Football Finals: Brother Rice, Country Day Seek State Titles at Ford Field

The Warriors will try to reach another milestone for legendary coach Al Fracassa in Division 2, while County Day competes for the school's first crown in Division 4.


Didn't get enough football on Thanksgiving? You're in luck, and have a great opportunity to see some of the future stars of the game today when the Michigan High School Athletic Association Football Finals begin.

If You Go:

Division 2

  • Who: Brother Rice High School vs. Muskegon 
  • When: 1 p.m.
  • Where: Ford Field, Detroit 
  • Cost: Tickets for an entire day (four games) are $10; parking is $6 in lots adjacent to Ford Field and Comerica Park, but prices may vary at other locations.
  • Why Go: Brother Rice is no stranger to winning state titles or playing for them year after year. However, on Friday, the Warriors will try to win the first back-to-back Division 2 crowns in school history. The program won its 7th state title with a 24-14 victory over Lowell in Detroit last November.

Of Interest: Warriors in the Crowd; Faces of the Brother Rice fans at Ford Field for the 2011 Finals

Brother Rice topped Wyandotte 31-3 in a dominant performance last week, and has won seven straight games. Though the regular-season schedule is full of difficult opponents both in and outside of the Catholic League, The Warriors may have its toughest task of the season against Muskegon. The Big Reds are 12-1, and have a strong tradition of winning big games too. The program boasts five state titles, including three since 2004, and has never lost a title game, mlive.com reported.

Legendary Brother Rice Head Coach Al Fracassa — in his 43rd season — reminded his team not to take anything for granted for a legitimate shot at making school history on Friday.

“We never take anything for granted,” Fracassa told mlive.com. “You don’t go there two years in a row very often. It’s very, very seldom that you play for a championship two years in a row – and that’s at any level.”

Division 4

  • Who: Detroit Country Day vs. Grand Rapids South Christian
  • When: 7:30 p.m
  • Where: Ford Field, Detroit
  • Cost: Tickets for an entire day (four games) are $10; parking is $6 in lots adjacent to Ford Field and Comerica Park, but prices may vary at other locations.
  • Why Go: The Yellow Jackets (11-2) seek the school's first Division 4 title. It's not the first time the program reached the finals, however, dropping contests in both 2007 and 2008. The team beat Saginaw Swan Valley 38-0 in an impressive showing on both sides of the ball last week.

Playing at Ford Field will be special, but co-captain Gianmarco Rea said he and his teammates will be careful not to let the 'big stage' bother them.

"We have to handle this game as we’ve handled every other game this year,” the senior middle linebacker told mlive.com. “Just because we’re playing at Ford Field and in the state championship game doesn’t mean that we have to change the way we’ve approached any other game this season. We just have to take our regular approach, and just play our game.”

Grand Rapids South Christian is riding a six-game win streak and defeated Comstock Park 21-7 in the semifinals last week.

If You Don't Go:

  • The Brother Rice game and six others over the entire weekend will be televised live on FOX Sports Detroit.
  • The Country Day game will be televised on FOX Sports Detroit-PLUS. 
  • No live streaming video of the games being televised on FOX Sports will be available, per FOX policy. However, the game video will be archived on the MHSAA.tv website, and each game will be posted shortly after its completion.
  • Audio of all games will be streamed live on the MHSAANetwork.com website.
  • Video of the press conferences after each game will be streamed live at MHSAA.tv.

Check back with Patch for further coverage of the games, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for frequent updates.

Alan Stamm November 23, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Brother Rice leads 21-14 in the 4th with 9 mins left after Shon Powell takes it in from the 12-yard line for a Warrioors TD. (3:20 p.m.)
Alan Stamm November 23, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Salute-worthy comment at MLive.com live chat coverage of Brother Rice game: "Watching from US Army Base, Fort RIley. Rooting for my three little brothers: Cheyne and Corey on the field and little Cole as a water boy." -- Specialist Christian Lacanaria
Alan Stamm November 23, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Brother Rice won 35-28 for the Warriors' 8th state championship (Division 2) under Coach Al Fracassa, 80. "Best football championship game I've ever seen," says sportswriter Dave McVety of MLive.


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