Mission Complete: Pickford Rolls Past Portland St. Patrick for 1st State Championship

MARQUETTE – Pickford’s senior class capped off a historic four-year campaign in the grandest way possible on Saturday.

Senior quarterback Jimmy Storey rushed for three touchdowns and added two more through the air as Pickford cruised to a 48-15 victory over Portland St. Patrick in the MHSAA 8-player Division 2 state final at Northern Michigan University’s Superior Dome on Saturday.

After falling to Morrice a year ago in the 8-player Division 1 state final, Pickford was more determined than ever to get back to the state finals for the second time and capture the program’s first-ever state championship.

“You know, after last year losing that game, left that empty feeling in that stomach,” Pickford coach Josh Rader said. “A lot of those juniors, they felt it. Our goal coming in here was to be able to get back and finish that business. It felt good to be able to come back here and cap off that season with that win.”

With the game knotted at 8-8 after one quarter Saturday, Pickford (13-0) ran off 24 consecutive points, including a 25-yard touchdown pass from Storey to Nick Edington and two Storey rushing scores.

Pickford would take a 32-8 lead to the half and extended its lead to 48-8 through three quarters.

The Panther senior class posted a 45-5 record in four years with a state championship, one state runner-up finish, four state semifinal appearances and three conference titles.

“I can’t even put it into words. It feels amazing,” Edington said. “One last ride with all my boys. Half the team’s seniors. It felt great to come out there and get the win this time.”

“It’s been crazy,” added Storey. “This state championship definitely caps it off. It feels great. Icing on the cake.”

Connor Cross went 3-of-11 through the air for 125 yards and a score while Ned Smith led the Shamrocks (12-1) on the ground with 36 yards on eight carries and a touchdown.

St. Patrick was making its second 8-player Division 2 state finals appearance since 2017 on Saturday and seeking its first state title since 1992.

Categories: Football