In Play with Tom Markowski

Loyola's Campbell caps carrer with four touchdowns

Football   | Tom Markowski

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Detroit – Detroit Loyola had a different attitude entering its third consecutive state final on Saturday.

And Marvin Campbell was a different running back.

As impressive as Campbell’s play was against Ishpeming, this game was a byproduct of the last two seasons and an experienced team that played with poise and a purpose.

Campbell rushed for four touchdowns as Loyola (14-0) rebounded from an 8-0 deficit to defeat Ishpeming (12-1) 29-8 in the Division 7 final at Ford Field.

Campbell played but was not the main ball carrier on the 2012 team that lost to Ishpeming 20-14 in the state final and he was more of a featured back last season as a junior when, again, Loyola was upset by Ishpeming, 22-12, in the final.

Whereas in the past Loyola had few seniors on its roster, this year the Bulldogs were led by 16 seniors.

“When we were down 8-0 we just relied on each other,” Campbell said. “The past two years are in the past. Now the others, the sophomores and juniors, can see it and continue with the tradition.

“The last two years we really didn’t focus like we should have. Being down (8-0), that was our mistakes last year. We were pointing fingers. Most of us seniors have been here since our freshmen year.”

Loyola coach John Callahan credited his assistant coaches for most of this week’s preparation. Callahan missed two days of practice due to an illness. Callahan said even he approached this final with a different attitude.

“I was calm today,” he said. “Every game I’m nervous. Sometimes I get sick before a game. Maybe it was because of what this week was like. I knew the kids would be ready.

“For this group of seniors, we felt a little cocky before. They learned a lesson. The brotherhood is what we talked about. We bonded. They’ve been here before.”

 Campbell deflected much of the praise he was afforded afterwards. He credited his line for creating space, as well he should. But good running backs can make a good offensive line look better.  Campbell’s 21 carries constituted half of his team total. His 215 yards was more than two-thirds of Loyola’s 297 total rushing yards.

“I followed my blocks,” he said. “Running behind the line I have, there’s not much more confidence you can have.”