Sterling Heights Stevenson’s Biagio Madonna eludes Romeo High defenders Oct. 9. The Titans won 14-7.

Sterling Heights Stevenson’s Biagio Madonna eludes Romeo High defenders Oct. 9. The Titans won 14-7.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Defense guiding Stevenson football

By: Zachary Manning | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published October 16, 2020

 Sterling Heights Stevenson’s Jordan Kwiatkowski hurdles a  Romeo High defender Oct. 9. The Titans were 3-1 at press time.

Sterling Heights Stevenson’s Jordan Kwiatkowski hurdles a Romeo High defender Oct. 9. The Titans were 3-1 at press time.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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STERLING HEIGHTS — In an era where high-flying offense is used to win games, Sterling Heights Stevenson sticks to what it knows best: defense.

The Titans have yet to hit the 30-point mark in a game this season and have scored more than 15 points just once.

Still, they were 3-1 overall at press time and had a chance to claim a share of the Macomb Area Conference Red Division title. They were scheduled to play Grosse Pointe South Oct. 16, after press time.

Defense is an area the Titans take pride in, as evidenced by the way they’ve slowed their opponents down. Only one team has scored more than 10 points on Stevenson this season.

“We put a priority on defense. Our best players have to play defense,” Stevenson coach Justin Newcomb said. “That’s the culture of our team. It’s tough, it’s physical, it’s old-school. We’re going to play good defense, we’re going to get after it.”

The Titans had just two games remaining before playoffs, at press time, and Newcomb has seen his group flip the switch and lock in.

He wants his team to take a game-by-game approach, because COVID-19 could make it the Titans’ last, and it gives them a playoff vibe.

Junior running back/safety Jordan Ramsey sees the same energy and believes the team can build off what it did last season.

“We are locked in. We are focused on getting better every day,” Ramsey said. “Everything is a competition. We are expecting great things to come out of our team. But we aren’t getting a big head. We gotta stay humble and take it one game at a time.”

With the expanded playoffs, Stevenson doesn’t have to look very far to know that a team without a ton of wins can make some noise in the postseason.

The Titans got into the playoffs as a five-win team last year and made a run to the Division 1 semifinals before falling to Davison High.

That’s why the Titans won’t take any team for granted. However, with that run in the back of their minds, Newcomb believes the sky’s the limit for his group.

“Having that run last year, our guys have just fed off that confidence,” Newcomb said. “They go into every game expecting to win, and that wasn’t the case when we first took over this program. Now, these kids have had a taste of success, they’ve seen it and they expect to win every time they take the field on Friday night.”

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