DETROIT, Mich. (WLNS) – The Division 7 state championship game between Jackson Lumen Christi and Traverse City St. Francis was a perfect example of Lumen Christi’s entire season.
The Titans started the year 0-3 and were held scoreless throughout the first three quarters of the state final.
What kept Lumen Christi in the game was the Titans defense. Holding a St. Francis team that averaged 47 points per game to just 12 points.
The defense ultimately set up the Titans offense, who knows what it takes to battle back from adversity and scored 15 points in the final quarter and win the Division 7 crown 15-12.
“That is just what it came down too, the adversity that we had,” senior quarterback Joe Lathers said. “They (St. Francis) didn’t have any adversity. They blew out every team in the first half this season and came out in the second half and looked tired.”
“In one of our other states titles, we started 1-3. So with the schedule we’re forced to play, we are going to play some great football teams,” Lumen Christi coach Herb Brogan said. “You aren’t going to win every game all year long. I am just so proud of them and proud of our coaching staff.”
After the 0-3 start, the seniors held a “players-only” meeting to change the mindset and make sure they didn’t lose a fourth.
“After the Hastings game we just said, ‘we can’t lose to (Parma) Western.’ I mean Western is one of our biggest rivalries and we weren’t losing to them,” senior linebacker Conor Smith said. “We battled our hearts out and won that game and ever since then we kept going.”
Senior running back Derrick Walker said, “I have dreamed of this my whole life. I eat, sleep and breath football. It’s what I do every day. I love the sport, I love the grind, I love the struggle, I love the pain and I just kept going. It means everything to be a state champion. I mean that has been our goal the whole year.”
Brogan has been a part of all 12 state titles at Lumen Christi and has been the Head Coach for ten of them. So, hoisting a trophy at Ford Field is nothing new. It’s why he let the seniors, who hadn’t won a state title before Saturday, raise the state title as he watched on.