One week after dousing cross-town rival Livonia Stevenson, Livonia Churchill had to face them again. It's hard to beat a good team two weeks in a row, and Stevenson put it all out there. In the end, RB Romello Brown put on an absolute clinic, and Seth Suida proved that he is one of the best QB's in the area. Brown ended the night with 4 TDs and Suida threw for 3 TDs in the 49-35 win.
"It looked like Stevenson practiced their butts off, and they played a great game" said Churchill Coach John Filiatraut after the game. "It wasn't an easy game, and we know we can play better. But, the object of the playoffs is to win and advance, and we're in great shape."
Romello Brown made his MVP argument as strong as anyone in the state with his 4 TD performance. It's unbelievable that this 5-foot-11 240 pound monster doesn't have major offers, but the GLIAC schools are praying he continues to go unnoticed for a few more weeks. With performances like this, that will be impossible. Several MAC schools are hot on the trail, and as soon as everyone realizes that Brown may be the next Le'Veon Bell, someone will snatch him up.
He is a big, thick runner, but he has the speed and shiftiness to make tacklers miss. He had two more TDs called back or his stats would have looked even better, but he's not really interested in the personal glory of big stats or being the state's MVP.
"It feels terrific to know that people are talking about me, but my job is to help our team win games" a humble Brown said after the game. "I just don't want our season to end, so I have to keep fighting, keep running hard and keep believing in my line."
The Churchill line was exceptional this evening, blocking well for Brown and giving Suida the protection he needed. Suida showed off his arm and accuracy on his first play of the game when he hit Hunter Rimatzki right in stride on a deep post route for an 85-yard touchdown. That TD tied the game 7-7 in the 1st quarter.
After an impressive rushing TD by junior RB Malik Johnson that put the Chargers up 14-7, Johnson recovered a fumble on the very next play. Suida also hit senior Robert Foster with a short pass that Foster turned into a 20 yard TD to put Churchill up 21-7 in the 2nd quarter. It seemed like Churchill thought Stevenson would give up at that point, but the Spartans never quit.
Stevenson brought the game to within 4 points mid-way through the 3rd quarter before Brown broke things open. He scored three of his TDs in the second half, and the game out of reach when he scored late in the 4th quarter to put Churchill up 49-27. Stevenson fought ever second of the game, and senior QB Joe Mims was impressive throughout. He kept fighting to the last drive when he hit Billy Bonnano for a TD and converted the 2-point try to finish the game 49-35.
"It's easy for a team to correct things the way they did, and they played great" said Brown. "I'm just glad I'm not leaving this field with my head down tonight. I want to keep playing."
And play they will. Churchill now faces Plymouth who beat Canton 40-28. Churchill beat Plymouth earlier this season, so they'll have to beat another good team twice if they hope to advance out of their district.