MHSAA Division 4 State Championship: Dominant Run Game Propels Zeeland West Over Flint Powers
Zeeland West poses for a photo with the championship trophy after they defeated Flint Powers Catholic 40-14 in their Division 4 state final game at Ford Field.(Mike Mulholland |

MHSAA Division 4 State Championship: Dominant Run Game Propels Zeeland West Over Flint Powers

The Zeeland West Dux ball carriers combined for 328 yards of offense to help defeat the Flint Powers Chargers 40-14 to win the MHSAA Division 4 State Championship.

Evan Petzold

DETROIT, Michigan -- The Zeeland West Dux used 328 rushing yards to propel themselves to a huge 40-14 victory over the Flint Powers Chargers in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 4 State Championship at Ford Field. 

The Dux (14-0) marched down the field on their first drive, but after failing to convert on fourth down, Flint Powers took over from their own five-yard line. 

The Chargers (11-3) took their time getting down the field and just like the Dux's drive, they were stopped on fourth down inside the red zone.

Casey Brinks, the Dux's senior quarterback, passed to Tyler Thompson for a great gain into the territory of Flint Powers. The huge passing play set up a eight-yard carry by fullback Darius Perisee. The two-point conversion was executed by Perisee, who stood under center to take the keeper, to give Zeeland West an 8-0 lead over Flint Powers with 35 seconds remaining in the first quarter. 

On fourth-and-eight with 5:28 left in the first half the Dux's went with a punt formation on their own 49-yard line, but a perfectly executed fake punt play pushed them up to the 20-yard line of the Chargers. Three plays later, Tyler Thompson ran the ball in to give Zeeland West a 16-0 lead with 4:03 to play in the first half of action. 

Thompson led the team with 16 carries for 121 yards and two touchdowns, while the run game totaled 328 yards. 

Me, Dakota and Darius, we always go out and we always want to give our all,” said Thompson. “No matter whose number is called, we always want to do our thing and we want to be successful in the end. We’re all seniors and we want to get the big prize, and we did it.”

Flint Powers went for a touchdown with two seconds left in the half, but quarterback Noah Sargent was intercepted by Vinh Doan to end the first half. 

With a 16-0 lead, the Dux defense gave up the first score of the game to Sargent, the quarterback, on a keeper for 15 yards with 9:57 to play in the third quarter. The two-point conversion try from Reese Morgan was unsuccessful. 

Zeeland West got the points back just six minutes later on a four-yard touchdown from the legs of Dakota Geurink to give the Dux a 24-6 lead after a two-point conversion. 

To open the fourth quarter it was Thompson scoring the ball for Zeeland West. The two-yard carry for the touchdown was followed by a carry up the middle from Thompson to snag eight points, which gave his team a 32-6 lead. 

In a huge hole, Flint Powers was trying to find some sort of offensive momentum. Delivering the score was Luke Brcic on a 35-yard reception from the arm of Sargent with 7:28 to play in the game. 

Sargent finished 12-for-19 through the air with 158 yards and a touchdown, but he struggled with three interceptions to put him into a hole that was impossible to climb out of against a strong Dux team. When throwing the ball, Sargent favored Matt Wiskur, who brought down five balls for 70 yards, but the junior could not find the end zone on Friday night. 

The final scoring play of the game was a 39-yard rushing touchdown from Brinks to extend the Zeeland West lead to 40-14, which stuck to the final whistle. 

Brinks completed four-of-four passes for 103 yards, while adding five carries for 48 yards and a score in the championship win. 

To win the state championship as a senior, it’s the best feeling in the world,” the quarterback said. “During the regular season and the playoffs we worked it week by week, and we finally got here and it was a dream to get here and finish it all.”