By John Johnson
MHSAA Director of Broadcast Properties
Lake Linden-Hubbell took advantage of a Mendon miscue in the 1991 MHSAA Class DD Football Final to prevent a potential score and extend its lead at the time with one the longest defensive scoring plays in a championship game.
After falling behind 8-0 midway through the first quarter, Mendon marched down the field to the Lakes' 8-yard line. On a 3rd-and-8, quarterback Mike Smith rolled left and under pressure lofted an errant pitch which was picked up by Lake Linden linebacker Rick Marcotte, who ran 79 yards the other way on the final play of the first quarter for the longest fumble return in a title match.
It was the second time that weekend the fumble return record had been broken. In the Class C finale the day before, Nate Cierlak of Muskegon Catholic Central returned a fumble 56 yards for a score against Harbor Beach.
Marcotte's score gave the Lakes a 14-0 lead at the time. Smith, however, would engineer a scoring drive off the ensuing kickoff, negotiating the last 10 yards himself to start the comeback for the Hornets, who would score the next 22 points en route to a 30-14 victory and second championship in three years for coach John Schwartz’s squad.