Lansing Catholic's second half comeback leads to first title in 35 years

Lansing Catholic celebrates a Division 5 title in Detroit on Saturday (11-30-2019).
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DETROIT, MI (WILX) - Saturday wrapped up a very successful weekend at Ford Field for mid-Michigan high school football teams.

It was capped off by a comeback victory for Lansing Catholic High School in Division Five.

Thirty-five years, that is how long it has been since Lansing Catholic took home a state title in football.

The Cougars went into the game with a chance to change that, but they would have to be a tough team from Almont.

And both teams played the first half to a draw as the game was tied at seven at halftime.

Lansing Catholic's only first half score coming on a Zach Gillespie quarterback keeper.

In the second half, Almont High School scored ten quick points to take a 17 to seven lead, but from there Lansing Catholic's comeback began.

The Cougars simply started chipping away on Almont's lead.

After a field goal from Jonah Richards, Zach Gillespie followed by finding Vince Salquist for seven yards and the game-tying score.

With under four minutes to go Gillespie looked to the end zone for Mitch Raphael, but officials at first ruled the pass was out of bounds, but the play would be reviewed and overturned.

The decision also gave the Cougars a go-ahead touchdown a lead they never relinquished.

Here is a stat that helps explain the turnaround from a tight game in the first half to a game the Cougars took control of in the second half.

The Cougars forced eight turnovers.

In the end, Gillespie would add a late touchdown and the Cougars pulled away for a 31-17 win and the Division Five crown.

"It's an unbelievable feeling. I'm so happy for these guys. We weren't picked to win many of these games. So, I'm happy they came through and won it," said Jim Ahern, Lansing Catholic's head coach.

Said Zach Gillespie, the Cougar's quarterback, "I'm still pinching myself. I don't think it's real. I'm waiting to wake up from a dream, because I really don't think this is happening."

On Saturday night, it was a joyous scene at Lansing Catholic High School where fans gave the team a rousing welcome home.

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