The Mona Shores Sailors and East Lansing Trojans met in the Division 2 Region 1 championship game at Lynn C Adams Stadium on Saturday afternoon. There was star power on both sides, as Mr. Football Brady Rose piloted the Sailors’ attack, while Ethan Boyd (Michigan State) and Andrel Anthony (Michigan) served as the biggest stars for the Trojans. In a game that saw momentum fluctuate between both sides, the Sailors ultimately had the final swing. On the last play of the game, Keegan DeKuiper booted a twenty-four yard field goal to push Mona Shores into the semifinals with a 24-21 victory.
After Mona Shores’ first drive went nowhere, East Lansing struck quickly. Quarterback Brevin Jackson found Mason Woods for a sixty-one yard score on the Trojans’ first play from scrimmage. The Emory Roberts extra point kick gave East Lansing a 7-0 edge that would hold throughout the first quarter.
In the second quarter, East Lansing drove deep into the red zone with a chance to pad their lead. They ultimately turned the football over on downs after a rollout pass fell incomplete. On the next play from scrimmage, Mona Shores scored on an eighty-two yard touchdown run by Brady Rose to bring the game to its halftime score of 7-7.
Midway through the third quarter, Mona Shores took the lead with some great running. Brady Rose pitched the ball to Keondre Pierce, who ran eight yards into the end zone. East Lansing responded with a long drive down the field, but they could not score. Coach Feraco rolled the dice on fourth down and sent his offense out to try and convert. With offensive tackle Ethan Boyd flanked out to the right, Mona Shores was able to send pressure and sack Brevin Jackson in the backfield. As a result, Mona Shores took a 14-7 lead into the final quarter.
On the opening drive of the fourth quarter, Brady Rose again provided instant offense. He shot through the line and was off to the races. Fifty-two yards later, Rose was in the end zone to push Mona Shores’ lead to fourteen points.
Needing instant offense, East Lansing looked to their stars. They found Andrel Anthony for a deep completion, helping them march down the field. The quarterback Brevin Jackson kept the football and powered across the goal line from three yards out to pull the Trojans within a score.
After a quick stop of Mona Shores, the Trojans had the football back. Once again, they made their way down the field quickly. Asher Gregory, who gave the Sailors’ fits all day with his shiftiness and unwillingness to go down, finally broke the end zone on a three-yard run. With 2:16 to play, this game was tied.
Mona Shores had a quick drive, punting the football back to East Lansing with less than a minute to go. The Trojans tried to move down the field for the go-ahead score with reliance on their vertical passing game. Unfortunately for East Lansing, Brevin Jackson’s pass was tipped and DJ Caviness was in the right place at the right time, hauling in the interception in plus territory.
Brady Rose carried the football with a relentless run that dragged along many East Lansing tacklers on his way to the ten-yard line. Instead of kicking the field goal with six seconds to go, Brady Rose again was called on to carry the football. He gained three yards before giving himself up, and a quick Matt Koziak timeout had Mona Shores ready for a field goal.
They sent out Keegan DeKuiper for just his third field goal attempt of the year, but this was little more than an extra point. His twenty-four yard kick sailed through the uprights and the Sailors’ will advance to the semifinals as a result.
Today’s Redi Rental Sailors of the Game are Brady Rose, DJ Caviness and Keegan DeKuiper. Each player made a phenomenal play in the game’s closing minutes to deliver this victory.
This is the third straight trip to the semifinals for Mona Shores, and the defending champs will look to make it back to Ford Field for the third year in a row next week. They will host the semifinal against Traverse City Central next Saturday after the Trojans defeated North Farmington 50-22.