Pat Collins, quarterback for the 1992 Montague football team, holds the 1992 runner-up trophy and a football signed by that year’s team. A reunion is planned for Friday night.
Montague Head Football Coach Pat Collins says he still has not watched the entire video of the 1992 Class CC state championship game when he and his Wildcat teammates lost a hard -ought 12-7 decision to a powerful Detroit St. Martin dePorres squad in the spacious Pontiac Silverdome.
It was a milestone for Montague football, which did have unbeaten teams in the previous two decades (1972 and 1984), but had not appeared in the state playoffs, which began in 1975.
“I haven’t watched that game ever,” Collins said. “I’m not sure why I haven’t. It’s not like this big deal that I have refused to do it.”
Collins said the team has not gotten together since the state finals. However, some remain friends and socialize, and several are coaching youth football.
When friends do get together to talk about the state title game, Collins said, “We tease each other mainly. We don’t get real mature about it, like what it meant to us. That we were a band of brothers. No tears. It could go there, with me especially.”
This Friday, Collins and his teammates from the 1992 Wildcats’ team will gather for the first time to be recognized at halftime of Montague’s game against North Muskegon.
The 1992 state runner-up team will begin its 20-year celebration with a Pasta Night this Friday at 5:30 p.m., followed by tours of the high school by National Honor Society members. The team will be introduced during halftime ceremonies in the game against North Muskegon. Plans are in the works for a post-game gathering.
It was an amazing season for Montague, whose superior defense shut out four opponents in the regular season on its way to a 9-0 record, a West Michigan Conference title, and a 34-15 WMC-NCAA crossover win over previously undefeated Hesperia.
The biggest win of the season, and one of the top wins in Montague history, came in the semifinals when the Wildcats faced defending state champion, Battle Creek Pennfield, who was scoring an amazing 60.1 points a game. The Montague defense remarkably shut out Pennfield 7-0, even on a key fourth down play at the Montague three when Mike Moore stopped the back at the six-inch line.
Montague’s only score came in the third quarter on a thrilling 52-yard sprint by fullback Joel Smith.
Montague then made the trip to the biggest of venues, the Pontiac Silverdome where they played dePorres, one of the top teams in the state in all classes.
In the final game, Montague took a 7-0 lead on its first drive. The Cats moved the ball to the Eagles’ three where it was fourth and goal. On that play Collins sprinted to the corner for his team’s only touchdown.
dePorres scored two first-half TDs, the final game-winner a 10-yard pass over the middle on fourth down.