OKEMOS, Mich. -- Mona Shores had to fight through a lot of challenges in Saturday's state semifinal victory against Walled Lake Western. Quarterback Caden Broersma went down with an injury in the first half and didn't return leading to junior Brady Rose being called into action.
The Sailors led 28-14 midway through the second quarter after Rose scored from three-yards out but the Warriors would battle.
Shores would trail 56-49 with 21 seconds left until Rose once again found the endzone from two-yards out for his fifth touchdown of the afternoon. Head coach Matt Koziak originally signaled for the field goal unit to tie the game at 56 before calling a timeout.
Koziak chose to go for two and the win. Rose took the snap, rolled out and dove into the endzone to help Mona Shores advance, 57-56 in thrilling fashion.
"Tre'shawn Hatcher, our runningback, was saying at halftime and before the game was saying we had to play the best game of our life and I think we all did," Rose said after finishing the game with 205 yards and five scores. "We all played the best game of our lives today."
The Sailors were shutout by rival Muskegon just weeks ago but Coach Koziak credits that lose for a lot of the team's success in the postseason.
"I know it's crazy but that Muskegon loss was the best thing that happened to team 57 in our program," he said, "as far as a rebirth and getting back to the little things on what makes a successful program."
The Sailors will face Detroit King at Ford Field on Friday at 1:00 pm for the Division 2 state championship.