The Fenton football team has made partnering with the Wounded Warrior Project for a special football game that raises money and awareness for the organization, which helps wounded veterans, a yearly tradition. Friday for the first time in three years, the Tigers were also able to add a win in the Wounded Warrior game.
"It's just great to be able to give back to people who have served," said running back Brennen Clarke.
As part of the game, players wear camouflage jerseys with the names of people who have served to honor them. After the game, the players present the jerseys either to the people whose name is on the jerseys or to their families. Clark wore his uncle's name.
Swartz Creek also wore camo jerseys, which will be presented to veterans at their final home game.
"It means everything for the community," said wide receiver Mitch Shegos, who wore his grandfather's name on his jersey. "It's an honor to be able to have their names on our jerseys."
Wide receiver Damon Thomas said the team loves being a part of this event every year, and the night was made even better because Fenton beat previously undefeated Swartz Creek 55-28 to tie the Dragons for the Metro League lead.
"We lost the last two, so we're happy to end that streak on the third one," Thomas said. "I just love the atmosphere. This is a great night for the community."
All three players also figured significantly in the win. Clarke had three rushing touchdowns. Shegos caught a touchdown pass and also intercepted a pass. Thomas had a touchdown reception and also had an interception return for a touchdown.
"I've never had a game like that before," Thomas said. "That's my first interception return for a touchdown."
Fenton took a 21-7 lead in the first quarter, but after Swartz Creek cut it to 21-14, the Fenton defense got stingier and the offense scored 34 unanswered points.
Shegos credited an intense week of practice for the performance.
"The key was the way we practiced all week," Shegos said. "Our coaches pushed us every day. I think the way we practiced is the way we played tonight."
Fenton relied on an opportunistic defense that forced five Swartz Creek interceptions.
"We've been preparing for them all week and studying their routes," Thomas said. "Our defensive line got a lot of pressure on their quarterback."
Quarterback Connor Davidson had a big performance both running and passing. He completed 14-for-21 passes for 274 yards and two touchdowns and he also had 73 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Also contributing to the effort was a belief by Fenton's players that the team, which is now 7-1, has been overlooked this season. Swartz Creek's undefeated season has been a surprise and has resulted in a lot of coverage in local media while Fenton, also having a very good season and one of the most successful programs in the Flint area over the last few seasons, has flown under the radar.
"Everyone's been against us and we just wanted to prove everyone wrong," Clarke said.
"It's always good to be an undefeated team," Thomas said. "They were getting a lot of press, so hopefully this shows everyone that we're a good team too. I'm just happy we got the win."
Fenton is now in a three-way tie for first place in the Metro League with Swartz Creek and Linden. A win next week over Lapeer West guarantees them at least a share of the league title.
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