michigan State did,” Conley said. “We built our own weight room and put equipment in it that they used.
“I’m seeing the benefits of it every week.”