Schoolcraft faces stiff regional test at Lumen Christi
JACKSON — The last time Schoolcraft met Jackson Lumen Christi in football, the Titans handed the Eagles a season-ending 37-34 loss.
That was in the 2016 Division 6 district finals at Roy Davis Field in Schoolcraft.
Fast forward to 2019 and the two teams are scheduled to lock horns once again, only this time in Division 7 with a Region 3 title on the line.
Schoolcraft (10-1) visits Jackson Lumen Christi (10-0) Friday at 7 p.m. The winner advances to the state semifinals Saturday, Nov. 23 against the winner between Detroit Loyola (6-4) and Cass City (10-1) who play on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Schoolcraft and Lumen Christi have one common opponent this season in Kalamazoo United.
Lumen Christi, a member and champions of the Interstate 8 Athletic Conference, defeated United 14-12 in the season opener at Kalamazoo College, while Schoolcraft, which shared the Southwestern Athletic Conference’s Lakeshore title with Constantine and United at 4-1, ended the regular season with a 35-27 loss at home to United.
Schoolcraft, which lost to eventual state runners-up Montague 30-14 at home in last year’s regional final, is guided by second-year coach Nathan Ferency who is 19-4 at Schoolcraft.
Herb Brogan is 366-80, including five perfect seasons, in 40 seasons as Lumen Christi’s head coach. Under Brogan, the Titans have claimed nine state titles and appeared in 11 state final games.
Schoolcraft is coming off an impressive 47-10 win last week over Lawton in the District 1 championship. Lumen Christi, meanwhile, defeated Riverview Gabriel Richard 42-14 in the District 2 finals.
“Lumen Christi runs a heavy set Pro I offense that wants to establish the run. They have a very talented running back that we will have to help in check. Defensively they run a 4-2-5 and have a lot of size on their line,” said Ferency.
Senior tailback Walker Plate is the tailback Ferency is speaking about. Plate has rushed for 1,995 yards and 28 touchdowns this season. The Titans’ offense is run by senior quarterback Brendan Wilson who has thrown for over 550 yards and five TDs this year. Fullback Johnny Teachout has gained over 490 yards for the Titans, who are making their 22nd straight playoff appearance.
The Titans run as many as six tailbacks throughout a game.
In the win over Riverview Gabriel Richard, Plate ran for 300 yards and four TDs. Wilson completed 5-of-11 passes for 147 yards and one TD. Teachout added a rushing TD.
Defensively, the Titans are line in tackles by senior Brody Dalton with 93.
Lumen Christi’s offensive and defensive line is anchored up front by bookend 300-pound two-way tackles Keegan Smith and Jalen Harbor.
“The biggest keys to the game will be managing their size up front and stopping their run game. We will have to play a discipline game and limit mistakes, as they won’t beat themselves by doing the same,” Ferency said.
“We are excited to be back in a regional final game, but are not satisfied getting this far. We have a talented group that expects to take the program farther than last year. One of the biggest goals we had this year was to win this game. We will be ready to give it our best effort.”
Schoolcraft will look to its biggest playmakers to help the Eagles reach their goal.