Ortonville — It didn’t come easy.
The Fenton Tigers’ quest to a second straight Flint Metro League title, almost ended before it began in late August.
“We started pretty bad, I’m not going to lie,” Fenton senior Alex Flannery said. “We almost lost to Swartz Creek in our first game (a 2-1 victory on Aug. 26). It was so close.”
Entering the final week of the Metro League season needing victories against Flushing and then Brandon, the Tigers were able to accomplish their task, becoming co-Metro League champions along with area rivals Linden and Goodrich. Fenton (10-1-0 in the Metro) opened the week with a 5-0 thrashing of
See Curtis on 27A
Continued from Page 24A
Flushing and concluded their title run with a 3-1 victory in the steady drizzle at Brandon’s home field Wednesday night.
“I’m just excited about it,” Flannery said. “We finished it off. ... We came together as a team, worked our butts off for the last six games and won it.”
“It feels great,” Fenton junior Cal Curtis said. “And we still have a chance against Linden (possibly in the district tournament).”
Curtis was probably the Tigers player of the game, scoring Fenton’s first two goals. Fenton had yet to get a shot on target when Curtis scored on a ball that deflected off his head and into the net with 21:38 left in the opening half.
It looked like the half may end with Fenton leading 1-0, but Curtis had other plans when he scored on a Jimmy Myers assist on a shot from about 18 yards out with about 10 seconds remaining until halftime.
“The first goal I just hustled for it,” Curtis said. “The ball got up and I got a little header.
“The second goal I looked at the clock and there was 15 seconds left. Jimmy played the ball off so I did a little Maradona turn, let it loose and hit it.”
It looked like the Tigers had the game under control at that point.
However, Brandon cut the gap to 2-1 on Russell Rozenbaum’s shot with 18:13 left in the second half on Brandon’s only shot on target the entire game. A tie would lose the Tigers the share of the league crown, so the goal did add some tension to the contest.
However, with 8:50 left, Ashton McKellar scored on a shot from about 20 yards out on a Andrew Hutchins assist. Fenton led 3-1 and Brandon never had another shot attempt the rest of the game.
“I liked our intensity,” Flannery said. “We were always getting at it.”
“Really, all we did was play Fenton soccer,” Curtis said. “We played it to the corners.”
The Tigers won last season’s title outright, and have now earned at least a part of three of the last four league crowns.