Brighton believes it has a good shot against unbeatable Belleville in KLAA title game
October 18, 2022
Here is the scary part about Belleville. The Tigers (8-0) have outscored opponents 423-71 this season, have scored 41 points or more in each game and recorded two shutouts.
However, Belleville coach Jermain Crowell believes his team is not clicking on all cylinders. He believes injuries and mistakes have stagnated his defense and that the Tigers sometimes get behind the sticks on offense and need big plays to bail them out.
That’s Brighton’s next challenge in Saturday’s high noon KLAA championship game at Brighton High School.
Belleville is coming off a 42-14 victory over previously unbeaten Livonia Franklin (7-1) while Brighton (8-0) thumped heated rival Howell, 21-6.
Belleville also happens to be the defending state champion in Division I. The Tigers, ranked first in both the Detroit News and Free Press polls, are 65-5 the past six seasons and have won the East Division of the KLAA six times in a row.
Can you say dynasty?
The Bulldogs respect all Belleville’s accomplishments. But that does not deter them from doing their job. And that’s winning this game.
“They are a good team, but we are also a great team,” said running back Carson Shrader. “So, we are going to play them hard and take practice very seriously this week. We are going to give them everything we’ve got.”
This is not Hartland, Howell or Dearborn Fordson. Belleville is in a league of its own and expects to win every time these players step onto the field.
“It’s going to be a different feel, but we are going to bring it,” said Brighton quarterback Colin McKernan.
The key for a Brighton win is discipline and taking advantage of Belleville’s mistakes. The Tigers are penalty prone and this is where the Bulldogs can pounce.
“It takes hard work and determination,” Shrader said. “And pounding on every play.”
THE NFL IS GOING OVERBOARD
McKernan has been rolled up and thrown down like a rag doll while playing quarterback for Brighton. That’s part of the adventure and danger of playing the position. No penalties were called and McKernan says none were deserved.
He believes the NFL is overreacting in its desire to protect quarterbacks. Officials cost the Atlanta Falcons a chance to win a game when defensive tackle Grady Jarrett sacked Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Tom Brady on a play that should have forced a fourth down punt.
Instead, official Jerome Booger called Jarrett for roughing the passer.
“I don’t have the knowledge the NFL has.” McKernan said. “But there is a line that has to be drawn. I think the NFL is going too far.”