Lumen Christi Falls In State Title Game

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) -- Ethan Shaver ran for 209 yards and three touchdowns to lead Menominee to a 21-7 win over Jackson Lumen Christi in the Division 5 state championship game Saturday at Ford Field.
The Maroons (14-0) won their second title in a row, running their winning streak to 28 games, while Lumen Christi (12-2) was in the championship game for the sixth time in eight years.
Shaver, who rushed for 123 yards in last year's championship game, started the scoring Saturday with an 11-yard touchdown run on Menominee's first possession.
The Maroons could have had a much bigger lead at halftime, but turned the ball over twice inside the Lumen Christi 20.
The Titans had the first good scoring chance of the second half, but turned the ball over on downs at the Menominee 13.
The teams traded punts until Menominee put together a sustained drive early in the fourth quarter. Shaver kept it alive with a 17-yard scramble on 3rd-and-9, then gained 11 yards on 3rd-and-5.
On the next play, he scored on a 1-yard sweep to put the Maroons up 14-0.
The Titans, though, needed just three plays to get on the board. Connor Sullivan hit Mark Lathers for a 67-yard touchdown pass, pulling them within 14-7 with 5:41 to play.
Lumen Christi got the ball back after a punt, but lost 20 yards on their first three plays, setting up a 4th-and-30 from the Titans 5.
Tom Janson dropped the punt at midfield, but dove on it and Shaver put the game away with a 6-yard run.
The Maroons became the first team to post back-to-back 14-0 seasons in Michigan since East Grand Rapids in 2002-03.
Longtime Menominee coach Ken Hofer ran his team from Ford Field's seventh-floor press box after breaking his leg in October.
"It's a great way to see what is happening in the game, but they look more like mice than football players from up there," he said.
The trophy presentation after the game was delayed while Hofer and his wheelchair made it down to the field. As he arrived, he received a standing ovation from the crowd and from his players.
"To come out like that, and to get the cheers of these young men and the fans, that was one of the truly special moments of my life," the 73-year-old said, fighting back tears.
For Shaver, the second half made up for a rough start to the game.
"There was a lot of frustration in the first half -- we kept making mistakes with penalties and turnovers," he said. "But we were able to fight through it."
Herb Brogan has won five titles since 1996, but said after Saturday's loss that he would pit this year's team against any of his championship teams.
"I can't walk away from this season with anything other than a smile," he said. "This team has been decimated by injuries and overcome so many things. They are the toughest group I've ever been associated with."
No amount of character, though, was going to stop the Maroons' single-wing attack.
"We couldn't deal with their team speed," Brogan said. "We got the big play to get back in the game, and they just wouldn't let us back on the field. They did what they needed to do."


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