The 5 most impactful plays of the 2017 State Championship weekend

Written by
Jeff Corrion
Photo Credit
Ken Dettloff

The 2017 Michigan High School Football playoffs did not have much drama or breathtaking moments like in the past as 7 of the 8 teams won either by a wide margin or comfortably.

The D Zone will highlight the 5 most impactful plays of the weekend that we consider turning points in the games or plays that will not be forgotten by the school.

1. Jermaine Roemer - Clarkston, 30-yard Field Goal

With two seconds before halftime, Clarkston senior Kicker, Jermaine Roemer drilled home a state championship to the Village of Clarkston. The 17 seconds drive following a Lakers punt was all the points the Wolves needed on this day. Roemer the week prior kicked a 69-yard punt that landed at the 1 yard line.

2. Tieler Houston - Clarkston, Interception on last drive to seal State Championship

West Bloomfield has been dangerous the previous 2 minutes of their games as they've comeback on the road at Eisenhower and vs. Cass Tech the previous two games. The chance of a comeback was shut down immediately as Tieler Houston picked off a Bryce Veasley pass on the 2nd play of the drive. Following 3 kneels by Clarkston QB, Nathan Uballe, Clarkston was officially the 2017 Division 1 State Champion.

3. Nolan Fugate - GRCC, improbable catch near the sideline

Nolan Fugate carried the error prone Cougars through the Districts before the defense woke up and it was only fitting that one of the top players ever from Grand Rapids Catholic Central will have a play no one at GRCC will ever forget. On Friday Fugate had 306 rushing yards which was 1 yard shy of tying a state finals record. Fugate also added 4 catches for 86 yards. With Edwardsburg seemingly having a lot momentum and being down 35-31 following two straight sacks, the Eddies were on their way to a 3rd straight sack, but Jack Bowen as he was getting hit delivered a perfect pass on the sideline to Nolan Fugate who jumped up and managed to get one foot in bounds as he fell down. Two plays later Fugate burst in for a 32-yard touchdown run to seal GRCC's 42-31 D4 win.

4. Thomas Eitniear/Alex Kohler - Whiteford, Onside Kick recovery to start the game

Ottawa Lake Whiteford lost in the finals last year, so with 13 wins in a row this year, Whiteford held nothing back on the games opening kickoff as Alex Kohler kicked an onside kick, QB Thomas Eitniear emerged out of the pile with the ball and Whiteford was rolling from there. Two plays later Thomas Eitniear called his own number for a 37-yard touchdown run. Whiteford won 42-21.

5. Tristan Mattson - Clarkston, 79-yard kickoff following Safety

Clarkston just committed a Safety in front of a raucous West Bloomfield student section to go down 2-0 in the first quarter. West Bloomfield was extremely hyped up after forcing Clarkston to punt with a Sack and TFL prior to the Safety. Clarkston Head Coach Kurt Richardson made the best coaching decision of the weekend by having his kickoff specialist Tristan Mattson kickoff on the Safety instead of his phenomenal Punter, Jermaine Roemer. The decision paid off big time as the kickoff sailed above all 11 WB players before landing at the 1 yard line. Collin Heard was able to return it just 8 yards and 3 plays later West Bloomfield punted and lost a ton of momentum when it could have easily gotten the Lakers in better field position to open up the playbook more instead of being backed inside their own end zone.