In his final high school game, senior running back Donovan Edwards had the eyes of the state on him at Ford Field on Saturday, January 23. The top-rated recruit in the state did not disappoint.
Following a Davison fumble in the first quarter, Edwards took the snap in the wildcat formation, found a seam in the middle of the line, and burst through it for a 78-yard touchdown run, giving West Bloomfield their first lead. He and West Bloomfield (11-1) never looked back, dominating the defending state champions Davison (11-1), 41-0, to win the school’s first-ever state championship.
The West Bloomfield offense looked most comfortable when Edwards took the snaps in the wildcat formation. The early 78-yard TD run put Davison on its heels, allowing West Bloomfield’s entire running attack to get going.
In the third, Edwards broke another 71-yard TD run to cement his dominant performance. Edwards led the team, finishing with 257 yards and 3 touchdowns. Also, senior Mekhi Elam and junior Dillon Tatum were able to be effective, finishing with 40 yards and a touchdown and 33 yards, respectively.
West Bloomfield shines in all three phases
Coming into the game, the question was whether Edwards and the West Bloomfield offense could figure out the Davison defense. Davison had kept all but one of their opponents to single-digit point totals on the season. The West Bloomfield defense shined, holding Davison scoreless to complete their sixth shutout of the season.
Trailing by 17 coming out of the half, Davison needed to score to keep the game competitive. Wide receiver Jay’Len Flowers ran right, and when met by a wall of defenders, he attempted to reverse field to the left. Then, Grand Valley State commit Niles King had seen enough, grabbed Flowers, stripped the ball right out of his hands, and ran it back for a defensive touchdown.
Davison was held to just 142 total yards as the West Bloomfield defense took them completely out-of-rhythm. The defense was led by linebacker Travis Reece, who finished with 7 tackles, 2 for loss, and a sack.
Even on special teams, West Bloomfield had a clear advantage. Davison struggled on a few punts, giving West Bloomfield a couple of opportunities in their own territory. In contrast, West Bloomfield kicker Jake Ward drilled a 39-yard field goal in the second to extend the lead to 10. Also, Ward added a 45-yarder in the fourth and was perfect on extra points.
Davison struggles without stars
Coming into the game, Davison was already dealing with a huge blow to their starting lineup. Star quarterback Brendan Sullivan left the team during the playoff run to enroll early at Northwestern.
In response, wide receiver Dion Brown Jr. was moved to quarterback, who played well in their games leading up to the title game. However, the move left them without their top target on the outside to throw to.
Immediately as the game started, they lost another significant contributor. Air Force commit Harrison Unger was injured in the first quarter, taking a hard hit after elevating to catch a high pass. He left the game with a hamstring injury and would not return.
Losing that many key contributors was just too much for Davison to overcome. Their top performer was TeAvion Warren, who finished with 59 yards on 16 carries. The shutout was the first Davison’s offense had suffered all season.