DETROIT — Jackson Lumen Christi defeated St. Francis 15-12 in the Division 7 state championship game at Ford Field Saturday.
It was a defensive battle between the Gladiators and Titans in the first quarter with three total turnovers between both sides as they went scoreless through the first 12 minutes of play.
After forcing a punt out of St. Francis, Jackson Lumen fumbled on the return and St. Francis recovered. Shortly after, St. Francis would fumble the ball on a big fourth down which was recovered by Lumen, but Lumen threw an interception on the ensuing play, giving the ball right back to St. Francis.
In the second quarter, the interception then set up a huge run by St. Francis running back Burke Flowers, who put the Gladiators in the red zone where running back Joey Donahue would run it in for St. Francis with a 1-yard rushing touchdown to put them up 6-0 with nine minutes, 38 seconds left in the second quarter.
Later on in the second quarter, as struggles to score the ball haunted Jackson Lumen, St. Francis scored again as quarterback Wyatt Nausadis kept it himself for a 9-yard rushing touchdown to extend the Gladiator lead, 12-0, with 34 seconds left to play in the first half.
In the second half of the action, the third quarter was another defensive battle as both teams went scoreless again.
To start the fourth quarter, Jackson Lumen quarterback Joe Lathers rushed for a 18-yard touchdown to cut the deficit, 13-7, with 11:10 left to play.
After a defensive stop and a huge run again by Lathers, running back Derrick Walker rushed for a 4-yard touchdown followed by a two-point conversion run by Lathers to put Jackson Lumen ahead, 15-12, with 7:05 left to play.
“I was screaming, 'Yessir,' as I was going down,” Walker said. “It was a great push from my offensive line.”
Jackson Lumen Christi would hold on to that 15-12 lead and close the game out to become the Division 7 state champions.
“What a ball game,” head coach Herb Brogan said. “It was fun to win it the way that we did. Made it all the sweeter.”