TRAVERSE CITY — Cadillac coach Jim Webb was not surprised.
He’s seen it all before.
Quarterback Jalen Brooks scored on a 68-yard keeper with 8:27 remaining Friday night at Thirlby Field to give Cadillac a hard-fought 14-7 Big North Conference win over Traverse City Central.
The win capped a perfect regular season for the 9-0 Vikings and clinched the league football title outright.
“Jalen Brooks when we needed him, once again, came through with a big run,” Webb said.
Brooks broke an 80-yard run for the winning touchdown in a 26-21 triumph over Traverse City West earlier this month.
His run Friday night, came two plays after Central’s Ethan Campbell busted a 14-yard run that gave the Trojans a 7-6 lead, following a Jacob Gorter extra point.
That lead, though, only last 53 seconds.
“We finally got Ethan loose,” Central coach Tom Passinault said. “He’s a heckuva back. That was a nice run for a touchdown — a lot of excitement. But Brooks put that to rest in a hurry.”
The loss was a difficult one for the 5-4 Trojans, who needed a win to secure a playoff spot.
“It’s hard to watch the seniors walk away after the last game knowing we were that close,” Passinault said. “But that’s been the story of our season. We had some close games that could have gone our way and didn’t. But I’m proud of our kids. The effort was outstanding.”
Webb expected to see that type of effort from the Trojans.
“This was basically a playoff game for them, so we knew they were going to come out high energy,” he said. “We knew we were going to see the (Central) team that played West tough (overtime loss). We were lucky to slide by West. We knew it was going to be a battle.”