Lumen Christi Catholic High School quarterback Joe Lathers celebrates an 18-yard touchdown run during the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 7 state final at Ford Field on Saturday. Photo by Jeff Steers, JTV Sports.
MHSAA State Final
Division 7 at Ford Field
Lumen Christi 15, Traverse City St. Francis 12: The thought of going 11-3 for the 2022 season was probably a pipe dream for Lumen Christi Catholic High School in early September after an 0-3 start. But leaders on the Titans’ team believed and made it happen with a fourth quarter comeback for the ages. Trailing 12-0 at the end of the third quarter, LCCHS scored twice in the final 11:10 to pull out the win in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 7 football final at Ford Field on Saturday. The state championship is the 12th for Lumen Christi and 10th for head Coach Herb Brogan. Now with 10 state titles as a head coach, Brogan joins Detroit Catholic Central High School Coach Tom Mach and Mendon High School Coach John Schwartz. They all trail John Herrington of Farmington Hills Harrison who finished with 13 titles. “It is the same as the other nine,” Coach Brogan said of the state title. “It is great for the kids … they haven’t had one.” Both teams moved the ball in the first half, but couldn’t find the end zone. St. Francis scored twice in the second quarter on a 1-yard run by Joey Donahue and a nine-yard run by Wyatt Nausadis with 34 seconds remaining in the half. They missed both of the conversions for a 12-0 lead. Lumen Christi finally broke through on an 18-yard run by Joe Lathers 50 seconds into the fourth quarter. “We had an 0-3 start, but knew we had to come back from adversity,” Lathers said of the win. “We had more intensity in the second half.” Andrew Salazar kicked the extra point for the Titans to pull within 12-7. After stopping TCSF, the Titans marched down the field and scored on a 2-yard run by Derrick Walker midway through the final quarter of play. “We just don’t give up,” Walker said. “We know the work we put in during the off season … we always believed in ourselves.” The Titans scored on a 2-point conversion on a run by Lathers, a fumble into the end zone, and a recovery by Conor Smith. TCSF turned the ball over during its next possession on an interception by Alex Pastoriza. “I just saw the running back in the flats … I took the deep route,” Pastoriza said. The Titans ran out the final six-plus minutes – including a fourth-and-1 near midfield to preserve the win. Lathers finished with 115 rushing yards and 99 yards passing for the Titans. Gabe King caught three passes from Lathers for 52 yards. The Titans held St. Francis to one first down in the second half and zero points. The Gladiators had been averaging nearly 50 points per game this season. Smith and Devian Franklin finished with seven tackles apiece, Kadale Williams tallied six tackles, and Reid Garcia finished with five tackles for Lumen Christi (11-3).
Jackson United 3, Manistique 3: Jackson United scored twice in the third period to pull out the tie at home against Manistique in the Thanksgiving Showcase on Saturday. Nick Baumgardner scored midway through the first period for Jackson United. Carson Lacinski scored on a power play to begin the third period. Kully Miotke scored the game-tying goal for Jackson with less than four minutes remaining in the game. Nick Nau earned the tie in goal for Jackson United (2-0-1).