Brother Rice, Cass Tech reign again as another season of memories closes

DETROIT - The scene at Ford Field over Thanksgiving weekend was a familiar one.

The results, too, were more of the same.

Brother Rice and Cass Tech successfully defended their state championships, but in order to cross the finish line, there were plenty of fireworks along the way.

Cass Tech continues to make history

"The kids didn't care. They just wanted to come here and show the place up," Cass Tech head coach Thomas Wilcher said.

Until last season, a team from Detroit had never hoisted the Division 1 state championship trophy. Two years and two lopsided title game wins over Detroit Catholic Central later, Cass Tech hasn't just made history.

The Technicians have motored their way into the high school football elite.

"To start off a high school career with back-to-back championships, I can't really ask for much more," sophomore quarterback Jayru Campbell said.

Warriors give Fracassa a "forever game" to remember

Al Fracassa has coached Brother Rice for 44 years. Friday, his Warriors pulled rabbit after rabbit out of their hat, in an instant classic – and a game unlike any other Fracassa has seen.

A flea flicker went for 77 yards. A reverse, lateral pass on a kick return was the deciding score in Rice's 35-38 win over Muskegon.

"Those two touchdowns were unbelievable. I can't talk, that's how good this game was," he said after state title no. 9.

The Warriors had practiced the lateral kickoff for weeks, and planned on using it in the game. Offensive coordinator Dave Sofran designed the play, and Fracassa credited him with the call.

As for the flea flicker, Fracassa includes that one on every week's gameplan. He never, ever calls it, but Friday he was inspired.

"This was a great game. It was a forever game. These kids are going to remember it forever. I'm very proud of them and glad they won."

Depth charts change, memories last

From August to November, the high school football season has its fair share of ups and downs. The jubilation comes a strong dose of heartbreak. High hopes – don't always turn into ultimate achievement.

But the feel of walking out onto the field, under the Friday night lights of a fall evening, there's nothing like it.

When the first day of practice hits 253 days from now, the playing field resets.

Until then, let the champions reign.

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