Friday, November 23, 2012

Thoughts on Brother Rice's second straight D-2 State Title

This is a game that is extremely hard to explain in a short amount of time, but I will try my best to do so here:

- This was easily the best game that I've had the chance to see, regardless of what level.

- Without a doubt, this year's D-2 state final game will go down as one of the best MHSAA state title games of all time. Five touchdowns were scored in the fourth quarter, but none were more exciting than the two trick plays pulled off by Brother Rice.

- Brilliant play-calling by Brother Rice simply proved to be the difference. After Muskegon tied the game at 21-21, Brother Rice made the gutsy call to run a flea-flicker on its second play of the ensuing drive, which resulted in a 77 yard touchdown strike from Alex Malzone. Then after a 51 yard score for Muskegon tied the game, the Warrior's coaching staff decided to raise the stakes once again as they called for a play reminiscent of the "Music City Miracle" as sophomore Delano Madison caught the kickoff and threw it back across the field to Jason Alessi, who returned it 91 yards for what turned out to be the winning score.

- The Brother Rice defense wasn't exactly perfect on Friday night, but the Warrior's turned back several Muskegon drives that went inside the Brother Rice 40, almost perfectly summing up the"bend but don't break" theory.

- Junior linebacker Shaun Jones came up big when it mattered most. After Muskegon picked up a first down deep in its own end because of a penalty against Brother Rice, Jones forced the Muskegon rusher to the outside on the next play and recovered the fumble on the Muskegon 12 yard line, which set up a touchdown run by Shon Powell.

- While Muskegon may have been able to limit Brother Rice's Brian Walker, Shon Powell once again came up big in another playoff game for the Warriors as he finished with 97 yards and a rushing score which put Brother Rice ahead 21-14.

- The cupboard will not be bare for the Warriors in 2013 as they will return both Walker and Powell, along with Malzone, Madison (who is considered to be the fastest player in the Brother Rice program) and receivers Josh Flye, Corey Lacanaria and Grant Perry.

- Also, you can't help but wonder if this was the last game legendary head coach Al Fracassa will coach. Fracassa sidestepped some questions afterwards, but there were rumblings throughout the playoffs that this could in fact be his last game.

- Regardless of whether he comes back or not, Fracassa has already achieved legendary status as quite possibly the best coach in Michigan high school history.

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