DETROIT (AP) - Brandon Adams scored the only touchdown and the Orchard Lake St. Mary’s defense did the rest as the Eaglets topped Muskegon 7-0 in Saturday’s Division 3 state championship game.
St. Mary’s (12-2) forced three turnovers and allowed just 168 yards of offense, hanging on for its first crown since 2011.
“That’s good old fashioned football, huh?” St. Mary’s coach George Porritt said after claiming the fifth title of his career. “I’ll take a game like this any day.”
Muskegon had the ball at the Eaglets’ 38 after a bad punt midway through the fourth quarter but St. Mary’s linebacker Dwayne Chapman intercepted Shawn Pfenning to kill the drive. The Eaglets kept moving the chains and Muskegon left Ford Field empty handed for the third straight season.
The Big Reds fell to Birmingham Brother Rice in the last two Division 2 title games. They were every bit as stingy as the Eaglets: St. Mary’s managed just 164 yards of offense and crossed midfield just once after it got the touchdown.
Unfortunately for Muskegon, that second drive across the 50 ran out the clock.
“Regardless of the turnovers, we still had chances to win the game,” Muskegon coach Shane Fairfield said. “Defensively, they made a few more plays than we did.”
Muskegon was seeking the school’s sixth state championship and first since it won the Division 2 title in 2008.
Tyler Cochran and Ross Moore also had interceptions to help St. Mary’s win its sixth football championship.
Adams’ mother, Katie, died after battling cancer on Thanksgiving Day and the junior struggled to keep his composure after the game.
“I knew my mom was watching, so that was a great feeling,” he said. “She’s proud of all of us; we’re all brothers.”
St. Mary’s capped its first possession with Adams’ 1-yard touchdown run and appeared to be on its way back to the end zone early in the second quarter but fumbled at the Muskegon 2. The Big Reds recovered and mounted a 96-yard drive that came up two yards short.
The Eaglets stuffed LaMon Mathison on fourth-and-goal and went to halftime up 7-0.
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