The Mona Shores Sailors had zero appearances between their first game in 1962 and the end of the 2012 season. Since that point, Matt Koziak has directed the Sailors to seven playoff appearances, and now four trips to the State Championship game. After falling behind early, Mona Shores roared back to defeat Traverse City Central 43-30.
Traverse City Central took an early lead when Josh Burnham ran across the goal line from a yard out. The Carson Bourdo two-point conversion put the Trojans ahead by eight. They would take this lead to the end of the first quarter.
Mona Shores’ drive carried into the second quarter, and in the opening plays, they found the end zone. Elijah Johnson carried the football twelve yards for a touchdown. The failed conversion left it 8-6 in favor of Traverse City Central.
The Trojans would build on their lead as a jet sweep run of five yards by Brayden Halliday extended their lead. The conversion from Josh Burnham powered the score to 16-6.
Mona Shores responded with a quick two-minute drive. Brady Rose kept the football and weaved his way through the TC Central defense for a twenty yard touchdown run. They did get a conversion to trim the lead to 16-14.
Before the half was finished, Carson Hall broke free for a third Traverse City Central score on a twenty-four yard jet sweep. Burnham’s conversion pushed the halftime score to 24-14 in favor of the Trojans.
In the second half, it was all Mona Shores. After three straight punts to open the half, the Sailors burst through and got on the scoreboard. Brady Rose flexed his defensive muscle and stepped in front of a Traverse City Central pass. Rose was untouched as he ran fifteen yards to the end zone for a touchdown. The successful conversion came on a broken play turned into two points. Brady Rose fielded a high snap and rolled toward the sideline, finding Jeff Lenartowicz in the end zone.
Trailing 24-22, the Sailors forced a quick defensive stop. They quickly scored as Brady Rose found Gary Humphrey for a ten-yard score. The duo paired up for a two-point conversion to give Mona Shores a 30-24 advantage.
Brady Rose hauled in his second interception near the end of the third quarter, and he nearly returned it to the end zone. He was tackled at the six yard line, needing only one play to find the end zone offensively. This score put the Sailors ahead by twelve, 36-24.
After Traverse City Central was stopped on downs, Mona Shores looked to Brady Rose to drive to the finish. He was efficient in slowing the game down, as they went fifty-four yards in seven minutes. His final run on the drive, an eight-yard touchdown sealed the victory as they led by nineteen with 2:22 to play.
Traverse City Central would get a late touchdown on a pass from Burnham to Dante Williams to trim the margin to thirteen, its final resting place in the 43-30 ball game.
Today’s Redi Rental Sailor of the Game is Brady Rose. The senior made his impact all over the field in this win. He finished the game with 187 yards and three touchdowns on twenty-seven carries. He finished 5/10 passing with thirty six yards and a score. On defense, Rose had eight tackles and two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. In addition to these five scores, he had three beautiful pooch punts that averaged 39.3 yards per punt and pinning the Trojans deep.
Khyree Hamel matched Rose with a team-high eight tackles on defense. Elijah Johnson added seventy rushing yards on fifteen carries. Gary Humphrey was the team leader in receiving yards with two catches for twenty-two yards.
Traverse City Central’s featured player, Josh Burnham, finished with 133 yards passing, 133 yards rushing and twelve tackles.
Next Friday, the Sailors will look to cap off the 2020 season with their second straight State Championship in Division 2. They will face off against Warren DeLaSalle, who defeated Oak Park 26-20 in overtime in the other semifinal. This game will kickoff at 1:00 PM on Friday at Ford Field, following the Division 8 State Championship game.