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D2 FINALS: Brady Rose dons Superman cape again, leads Mona Shores past De La Salle to repeat title

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, January 22, 2021, 5:56 pm

DETROIT — If last year’s state title run for Muskegon Mona Shores was the coming-out party for Brady Rose, was perhaps this year’s the coronation? 

Rose capped off his illustrious high school career — which saw him win MLive’s statewide player of the year award, as well as earn a slot as a finalist for the STATE CHAMPS! Mr. Football — by leading the Sailors to back-to-back titles, beating Warren De La Salle, 25-19 in Friday’s Division 2 championship game. 

“We went against one of the best football teams in the State of Michigan, and definitely what everyone considers one of the best football players in the State of Michigan, and he made some tremendous plays today,” De La Salle coach Dan Rohn said. “That was kind of our goal. We knew we weren’t going to stop him, and hold them to zero points, zero yards. He’s a tremendous football player, and they do a lot of things offensively that create issues with motions, and different traps. We thought we could slow him down. Our defense has been successful all year for long.”

Rose ran for 154 yards and a pair of scores in the win, willing the Sailors (12-0) past their finals nemesis, De La Salle (7-5), which had beaten them in the title games in 2014 and 2018. He also made eight tackles and blocked a PAT when the Pilots threatened to cut the lead to five points with just under eight minutes left. He ripped off a 65-yard run to set up another score. 

“Brady, he’s an amazing player. I think credit to coach Bush and the whole defensive staff, that’s been here for so long. We knew what we had to do to limit him. I think we actually did do what we wanted, but just ended up falling short in the final score. I definitely think he’s an amazing player, and he’s going to do great things at the next level,” DLS middle linebacker Jayden Conklin said. “I think he’s a Division I athlete for sure. He kind of reminds me of Lamar Jackson. I definitely think he’s an amazing player, and he just got the best of us today.”

When the Pilots answered his second rushing touchdown with a score of their own with 16 seconds left, who grabbed the onside kick? 

“De La Salle battles back and we gotta recover an onside kick and, Brady being Brady, almost runs it back,” Mona Shores coach Matt Koziak said. “These kids — I don’t want to say ‘refuse to lose,’ because they haven’t lost all year — but they just don’t give up.” 

With Mona Shores leading 13-0 at the half — after touchdowns from Rose (12-yard run) and Elijah Johnson (9-yard run) — De La Salle turned to senior JC Ford to give them a spark at quarterback, and he responded, scoring a pair of rushing touchdowns (4 and 52 yards), and posting 107 rushing yards in less than a half. 

Keondre Pierce’s 10-yard touchdown run made the score 19-7 Mona Shores with 9:25 left in the fourth, then Rose answered Ford’s second touchdown run of the half with his second score to make it 25-13 with 1:47 left. 

De La Salle starting QB Brady Drogosh returned to march the Pilots down the field, finishing the 70-yard drive with a 5-yard scoring run of his own.