Drogosh Closing Career of Unforgettable Impact on De La Salle Football

By Keith Dunlap
Special for MHSAA.com

November 23, 2022

Dan Rohn admitted that the thought started to “hit me a little bit” on Tuesday. 

Greater DetroitRohn, the head football coach and athletic director at Warren De La Salle Collegiate, is obviously trying to focus entirely on Friday’s Division 2 championship game against Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central.

However, this week it has started to strike him that pretty soon, he’s going to have to get used to life without senior quarterback Brady Drogosh. 

From the moment Drogosh started school at De La Salle as a freshman, Rohn said he has been “my quarterback,” having constant meetings in his office before school and texting countlessly throughout the day about school, football and life in general.

“We do this to build relationships with kids, and I’ve got a pretty special one with Brady Drogosh,” Rohn said. 

And make no doubt, Drogosh will be a hard one for even a power like De La Salle to replace. 

In three years as a starter, Drogosh has accumulated 7,784 yards of total offense – 3,152 rushing yards, 4,632 passing yards – and 98 total touchdowns (46 rushing, 56 passing). 

This season, the 6-foot-5, 200-pound Drogosh has run for 1,188 yards and 17 touchdowns and completed 119-of-179 passes for 2,015 yards and 33 touchdowns – that 33 amounting to 10 more than he had his sophomore and junior seasons combined. 

“Brady is that level, where if anything is going wrong, I don’t have to tell him now when he comes off of the field because he knows,” Rohn said. “That’s how you can tell someone has arrived.”

Drogosh will be making his third-straight start for De La Salle in a Final, and the seeds for his great high school career were planted through failure in his first at Ford Field as a sophomore. 

In a 25-19 loss to Muskegon Mona Shores, Drogosh struggled in his start and was benched in the second half.

“He struggled, and he’ll openly admit that he didn’t have full grasp of the situation,” Rohn said. “It was definitely a learning moment for Brady.” 

As painful as it was, it also lit a fire in him.

“I know as I was walking off of the field, I turned to two of my sophomores saying I don’t want to feel like this again,” Drogosh said. “I think that was the fuel for me.”

Pilots assistant coach Karl Featherstone, right, brings a smile to Drogosh’s face. Indeed, as Drogosh had an outstanding junior year which culminated in De La Salle defeating Traverse City Central in last year’s Division 2 Final, 41-14. 

Then came the offseason, when Drogosh started his journey to becoming miles better as a senior. 

He flew to California and participated in the Elite 11 quarterback competition, where he competed with some of the country’s best quarterbacks and learned under camp counselors who are some of the best college quarterbacks in the nation this year, including Alabama’s Bryce Young, USC’s Caleb Williams and UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson. 

“You had three Heisman candidates there, so might as well learn anything you can,” Drogosh said. 

An elite rusher last year, Drogosh has skyrocketed his career passing totals, becoming what Rohn dubbed as a “true dual-threat quarterback.”

“I definitely think my decision-making and accuracy has been better,” Drogosh said. 

Not only does Drogosh not have much time left as a high school football player, he also doesn’t have much time remaining as a student in general.

Drogosh will sign in December to play at University of Cincinnati and become an early enrollee starting classes Jan. 7.

Rohn said throughout the recruitment process with Drogosh, college coaches said the No. 1 thing about him they were worried about was his throwing mechanics. But Rohn feels Drogosh being around a full-time quarterback coach in college will rectify any of those concerns.

“Him focusing on someone who can work with him 1-on-1 and develop his mechanics, I think he’s really going to take off,” Rohn said. 

Also a member of De La Salle’s Division 1 championship basketball team last year, Drogosh will forgo the upcoming basketball season.

A 4.0 student, Drogosh said he’ll be able to come back in the spring for the school’s graduation ceremony and walk the stage with his classmates, but his official graduation party will come on Dec. 21 when he officially signs with the Bearcats. 

“There will be a graduation party,” Drogosh said with a laugh, adding teammate Mason Muragin, an Illinois commit, also will participate in the festivities. 

But before that, Drogosh and De La Salle are fully focused on pursuing a repeat championship against Forest Hills Central.

There will be plenty of time for career reflection and lifelong relationships made afterwards.

But no doubt, when Friday comes and goes, one of the biggest sentiments of all will be that it’s going to be awfully hard to replace Brady Drogosh. 

Keith DunlapKeith Dunlap has served in Detroit-area sports media for more than two decades, including as a sportswriter at the Oakland Press from 2001-16 primarily covering high school sports but also college and professional teams. His bylines also have appeared in USA Today, the Washington Post, the Detroit Free Press, the Houston Chronicle and the Boston Globe. He served as the administrator for the Oakland Activities Association’s website from 2017-2020. Contact him at keithdunlap78@gmail.com with story ideas for Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties.

PHOTOS (Top) Warren De La Salle quarterback Brady Drogosh (12) pulls away from a Traverse City Central defender during last season’s Division 2 Final. (Middle) Pilots assistant coach Karl Featherstone, right, brings a smile to Drogosh’s face.

Moore Finishes Legendary King Career by Leading Crusaders to D3 Repeat

By Scott DeCamp
Special for MHSAA.com

November 27, 2022

DETROIT – Dante Moore had no tears left to cry Saturday night, even happy tears, after he played his final high school football game for Detroit Martin Luther King at Ford Field.

“Everybody sees I’m not crying – I really cried before I got here to the game. Before I walked to the gate, I was crying and I cried last night,” Moore said.

King’s four-year starting quarterback cemented his legacy, leading the Crusaders to their second-straight MHSAA Division 3 championship with a 56-27 victory over Muskegon.

The Oregon commit finished 21-of-26 passing for 275 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions to power King (10-3) to its sixth Finals title overall and fifth in eight years.

Before Moore even took the field for his first offensive series against Muskegon (11-3), junior Jameel Croft Jr. staked King to an immediate lead with an electrifying 96-yard return of the game’s opening kickoff.

The Crusaders never looked back.

“I wasn’t expecting that. I just followed my blocks. Guys were blocking for me and the coaches set it up perfectly for me, for real,” Croft said. “It gave us a lot of momentum in the beginning of the game. It helped us out a lot.”

Crusaders quarterback Dante Moore rolls out looking for a receiver. Muskegon pulled within 14-7 midway through the first quarter and 21-14 three minutes into the second, but Moore & Co. always seemed to have an answer.

Croft scored the game’s first two TDs, as he added a 13-yard scoring catch from Moore to make it 14-0 with 6:28 left in the first quarter.

“We started out chasing. We gave up that opening kickoff for a touchdown and we just got ourselves chasing and kind of things went from there,” said Muskegon coach Shane Fairfield, whose team trailed 35-14 at halftime and pulled within 14 with five minutes left in the third but got no closer.

Croft was Moore’s top pass-catcher, finishing with six receptions for 64 yards and two TDs. Senior Sterling Anderson Jr. was a blur as King’s top rusher, totaling 207 yards on only 13 carries, highlighted by his 80-yard scoring sprint that gave the Crusaders a 49-27 lead with 10:55 remaining.

Seniors Samuel Washington and Tim Ruffin paced King defensively with nine and eight tackles, respectively. For Muskegon, senior Julian Neely registered a team-high seven stops, while junior Stanley Cunningham recorded two sacks among his six tackles.

Muskegon junior quarterback M’Khi Guy ran 20 times for 135 yards with two TDs, including a 60-yard breakaway to pull the Big Reds within 14-7 midway through the first quarter. He also completed 2-of-4 passes for 97 yards, including a 71-yard scoring strike to junior Destin Piggee.

Muskegon junior Jakob Price added 93 rushing yards and a TD on 17 carries, but the night belonged to King and Moore.

“There’s no excuse: That kid is amazing. He threw balls that we haven’t seen probably in my career,” said Fairfield, whose program was seeking its first Finals title since 2017. His Big Reds teams have been to the Finals to finish eight of his 13 seasons at the helm.

“Only one other guy threw touchdown passes like (Moore) and passes and balls like that in my career here, and that was (Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice’s) Alex Malzone – went to Michigan. Seems like we always see the (Dequan) Finns and the Dantes and Malzones and stuff when we get here, but you know, we’re here,” added Fairfield, whose 2018 squad lost to Finn and King, 41-25, in the Division 3 championship game.

King coach Tyrone Spencer said that his team overcame a lot of adversity this season. The Crusaders could not practice on their field because it’s undergoing a makeover, so they bussed to practice. They lost their season opener to Warren Central (Ind.), 44-26, and dropped the final two games of the regular season to Detroit Cass Tech (28-14) and Cincinnati Moeller (30-14).

King’s Sterling Anderson Jr. (3) follows his blockers through a sizable opening.The Crusaders got it going in the playoffs, however. They threatened the Finals record for points by one team, established Friday night by Grand Rapids West Catholic with 59.

“(The season) was up and down, but the kids, I mean, they trust us and we got it back going,” Spencer said. “They’re a resilient group of kids. It speaks to their character.”

Moore mentioned the “championship culture” at King, how one expects to be a champion once he puts on that jersey.

It’s also about giving back and respecting the game, too, which has been a custom of Moore’s since his freshman year when King lost to Muskegon Mona Shores in the Division 2 Final, 35-26.

“My freshman year, me playing against Brady Rose and Muskegon Mona Shores, I remember Brady Rose pulled me to the side and that’s where I really got it from – him taking me to the side, telling me things I can work on, and me congratulating him for what he’s done and being one of the best players to come through Michigan to be honest and leading his team on his back,” Moore recalled.

“I just knew that I had to carry that on through this past year and really pull the (opposing) quarterbacks to the side, especially (those) younger than me. Me being a senior, I’ve been through a lot. I just want to give them the keys and terms to help them be the best they can be in high school.”

Croft called the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Moore a “great leader,” who is “so poised” and one who will leave “a great legacy right here for sure.”

“Special, man,” is how Spencer reflected on Moore’s four-year run.

“You know, he’ll be the one that they’ll talk about maybe the greatest we’ve ever had here,” Spencer said. “Just really proud of him and the person that he is. He deserves it. He works hard for it, and I just couldn’t be more pleased. It couldn’t happen to a better person.”

Meanwhile, Muskegon got off to a bit of a slow start this season by Big Reds standards. They lost two of their first five games, including a 49-16 road defeat to eventual Division 2 champion Warren De La Salle Collegiate, but got healthy and played their best football at the right time leading up to Saturday night.

Fairfield said the Big Reds battled and left it all on the field.

“They played 14 and when you play 14 games, of course this is going to hurt more because it’s the very last one and now you’ve got 364 days to get back,” he said.

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) Detroit King’s Samuel Washington (10) wraps up Muskegon’s M’Khi Guy during Saturday’s night’s Division 3 Final. (Middle) Crusaders quarterback Dante Moore rolls out looking for a receiver. (Below) King’s Sterling Anderson Jr. (3) follows his blockers through a sizable opening.