Livonia Stevenson Football: Expect Great Things this Fall.

James BowlbyCorrespondent IJuly 6, 2008

7-3; 7-5; 13-1.  2007 records for the three Livonia Football Tams;Churchill, Franklin, and Stevenson respectively.  In a city where High-schoolfootballis the most revered sport, all three teams made the playoffs this past year.  Franklin, havinga 4-4 record heading into the final game against a Churchill team whose only lost came to cross town rivals, Stevenson, were fighting for a playoff birth.  Forty-eight minutes later, Franklin was 5-4 and the last team to make the 256 team playoffs. 

In week six, the most anticipated matchup the city has ever seen, over eight-thousand fans crammedinto Charger Stadium.  The reason for the overwhelmingcrowd was that this could be the two greatest teams each school has ever seen.  Stevenson (5-0), and Churchill (5-0).  With Stevenson's 37-3 win that night, they were the first team in the city to get a playoff birth.  Stevenson went on to beat Walled Lake Central to win the Division, and beat Walled Lake Western to win their first Western-Lakes Title.  Now the cinderella Spartans were one win away from their pre-season goal of 9-0, and ranked fourth in the state. 

During the final game against Brighton, Senior Quarterback Mitchell White (MSU) went down with a collar bone injury.  That injury gave the state a view of Junior Jacob Gudamen, who led the team to a 14-0 win, propelling the team to third in the state behind, Macomb Dakota and Holt.  The followi week, during a game against Plymouth, Gudamen got the start, and led his team to a 27-21 nail biter that potentially set up a rematch against Churchill.  However, questionable play calling on the final drive of the game, Churchill failed to convert three times inside the two yard line, and Novi won 13-9.  Later that night, Franklin traveled to top seeded Monroe and won in a triple over-time thriller 39-38, when Monroe kicker failed on an extra point.  With both teams winningthe following week, it set up againg a cross town game.  11-0 Stevenson against cinderella Franklin 7-4.  What was supposed to be an offensive game, quickly turned into a defensive struggle.  After a Jon Saman interception, the Spartans marched to the Franklin 16 yard-line, before Junior Kicker Jonny Myshock nailed a 34 yard field goal to propel the Spartans 10-7. 

Next on tap for the Spartans were the Troy Colts whose speed was a threat to the Spartans.  28-26 at half, the Spartans came from behind many times with the help of SophomoreAustin White, whose 80 yard touchdown pulled the Spartanswithin two points of the Colts with minutes remaining.  On a third and ten, Senior Linebacker Joey Doullett came up with a key interception and returned it to the 50 yard line.  Four plays latter, the Spartan offense faced the biggest play of the year, a fourth and eleven with roughly a minute left.  A seventeen yard pass from Mitchell White passed inches over a Linebacker's outstretched arm into Wade Stahl's welcoming arms.  The very next play Myles White took a reverse, but ran into a Troy defender.  However, White turned around and took the ball to the eleven yard line with less that thirty seconds left.  After the crowd  calmeddown, the Spartans duo of White and  Stahl scored sending the Spartan crowd into a  frenzyand hurling the team into a clash between unbeatens for the State Championship. 

Even though the Spartans lost many starters, they still believe that they can return to Ford Field and get that elusive Championship.  The Senior Class in now 27-3, a .900 winning percentage throughout their career.  Even though 2007 was the best year for Stevenson, 2008 could be as good, if not better.