Blackhawk Head Coach Brad Zube gets a Gatorade shower and celebrates a 34-27 win over Swartz Creek on Oct. 19 ending the regular season as Flint Metro League Co-Champions. Photo by Mo Voyer.
By David Fleet
Brandon Twp.- Blackhawk Head Coach Brad Zube left Friday night’s football game with Swartz Creek with two accomplishments—the schools first ever Flint Metro League title and soaked in Gatorade.
Brandon Senior running back Mike Nicaj raced in for a touchdown with less than 10 seconds to go in the fourth quarter to lift the Blackhawks to a gritty 34-27 over Swartz Creek to join Flushing for a share of the Flint Metro League crown.
“Swartz Creek was a physical team,” said Zube, now with a 23-7 record in his third season as the Blackhawk skipper. “We scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Then Matt Hill jumped on a fumble with about 30 seconds to go then Nicaj ran it in on a jet sweep for the go ahead score.”
Nicaj carried the ball 20 times for 178 yards and two rushing touchdowns and on reception for a touchdown. Senior Quarterback Mat Harrison threw for 158 yards with two touchdowns.
The Blackhawks completed the season with a 8-1 record, gaining for more than 3,000 yards and averaged more than 40 points per game.
“These kids are playing with just so much heart,” said Zube. “It’s awesome. The fans turned out for this game too. It was awesome to see a such a great crowd.”
“It was a great accomplishment, it was our last chance to win the Flint Metro League Conference title as it is today.”
In June the Flint Metro League officials approved Goodrich, Corunna and Lake Fenton to join beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. The move creates a 12 team league with two divisions of six schools based on enrollment. The A division with higher enrollment include: Fenton, Flushing, Holly, Linden, Kearsley and Swartz Creek. The B division with lower enrollment include: Brandon, Clio, Corunna, Goodrich, Lake Fenton and Owosso.
“Hats off to our seniors,” he said. “They are good teammates. It’s a family we are trying to build here, which includes an outstanding coaching staff.”
On Sunday night the playoff bound Blackhawks hosted a team gathering to learn they will take on South Lyon East (5-4) in the District 2 semifinals at 7 p.m., Oct. 26 at Blackhawk stadium. The winner will play either Auburn Hills Avondale (7-2) or Farmington (6-3). Check out thecitizenonline.com for updates.
“After our playoff party, the team we went back to work,” said Zube. “Not a lot of celebration—we are dialed in, it’s all about work ethic.”