SWARTZ CREEK, MI – None of the current Swartz Creek football players can remember their school’s last football win over the perennial Metro League powerhouse Fenton before this season.
That’s because they were too young.
All-State offensive lineman Jacob Booth, for example, was just 3 years old.
And second-year quarterback Brett Hoffman was six months old.
Yes, it’s been quite a while.
But they will surely remember the Dragons’ most recent victory when they are old and gray, sitting in front of the fireplace in their rocking chairs.
Swartz Creek snapped a 14-game losing streak against Fenton dating back to 2008 with a 26-23 comeback on Friday.
“We told them never to give up,” said coach Joe Spencer, whose team is 4-0. “We could have done it, but we didn’t. This is a huge win for a tight-knit group of guys who just won’t give up. We are extremely happy.
“This is a team we haven’t been able to beat in recent years. We worked a lot on situational football this week because we knew it could come down to one big play or one special teams play and it did.”
It really came down to two big plays in the final minutes.
The Dragons relied on a powerful running game to win their first three games and weren’t about to abandon that approach even though Fenton stacked the line of scrimmage with 10 players and practically challenged them to shoot.
Swartz Creek only attempted one pass in the first three quarters until the Dragons had no choice but to throw the quarter down 23-20.
After two incomplete passes, Hoffman made his only completion count, hitting Josiah Buford with a 22-yard TD pass that gave the Dragons a 26-23 lead with 3:28 left.
“It just felt great,” Hoffman said. “I knew it was going to be good as soon as I started shooting. I saw Jo Jo running across the field and I knew I had to make this worth it, put it on the money.
“You just have to know your role and make it count when you do pass.”
But Fenton wasn’t done.
The Tigers moved the ball down the field and had a first down at the Swartz Creek 12-yard line with less than a minute left as they tried to get the ball into the end zone.
But senior Conner McMichael intercepted the pass at the goal line with three seconds remaining to seal the victory.
“I just sat on my receiver, threw the ball and got the interception,” McMichael said. “This is our biggest game of the season. We wanted to end that 15-year streak.
“This increases our confidence. Show that you never give up no matter how down we are because we can always come back.”
Devlin Lorincz opened the scoring for Swartz Creek with a 1-yard run just three minutes into the game before Fenton scored 23 of the next 29 points to take a 10-point lead at safety with 4:41 left.
Lorincz also scored touchdowns on runs of 3 and 39 yards.
Lorincz rushed 17 times for 185 yards, Keagen Larion carried the ball 19 times for 158 yards and the defense was led by Levi Lloyd and Sincer Boyd with nine tackles apiece.
Jake Nichols scored all three of Fenton’s (2-2) touchdowns on runs of 50, 3 and 47 yards.
Swartz Creek’s previous win before Friday was 30-19 in 2007.
Fenton has won or shared nine of the last 11 Metro League titles, the last coming in last year’s championship game.
Flint Area Football Results for 9-16-22