Performance: Detroit King's Dequan Finn

November 29, 2018

Dequan Finn
Detroit Martin Luther King senior – Football

The Crusaders’ standout quarterback capped his high school career by leading his team to a 41-25 win over Muskegon to clinch the Division 3 championship Saturday at Ford Field. Finn completed 9-of-13 passes for 173 yards and four touchdowns and ran for another 73 yards and a score on 11 carries to earn the Michigan Army National Guard “Performance of the Week.”

This wasn’t Finn’s first time succeeding on the state’s biggest stage – the 6-foot-1, 195-pound signal-caller also quarterbacked King to the Division 2 championship in 2016, and the Crusaders fell just shy of making the Finals in 2017 as well, losing by a point in their Semifinal against Warren DeLaSalle. King was 35-6 over his three seasons as the varsity starter, and this fall he threw for 2,109 yards and 26 touchdowns and ran for 1,262 yards and 21 scores. He was further recognized Tuesday by being awarded this season’s statewide Mr. Football Award from State Champs Sports Network.

King finished 12-2 this fall, winning the Detroit Public School League Black division championship and defeating league champs River Rouge, Warren Woods Tower and DeWitt plus Allen Park on the way to Ford Field. The Crusaders’ losses came Week 2 – at Muskegon, 24-21 – and then in the PSL playoffs final to Detroit Cass Tech, 42-8. But Finn led the team’s rebound after each defeat and will get the chance to continue leading an offense at the college level. (He has been committed to sign with Central Michigan University, although the Chippewas recently fired coach John Bonamego and Finn didn’t have a comment on his future plans in the immediate aftermath of the championship win.) Finn also owns an MHSAA Finals championship in track & field – he helped King win the 800-meter relay in Lower Peninsula Division 2 this past spring – and excels academically, carrying a 3.1 grade-point average. 

Coach Tyrone Spencer said: “He did a phenomenal job. That’s our 35th win together. I’m just proud of him, the way he did for us. He’s a great leader, a great competitor and a great football player. … Just his play-making ability, his decision-making. He was calm. He’s been here before, and he looked like it. He didn’t look rattled, or he wasn’t doing too much. He just played in the moment, and that’s why he plays so well.”

Performance Point: “It’s just a real moment right now,” Finn said during postgame interviews. “I’m just thankful for having it, for my team, and for just going hard these three years. It was a good experience. … I just tried to be the best me I could be – the best version of me.”

Second time’s the charm: “(Playing Muskegon twice) helped a lot, just (with) pre-snap reads – I knew where to go every single play. It was a big advantage for us to go against them Week 2. We still had that 24-21 loss in our minds. … It was an emotional game. We took it personally.”

Playoff rebound: “Coach Spencer said there’s a state championship out there (after the Cass Tech loss). If you want to get it, you’ve got to go get it. We just had to lock in mentally and prepare. That’s all we had to do, prepare and execute.”

From last season to this one: “(My) maturity, me knowing what to do and what not to do at certain points. Knowing down and distance; for instance, knowing what plays to run and what plays not to run. It’s just the little stuff.”

From Week 2 to today: “I learned I just had to calm down, not get too high, not get too low. Just remain calm at all times.”

- Geoff Kimmerly, Second Half editor

Every week during the 2018-19 school year, Second Half and the Michigan Army National Guard recognizes a “Performance of the Week" from among the MHSAA's 750 member high schools.

The Michigan Army National Guard provides trained and ready forces in support of the National Military Strategy, and responds as needed to state, local, and regional emergencies to ensure peace, order, and public safety. The Guard adds value to our communities through continuous interaction. National Guard soldiers are part of the local community. Guardsmen typically train one weekend per month and two weeks in the summer. This training maintains readiness when needed, be it either to defend our nation's freedom or protect lives and property of Michigan citizens during a local natural disaster. 

Past 2018-19 honorees

November 22: Paige Briggs, Lake Orion volleyball - Read
November 15:
Hunter Nowak, Morrice football - Read
November 8:
Jon Dougherty, Detroit Country Day soccer - Read
November 1:
Jordan Stump, Camden-Frontier volleyball - Read
October 25:
Danielle Staskowski, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep golf - Read
October 18:
Adam Bruce, Gladstone cross country - Read
October 11: Ericka VanderLende, Rockford cross country - Read
October 4:
Kobe Clark, Schoolcraft football - Read
September 27: Jonathan Kliewer, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern soccer - Read
September 20: Kiera Lasky, Bronson volleyball - Read
September 13: Judy Rector, Hanover-Horton cross country - Read

PHOTOS: (Top) Detroit Martin Luther King's Dequan Finn pulls away from a Muskegon defender during Saturday's Division 3 championship win at Ford Field. (Middle) Finn hands off to teammate Peny Boone.

Ubly Offense, Kicker Pile Up Record Book Listings During Championship Run

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

April 12, 2024

Ubly finished a combined 27-1 over the last two seasons, following up a Division 8 runner-up run in 2022 with its first MHSAA Finals championship this past November. And the Bearcats stacked plenty of record book performances along the way.

Individually, senior Brett Mueller made the single-season extra point list again this past season with 76 in 81 tries, and he set the MHSAA career record with 220 extra points over 232 attempts, 40 games and three seasons. He has signed with Saginaw Valley State.

As a team, Ubly was added to the record book 13 times for achievements over the last two years, most notably in the rushing game. The Bearcats topped 5,200 total yards both seasons, and also made the rush yardage list twice including with a sixth-best 5,148 in 2022. Their 90 touchdowns in 2022 rank seventh all-time, and their 85 this past fall tied for 13th, and they tied the record with 10 rushing touchdowns in a 2022 win over Reese and set another record with 84 rushing touchdowns total that season.

See below for more recent record book additions in 11-player football, and click the heading to see the record book in full:

11-Player Football

Dundee’s Ben Miller has a pair of basketball record book entries, and he’s also been added in football for scoring seven touchdowns in his team’s 72-36 win over Erie Mason on Oct. 20, 2017. A senior that season, he ran for five scores and caught two touchdowns passes.

Nearly four decades later, Howard City Tri County’s Mike Wagoner has reached the record book for his work on defense in 1985. A junior that season, Wagoner returned three interceptions for touchdowns – 65, 55 and 35 yards – which would have been second on the list at the time and remains tied for third-most for one season.

Jaxon Lippert tops the list of 21 who have returned kickoffs 99 yards. Lippert, now a senior at Walled Lake Western, joined the list against Davison during his junior season.

A handful of records from Warren De La Salle Collegiate’s recent run of Ford Field teams and also one from decades ago were added. Jake Badalamenti was added three times for kickoff returns between 96-99 yards, one as a junior in 2016 and two as a senior the following fall, and Marty Wyzlic was added for his 95-yarder in 1976. Mason Muragin is the new leader for tackles for loss in a career with 71 over three seasons, and he also was added to the single-season list with 31 as a junior in 2021, as was Will Beasley for 38 as a junior in 2020. Wayne Wright was added for his 16 sacks over nine games as a senior in 1984, and Josh Cox was added for his 100-yard interception return as a senior in 2012. Muragin plays at Illinois, Beesley plays at Princeton, Cox played at Central Michigan, and Badalamenti played baseball at Wayne State.

Pinckney junior Nolan Carruthers caught 16 passes during a 13-7 loss to Jackson on Sept. 15, good to tie for ninth-most in one game and breaking the Livingston County record of 14 by Hartland’s Greg Matthyssen in 2007 – a listing that also was added.

Ethan Wissner did some major lifting, or rather carrying, during Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker’s 28-14 District Final win over Montrose in 2022. The then-senior ran 42 times to make the record book, for 289 yards and three touchdowns. He’s continuing at Siena Heights.

Senior quarterback Andrew Schuster and junior receiver DeShaun Lanier formed a game-changing pass-catch combo this past season for Clinton Township Chippewa Valley, with Schuster finishing his career with nine record book listings and Lanier totaling six with a season to play. Schuster most notably was added for 212 completions on 301 attempts for 2,766 yards and 28 touchdowns this season, and 321 completions and 4,199 career yards over two years and 22 games. Lanier was added in part for 73 receptions for 1,132 yards and 15 TDs this fall. Junior kicker Juliano Haddad also earned impressive mentions with 10 field goals and 50 extra points – and he’ll carry a streak of 35 straight extra points into next fall. Schuster has committed to Grand Valley State.

Fulton’s Evan Barton has been added to the single-game touchdowns list after catching four scoring passes Sept. 8, 2017, against Potterville. He was a senior that season.

Saginaw Heritage’s Braylon Isom completed his career this past fall as arguably the most accomplished receiver in MHSAA history. His name is listed in the record book eight times, with career records of 3,837 receiving yards and 52 touchdowns over 34 games and four seasons, and with a single-season record 26 touchdowns this past fall over 12 games. His 91 career receptions rank fifth, and he’s also listed for 82 catches and 1,617 yards (seventh-most) as a senior and 1,428 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior. He will continue at Miami (Ohio).

Evart’s 24-8 run over the last three seasons has been its most successful of the MHSAA playoff era, and senior quarterback Preston Wallace has played an enormous part. He finished his 33-game career in the fall – he came up for one game as a freshman – on record book lists twice for single-season passing yards and touchdowns and on career lists for 662 attempts, 421 completions, 6,955 yards and 88 passing touchdowns over those 32 games and three seasons. The yardage ranks 15th all-time, and the touchdowns are tied for sixth-most for one career.  

The 2005 Midland Bullock Creek team was added for scoring 547 points over 12 games. The Lancers finished 11-1, their only loss in a Division 5 Regional Final.

PHOTO Ubly's Seth Maurer (30) carries the ball during the Division 8 championship win over Ottawa Lake Whiteford in November.