- Associated Press - Thursday, December 6, 2018

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Tommy Schuster was unfazed and on target in his quest for a state football championship.

The Clinton Township Chippewa Valley quarterback had just been body-slammed to the Ford Field turf by a Clarkston lineman as the Big Reds protected a one-touchdown lead in the third quarter of the Division 1 final.

But the hard hit didn’t affect his play.

On the next snap, Schuster threw a 30-yard pass to David Ellis that set up the Big Reds’ final touchdown in a 31-30 victory.

“That was probably the hardest I have been hit all year,” Schuster said. “The next play we had a two-side option screen, and I saw David and got rid of it.”

Schuster didn’t miss in the game against the 2017 state champions.

The 6-foot senior set an accuracy record for all divisions by completing 13 of 13 passes, and he finished with 205 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Big Reds capped a 14-0 season with the second state championship in program history.

“He did a great job,” Clarkston coach Kurt Richardson said.

For the season, Schuster completed 120 of 172 passes for 1,826 yards and 26 touchdowns with only one interception.

Schuster’s season-long consistency and excellence in the final led to him being voted by a panel of sports writers The Associated Press Division 1-2 Player of the Year.

“All the kid does is win,” Chippewa Valley coach Scott Merchant said. “We’re not a team that throws the ball 40 times a game. We don’t play for stats. He could have had 3,000 yards passing if we wanted to, but I don’t believe in that as a coach.”

Schuster had several weapons at his disposal, and two of them joined him on the AP All-State team.

Receiver David Ellis, an Indiana recruit who returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown in the championship game and had 44 receptions for the season, was voted to the squad.

So was linebacker Marcel Lewis, a Michigan State recruit who also played tight end.

Unlike his All-State teammates, Schuster didn’t have an offer from a Division I or Division II college when the Big Reds were crowned champions.

“In terms of a high school quarterback and a college quarterback, if somebody wants a winner, that doesn’t throw the ball to the other team, and he’s going to run your offense to a T, he’s just that,” Merchant said.

Schuster took the lack of recruiting buzz in stride.

“I just try and go out there and play my game,” he said. “I don’t let any of that affect how I play on the field. That stuff will take care of itself.”

Schuster was joined on the All-State team by quarterback Caden Broersma of Muskegon Mona Shores.

Other receivers selected were Julian Barnett of Belleville, James Gilbert of Muskegon Mona Shores and Tre Mosley of West Bloomfield.

Running backs tapped were Jaren Mangham of Detroit Cass Tech, Steven Walker of Canton, Tyler Amos of Portage Northern and Kionte Blakely of East Kentwood.

Linemen named were Devontae Dobbs of Belleville, Damon Payne of Belleville, Darius Robinson of Canton, Justin Rogers of Oak Park, Rocco Spindler of Clarkston, Logan Brown of East Kentwood, Mazi Smith of East Kentwood and Braiden MacGregor of Port Huron Northern.

Linebackers who joined Lewis were Lance Dixon of West Bloomfield, Cornell Wheeler of West Bloomfield and Jacob Dobbs of Warren De La Salle.

Joshua DeBerry of Warren De La Salle, Kyron McKinnie-Harper of Detroit Cass Tech and Andre Seldon of Belleville were named at defensive back.

Specialist Christian Gordon of Midland, kicker Tristan Mattson of Clarkston and punter Connor Blake of Grand Ledge completed the team.

Phil Jacobs of Dexter was voted the All-State coach.


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