Leslie Falls 41-20 In Division 6 Finals

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) -- The Michigan state football finals have never been played in Muskegon.
If Friday is any indication, it might be time to consider moving them to the west side of the state.
Cody Kater threw for two touchdown passes and ran for another to help Montague beat Leslie 41-20 in the Division 6 final at Ford Field -- the third championship in eight hours for Muskegon County.
"During the year, we all compete against each other, but when the playoffs start, we're usually in different divisions, so we cheer for each other," Montague coach Pat Collins said. "It isn't any kind of West Side vs. East Side -- we are just cheering for the schools in our area."
The Wildcats finished the season with a 13-1 record, and their only loss was to Muskegon Oakridge, which could give the county a fourth title in Saturday's Division 5 final.
Montague took a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, but Leslie (12-2) got on the board when Travis Crowe threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Trent Page on a fake punt.
The Blackhawks had a chance to get closer, but Crowe's pass was incomplete on 4th-and-goal from the Wildcats 4. Leslie nearly forced a safety on the next play, and the Wildcats had to run a quarterback sneak just to escape their own goal line.
On 3rd-and-12 from their own 2, though, Kater hit Anthony Root down the right sideline for a 98-yard touchdown -- the longest play from scrimmage in finals history.
"Our defense did an unbelievable job of stopping them on fourth down, and then we hit that lob pass on third down," Kater said. "Once Anthony got behind the defense, I knew he was gone -- no one catches him from behind."
Leslie coach Scott Farley acknowledged that sequence changed the entire game.
"Even when we got down 21-0, we thought we could win, and now we're going in with a chance to make it 21-12 or 21-14," Farley said. "But then they stop us and get the big pass, and now we're down 28-6. That's a huge swing of momentum."
After Crowe was intercepted, A.J. LaRue ran 44 yards for his second touchdown of the game, giving Montague a 35-6 halftime lead.
"It was like they knew every play we were going to run before we ran it," Crowe said. "We thought we had a chance, but we didn't make it happen."

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