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November 20, 2013

Record-breaking season finally comes to an end for Southfield Christian

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

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Bobby Banks was instrumental this season for Southfield Christian. He is one of 20 players who could return in 2014.

DETROIT — This was the end.

It was the hard, brutal and decisive end against a team that was better in every facet of the game.

And with that, Larry Weiss could only smile and take a bow.

Literally and figuratively.

These are games reserved for the best teams — programs with long histories and top-notch athletes.

Yet, on a cool Friday night in mid-November, here was the Southfield Christian football team.

Here, against a powerhouse expected to roll to a state title, was the little engine that could, chugging up and down the field, finding ways to make things interesting.

In the end, the outcome was one-sided.

Depth, speed, talent, power and more power eventually yielded a 50-7 Detroit Loyola victory in this Division 7 regional final.

The end of the greatest season in program history had finally arrived, as had the time to celebrate.

“There’s a lot of tears over there, but they are tears of joy,” Weiss said of his guys. “Nobody thought we’d ever be here.”

After winning only eight games the past three seasons, the Eagles rewrote the history book in 2013.

The year started with a 30-0 victory against Mayville, but was followed up with a 39-0 loss to Grand Rapids North Pointe Christian.

“When the season started, I thought 5-4 was realistic, and I thought that would be a success,” Weiss said. “But in that third game, something happened. Something clicked, and we just came together.”

The Eagles rolled past Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest 44-8 in the third game and never looked back.

Eight consecutive wins closed the regular season and earned the first-ever Michigan Independent Athletic Conference title.

For just the second time ever, Southfield Christian was off to the D-7 state playoffs, where the team earned its first-ever postseason victory in a 27-14 decision against Liggett.

The following week, the guys grabbed its first district crown, beating Bishop Foley 28-24, setting up last weekend’s tilt with a Loyola team that was undefeated and had outscored its first two playoff opponents 103-0.

“That’s a tough football team right there,” Weiss said with a smile after the game, which was played at the University of Detroit Jesuit. “They are big, physical, strong, well-coached, and they just keep coming at you. It’s the type of team you want to be some day.”

Loyola jumped out to a 23-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Eagles refused to go quietly.

When senior quarterback Jonathan Springer capped the first drive of the second quarter with a rushing touchdown, Loyola was proved a bit human and led just 23-7.

But the Bulldogs answered right back with touchdowns on their next two possessions and led 36-7 by halftime.

“They are a one-dimensional team, as far as they don’t throw the ball,” Weiss said. “But we couldn’t stop the run. That was the difference.”

The Eagles close the year 10-2, setting a program record for wins in a season, easily eclipsing the previous high of seven set in 2008.

“These kids bought in,” Weiss said when asked to explain the success. “It’s a great group, a group that was so committed and had so much desire to make something happen.”

Now, the challenge is maintaining it.

“It’s on them. It had to be on the players,” Weiss said. “We feel we can have a lot of success here, and if they feel the same way and work toward it, we’re going to. … I’m excited about the future here and the potential we have. This was a special season, and it could do a lot for us moving forward.”