DETROIT (AP) - Ithaca’s 69-game winning streak was snapped Friday in a 22-12 loss to Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 6 championship at Ford Field in Detroit.
For players who had not lost a varsity game the outcome brought “a different feeling,” said Yellowjackets quarterback Jake Smith, who ran for 90 yards on 18 carries.
“We fought hard. I’m proud of all of my teammates,” Smith said.
Ithaca (13-1) began its streak in 2010 and won the last four Division 6 state titles.
It had been the longest active winning streak in the country and is the second longest in Michigan High School football history. Hudson won 72 straight from 1968 to 1975.
“I was very proud of our team today,” said Ithaca coach Terry Hessbrook. “I was proud of their effort.”
Winning 69 consecutive games is difficult, said Monroe St. Mary quarterback Bryce Windham.
“To be that good, that long. It’s amazing,” he added.
Coach Jack Giarmo tried to keep his Monroe St. Mary players focused on what was most important.
“All week long we talked about just winning the state championship and not about the streak,” Giarmo said.
Monroe St. Mary lost to Ithaca in the 2010 Division 6 state title game to begin the Yellowjackets run of state crowns.
John Lako had two touchdowns for the Falcons (13-1). The winning score came on a 19-yard return of a fumbled punt by Travis Vuich in the second quarter.
But the biggest play arguably came with 10:10 left in the game.
Ithaca was down 15-12, but had driven to the Monroe St. Mary 19.
On third-and-8, Smith pitched the ball to wide receiver Spence DeMull, who was going from Smith’s left to right on an apparent reverse.
DeMull pulled up and tossed a pass toward the right pylon at the goal line. It was intercepted by Windham, who also plays defensive back.
“I kind of played catch-up and the quarterback underthrew it,” Windham said. “Pretty fortunate on my part. It probably should have been a touchdown.”
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