Rose's Legend Grows in Shores Repeat
January 22, 2021
By Jason Schmitt
Special for Second Half
DETROIT – Game planning for an all-state football player like Brady Rose certainly isn’t easy.
In fact, it’s downright awful just to think about.
The Muskegon Mona Shores senior quarterback once again proved that point to be true Friday afternoon, leading his team to a 25-19 victory over Warren De La Salle Collegiate and a second consecutive MHSAA Division 2 championship at Ford Field in Detroit.
Rose rushed 22 times for 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns. But it was a 65-yard scamper early in the fourth quarter that proved to be the play of the game – a game filled with key plays by Rose.
“We ran that play quite a bit (today), but I wasn’t being patient, I wasn’t bouncing it to the outside,” Rose said. “(This time) I just let it develop, let it do what it was supposed to do and I bounced it outside and took it down into the red zone.”
The play lifted the spirits of the entire team and provided a much-needed boost of confidence.
“We get the ball down there, everybody is excited again. Everybody is hyped,” he added. “After that run, we knew we were going to punch it in. Anytime we get into the red zone, we have to punch it in, and we did.”
Three plays later, senior wideout Keondre Pierce scored on a 10-yard pitch to the right side, giving Mona Shores a 19-7 lead with 9:25 left in the game.
De La Salle, which trailed 13-0 at halftime, didn’t give up. The Pilots answered right back on a 52-yard touchdown run by senior JC Ford with 7:58 to play. The drive took just 1:21 off the clock and also included a 23-yard pass from Ford to senior running back Brett Stanley to help set up the touchdown run.
After a quick three-and-out, the Sailors then relied on their defense to get the ball back. Coach Matt Koziak’s team came up with a clutch stop on fourth down, on De La Salle’s half of the field. Seven plays later, Rose scored his second touchdown of the game, this time from four yards out to give his team a 25-13 lead with just 1:47 left to play.
De La Salle did move the ball down the field quickly, scoring on a four-yard keeper by sophomore quarterback Brady Drogosh with 16 seconds to play. But it wasn’t enough, as Rose recovered the ensuing on-side kickoff attempt and then took a knee to end the game.
“They did have us on our heels a little bit,” Koziak said. “We jumped up on them, 13-0 going into halftime, then they come right back in the second half. We said it at halftime, ‘They’re not going to go away. They’re not going to let you win this, you’ve got to go take it.’”
The Mona Shores defense, led by senior Kyree Hamel, who finished with 11 tackles and an interception, held De La Salle to just 50 total yards and three first downs in the first half. The Pilots totaled 62 yards on the ground during their drive to start the second half. Ford provided a change of pace for De La Salle, running the ball six straight times to begin the drive. After runs of 15 and 10 yards by freshman Rhett Roeser moved the ball inside the 5-yard line, Ford capped the drive with a four-yard touchdown run to get his team on the scoreboard.
“We didn’t run a lot of plays in the first half, and we couldn’t get into a rhythm,” De La Salle head coach Dan Rohn said. “So we went into halftime and said, ‘Let’s change things up a little bit and up the tempo.’ It’s kind of been JC’s role all year long. We haven’t needed it in the playoffs because he’s playing two ways.”
Ford finished with 111 yards on 15 carries and those two touchdowns. Stanley had 42 yards and Roeser added 38 for the Pilots. Defensively, junior Will Beesley had a game-high 20 tackles, while senior Jayden Conklin added 14. Junior Dionte Dandridge had an interception.
Mona Shores (12-0) finished with 311 rushing yards. Along with Rose, junior Elijah Johnson also had a good game on the ground. He carried the ball 14 times for 81 yards and had a nine-yard touchdown in the first half. Rose also returned three kicks for 48 yards, averaged 39 yards on his three punts, blocked an extra point and had eight tackles on the other side of the ball.
“What a legacy for him to leave,” Koziak said of Rose, who will play collegiately at Ferris State University. “Obviously he’s a tremendous player, a tremendous competitor. It’s so easy to root for a dude like that. He’s not 6-foot-3, he doesn’t run a 4.3 40 (yard dash). He’s not a 5 star. But all great stories usually have an underdog in it, so it’s easy for people to get behind him, for his teammates to get behind him. They love him. I think when we look back on one of the great players, and performances, in the state over the past two seasons, he’s got to be in the conversation.”
Rohn, who completed his first year at De La Salle after having won four Division 5 championships at Grand Rapids West Catholic, said he was proud of his team for battling through a lot of adversity over the past year.
“We went against one of the best football teams in the state of Michigan and one of the best football players in the state of Michigan,” Rohn said. “Hats off to Matt (Koziak) and his team. I have nothing but respect for their program and the way they played today. Who would have thought that we’d be sitting here on January 22 with an opportunity to win a state championship?”
Koziak praised Rohn for all his accomplishments at De La Salle, while also crediting players from all over the state for forging ahead despite all the obstacles they faced over the past year.
“I’m proud of our young men. I’m proud of the state of Michigan, the football players,” Koziak said. “These young men have been through the ropes. They’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster. Football prepares you for life. But this season, holy cow, it’s going to teach you disappointment, it’s going to teach you hope, it’s going to teach you surprise, it’s going to teach you humility. I have no doubt these young men are going to be good fathers, and better sons, better husbands because things didn’t go their way this year. Whether it was wins or losses, or COVID, or a pause in the season, whatever it was. They’re all going to be better human beings for it, and I think that’s a special message we tried to preach all year.”
PHOTOS: (Top) Muskegon Mona Shores quarterback Brady Rose drops back to pass during Friday’s Division 2 championship game at Ford Field. (Middle) De La Salle’s Will Beesley makes his move as Shores defenders close in. (Click for more from Hockey Weekly Action Photos.)
MHSAA, MHSFCA to Provide Spring Evaluation Camps for College Football Hopefuls
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
March 27, 2023
The Michigan High School Athletic Association, in partnership with the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA), will be hosting first-ever Spring Evaluation Camps to provide athletes with aspirations of playing college football opportunities to show their skills and abilities to college coaches at one of five locations.
The one-day camps will take place between May 15-18 at Jenison High School, DeWitt High School, Jackson High School, Brighton High School and Detroit Country Day High School. The MHSAA’s involvement will allow for the opportunity for Division I college coaches to attend, and representatives from college football programs at all levels are expected.
Athletes who will be juniors or seniors in Fall 2023 may register to participate via a link on the Football page.
“This is an attempt by the MHSAA to help our athletes get exposure during the spring evaluation period in a way that does not intrude on spring sports,” said Brad Bush, an MHSAA assistant director and past high school and college football coach. “We are working with the MHSFCA to help put together a first-class experience for the athletes and college coaches.”
Cost is $20 per player, and each registrant will receive a shirt to wear based on the athlete’s graduation year and registration number so college coaches in attendance can monitor their camp performance. College coaches also will receive registration information for each athlete in attendance.
All athletes must have a coach from the athlete’s school staff present at the camp, and that coach must be a member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.
MHSFCA executive director Andrew Pratley called the Spring Evaluation Camps a tremendous opportunity for high school athletes in Michigan.
“We are very excited with the partnership with the MHSAA that allows our kids the opportunity to wear a helmet and do drills in front of college coaches in the spring at a minimal cost,” Pratley said. “College coaches are thrilled, and it's a unique opportunity to have the rules waived by the MHSAA at these events only in order to showcase the tremendous talent all over the great state of Michigan.”
The Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) has been devoted to the promotion of high school football since its inception in March 1972. The MHSFCA has more than 2,500 members and provides several educational and development opportunities for members and their athletes, including an annual coaching clinic, an annual leadership conference for coaches and potential team captains, and the annual summer East-West All-Star Game for graduated seniors. Additionally, the MHSFCA’s Leadership Development Alliance is in its third year of training coaches and offering veteran members of the association as mentors.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.3 million spectators each year.