Saginaw High School State Champion Football Team (1999)

Saginaw High School’s 1999 football team was one of the most talent-laden high school varsity football teams ever assembled in the state of Michigan. The Trojans, coached by Don Durrett, finished a difficult regular season at 7-2. After early season losses to Midland High School (27-6) and Heritage (35-12), Saginaw High outscored its remaining Saginaw Valley League opponents 162-7. In the Division 2 playoffs, SHS topped Muskegon Reeths-Puffer 44-13 in the district semifinal before they avenged the Heritage loss by posting a 20-0 shutout over the Hawks in the district championship game. The Trojans bested Hudsonville 26-7 in the quarterfinals and East Lansing 16-9 in its semifinal game. Saginaw High then beat Birmingham Brother Rice 14-7 at the Pontiac Silverdome to win the Division 2 title. Charles Rogers, the three-time all-state receiver, caught just one pass, a 60-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Cork on Saginaw High’s first possession to set the tone for the game. Rogers drew attention from two and sometimes three Brother Rice defenders each time downfield. On the reception, the Trojans’ only completion of the day, Rogers broke a pair of tackles en route to the only score of the opening half. Brother Rice scored early in the third quarter on a five-yard run. The extra point kick gave them a 7-6 lead. SHS got the go-ahead score midway in the fourth quarter when Terry Jackson sprinted around left-end for a 17-yard TD. Jackson’s two-point run gave the Trojans a 14-7 lead. The Warriors tried a Hail Mary pass at the end of the game, but it was intercepted by Jeremiah McLaurin. Junior Ronald Stanley racked up 18 tackles from his linebacker position while Otis Washington and Anthony Ware registered 11 and 10 tackles, respectively. Marcel Dillard had just four tackles, but three of them were for losses totaling 13 yards. Jackson led the offense with 106 yards rushing on 18 carries. Brother Rice (11-3) had the ball just over 29 minutes while Saginaw High’s time of possession was 18:19. Of the 37 team members, incredibly 24 played college football – including 10 at the Division 1 level. Seven players – Tory Humphrey, Jerome Jackson, Terry Jackson, Roy Manning, Rogers, Stanley and LaMarr Woodley – played in the National Football League – and an eighth, Charleston Hughes, is still playing in the Canadian Football League. Another player, Anthony Roberson, played in the National Basketball Association. Three of those six players earned Super Bowl Rings: Stanley (Pittsburgh, 2006), Woodley (Pittsburgh, 2009) and Humphrey (New Orleans, 2010). Hughes has played in two Grey Cup championship games. Additionally, Kirk Carruth was a member of four National Championship teams at Grand Valley State University while Marcel and Jamel Dillard participated in two National Championship squads at GVSU.