Lansing Catholic at Pewamo-Westphalia – – Football – – The Bleacher Denizen – – October 22, 2021

Tonight, the Bleacher Denizen’s travels take him to Pewamo-Westphalia, where the undefeated Division 7 Football Pirates will take on the undefeated Number One Division 6 Cougars from Lansing Catholic. (Next year, I will be researching to see if there is a credential I can get to allow me to refer to my travels as an “odyssey.” I think it will be cooler!) As you can see this is a big game, so Doc Love and Brock Palmbos are here from AM-730 radio to cover the game. They always do a great job!

The road to Pewamo-Westphalia involves a long trip down the twisting, winding Grange Road. There is even a cemetery along the way. Of course, it was a misty night; your Bleacher Denizen, who has never been known for his courage, kept waiting for something to rise from the shadows, but fortunately, he made it to Pewamo-Westphalia with no supernatural interference.

Lansing Catholic has come in its Camo uniforms tonight.

Pewamo-Westphalia has been winning even without some of its top players including Connor Bengel, Cam Cook and Tanner Wirth as they have been injured and missed the last few games. They will not have these players for tonight’s game.

The P-W band, which always does a fine job played the National Anthem and the game was ready to start.

It is now time to look at the events of this game through the eyes of a Bleacher Denizen whose high school football career ended when he found out that referees would not permit him to have body guards for on-field protection.

Jonah Richards’ opening kickoff went to the 7 yard line; Dak Ewalt fielded the kick and returned it sixteen yards to the right. Pewamo-Westphalia (hereafter referred to as “P-W” to save wear and tear on your Bleacher Denizen’s aging fingers) started its opening series on its own 23 yard line.

Troy Wertman went up the middle for a three yard first down gain before Dylan Farrar led a gathering of Cougars in making the tackle. Troy Wertman’s second down run up the middle gained four yards before he was stopped by Matt Gehle and Mason Krippen. Rory Durr’s timely hit on the receiver caused the Pirates’ third down pass to fall incomplete. Troy Wertman punted on fourth down; his punt went out of bounds at the Catholic 26 yard line; the Cougars started their possession there.

Joey Baker tossed a first down pass to Alex Watters on the right side for a four yard gain. Joey Baker’s second down pass to Brandon Lewis was good for a seventeen yard gain and a first down. Conner Russell made the tackle for P-W.

Joey Baker threw a first down pass up the middle to Nic Gruber for a nine yard gain; Landon Nurenberg got the Pirate tackle. Corey Schafer knocked the Cougar second down pass out of the air. Nic Gruber’s third down run up right tackle was stopped by Landon Nurenberg just short of a first down. Landon Nurenberg and the rest of the Pirate line teamed up to stop the Cougar fourth down run for a three yard loss. P-W took over the ball on downs on their own 47 yard line.

Dak Ewalt earned nine yards on a first down run to the left. A pass interference penalty on a second down long pass gave the Pirates a first down on the Cougar 29 yard line.

Dak Ewalt went to the left for a four yard first down gain before Matt Gehle stopped his progress. Rory Durr stopped the Pirate second down run for a one yard gain. A den of Cougars stopped the third down run for a one yard gain. Troy Wertman passed to Evan Droste for a three yard fourth down gain; it was just short of what P-W needed for a first down, so Catholic took over the ball on downs on their own 21 yard line.

Evan Droste stopped the Catholic first down run for a four yard loss. Conner Russell covered on the incomplete Cougar second down pass. Joey Baker overcame excellent pressure by Damian Spitzley to complete a six yard third down pass to Alex Watters. Gavin Nurenberg made the tackle for P-W. Alex Watters’ fourth down punt went out of bounds at the P-W 48 yard line, where the Pirates started their next possession.

Troy Wertman had a nice first down run for the Pirates, but a penalty brought the ball back for a five yard loss. Dak Ewalt went to the right for a four yard gain before Matt Gehle stopped him. Troy Wertman had a five yard gain on a second down run to the left. Troy Wertman went back to the left for a five yard gain; Rory Durr and Sebastian Golzynski teamed up for the Catholic tackle. Troy Wertman plowed up the middle on fourth down to get the yards P-W needed for a first down.

Daniel Shipman covered on the Pirate incomplete first down pass. On the final play of the first quarter, Troy Wertman went to the left for a five yard gain; Matt Gehle got the quarter-ending tackle for the Cougars.

After one quarter, the game was tied at 0-0. Pewamo-Westphalia had a third down with five yards to go at the Lansing Catholic 35 yard line.

Troy Wertman went up the middle for a fifteen yard third down gain to give the Pirates a first down on the Cougar 30 yard line.

Dak Ewalt went to the left for a four yard first down gain before he ran into Jonah Richards. On the next play, Troy Wertman faked a handoff and blew threw the line over left tackle for a sixteen yard P-W touchdown. The Point After kick failed. With 10:46 to play in the first half, Pewamo-Westphalia had a 6-0 lead.

Ashtin Wirth booted his kickoff to the 17 yard line; Alex Watters fielded it and gained 27 yards before Ashtin Wirth pushed him out of bounds. Catholic started its series on its own 44 yard line.

Joey Baker’s first down pass to Brandon Lewis earned two yards before Gavin Nurenberg stopped him. Joey Baker completed a second down pass to Alex Watters; he gained eleven yards before Conner Russell tackled him.

Conner Russell stopped the Catholic first down run for a two yard loss. Joey Baker completed a second down pass to Brandon Lewis, who dodged tacklers on his way to a ten yard gain; Ashtin Wirth got the Pirate tackle. Gavin Nurenberg stopped the Cougar third down run up the middle for a one yard gain. Joey Baker completed a fourth down pass over the middle to Alex Watters, who gained eight yards before Conner Russell tackled him. Catholic had a first down on the P-W 26 yard line.

Corbin Schneider stopped the Cougar first down run up the middle for a one yard gain. A penalty on the second down play gave the Cougars five yards. On the second down replay, Damian Spitzley forced the Catholic quarterback out of the pocket; Conner Russell and Landon Nurenberg covered on the incomplete pass. Ashtin Wirth knocked the Cougar third down pass out of the air. Matthew Nurenberg knocked the fourth down pass; P-W took over the ball on downs on its own 20 yard line.

NIc Gruber stopped the first down Pirate run for a two yard gain. An illegal procedure penalty pushed P-W back five yards. On the second down replay, Troy Wertman took the ball to the left for an eleven yard gain before he was tackled by Joey Baker. Bo Poljan stopped the P-W run for one yard. Dak Ewalt plowed into the line on fourth down to gain the yard that P-W needed for a first down.

Troy Wertman gained five yards on a first down run to the left before Mason Knippen tackled him. Ashtin Wirth ran to the left for a four yard second down gain; Bo Poljan got the Cougar tackle. Ashtin Wirth gained three yards on third down before Owen Biegans and Mason Knippen forced him out of bounds. P-W had a first down on their own 43 yard line.

Troy Wertman passed to Ashtin Wirth for a nine yard first down gain. Troy Wertman broke several tackles to gain five yards on second down and earn a first down; Rory Durr and Christian Tucker teamed up for the Cougar tackle.

An illegal procedure play pushed the Pirates back five yards. Troy Wertman threw a second down screen pass to Ashtin Wirth, who gained twenty-two yards up the left side before Christian Tucker pushed him out of bounds. P-W had a first down on the Catholic 26 yard line.

Troy Wertman’s first down run gained six yards before Nic Gruber and Jonah Richards took him down. P-W spiked the ball on the next play to stop the clock with twelve seconds left in the first half. Troy Wertman threw to Evan Droste for an apparent touchdown, but the play was called back by a penalty. On the final play of the first half, Mason Knippen, Jonah Richards and Bo Poljan all got into the Pirate backfield to stop the play for a loss.

At halftime, Pewamo-Westphalia held a 6-0 lead.

It was senior night; the Pewamo-Westphalia senior band members, cheerleaders and players were all introduced along with their parents to the spectators.

The Pewamo-Westphalia Band then performed their halftime show. The band is led by drum major Sarah Jandernoa, Assistant Drum Major Chase Kramer, Captain Cadence Cooley and Director Randy Voisinet. They played their 2021 Production, “Together Again.”

The set opened with “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by the Beatles. The next song was “Hey Ya”, which featured Nathan Arens and the drumline. “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” from the Phantom of the Opera, which featured soloist Landon Thelen was next. The set closed with “Happy Together” by the Turtles.

As always, the Pewamo-Westphalia Band did a fine job with both the music and the movement!

Your Bleacher Denizen is a professional musician when he is not blogging sports and always likes to salute a musical job well-done at these games. If you are curious, here is a video of an original song from my “Chuck Krafft” You Tube channel.

Ashtin Wirth’s kickoff started the second half. His kickoff was fielded by Brandon Lewis at the 20 yard line; he gained about ten yards before William Bengel forced him out of bounds. The Cougars started their drive at the Pirate 30 yard line.

Nic Gruber went up the middle for a twelve yard gain before William Bengel tackled him.

Damian Spitzley stopped the Cougar first down run for a three yard gain. A penalty negated the second down gain for Catholic and cost them nine yards. On the second down replay, Gavin Nurenberg covered on the Cougar incomplete pass. Another Cougar penalty pushed them back ten more yards. Joey Baker threw to Alex Watters for a twenty-four yard fourth down gain to give his Cougars a first down on the Pirate 45 yard line.

On the next play, Joey Baker tossed a pass to Alex Watters up the middle; Alex Watters outraced everyone to the end zone for a forty-five yard Cougar touchdown. Joey Baker held the ball and Jonah Richards booted it through the uprights to give Lansing Catholic a 7-6 lead with 10:04 remaining in the third quarter.

Jonah Richards’ kickoff was fielded by Dak Ewalt at the 8 yard line; he gained seven yards before Mojo Othow tackled him. P-W started its series on their own 15 yard line.

P-W earned one yard up the middle on its first down run. Daniel Shipman stopped the Pirate second down pitch play for a four yard loss. Troy Wertman completed a pass to Ashtin Wirth for an apparent first down, but the play was negated by a holding penalty. On the third down replay, Troy Wertman ran to the right for a ten yard gain; Alex Watters made the tackle for the Cougars. Troy Wertman punted on fourth down, Alex Watters made a fair catch for Catholic on the Cougar 44 yard line (a forty-three yard punt); that is where the Cougars started their next drive.

Joey Baker tossed a pass to Brandon Lewis, who made a great catch as he was falling down for a twelve yard gain.

Nic Gruber went to the left for a five yard first down gain. Catholic’s second down pass fell incomplete. Connor Bengel broke up the Catholic third down punt. Catholic’s fourth down punt was blocked by Corbin Schneider. P-W took over the ball on downs on their own 43 yard line.

Dak Ewalt went to the left for a six yard gain before his progress was halted by Mason Knippen. Troy Wertman went to the left for a four yard second down gain. After a measurement, P-W was awarded a first down.

Troy Wertman faked a handoff, but kept the ball for a four yard first down play. On second down, it appeared that Owen Biegans and Jonah Richards sacked the quarterback, but a Cougar facemask penalty gave the Pirates a first down on the Catholic 33 yard line.

Rory Durr and Jonah Richards stopped the P-W first down run for a one yard gain. Alex Watters covered on the Pirate incomplete second down pass. Troy Wertman went to the left for a seven yard third down gain. Owen Biegans, Rory Durr and Jonah Richards stopped the Pirate fourth down play for a three yard loss. Catholic took over the ball on downs on their own 28 yard line.

Landon Nurenberg stopped the Catholic first down run for a one yard loss. Ashtin Wirth covered on Catholic’s incomplete second down pass. Conner Russell covered on the Cougar incomplete third down pass. On fourth down, Alex Watters punted the ball to the Pirate 32 yard line where Daniel Shipman downed it. P-W started their next drive on their own 32 yard line.

Nic Gruber stopped the P-W first down run for no gain. An illegal procedure penalty moved the Pirates back five yards. Brandon Lewis covered on the incomplete Pirate second down pass. Troy Wertman was chased out of the pocket on third down; he gained three yards before Owen Biegans took him down.

The third quarter ended. Lansing Catholic held a 7-6 lead. Pewamo-Westphalia faced a fourth down situation with twelve yards to go on their own 30 yard line.

Troy Wertman’s fourth down punt went out of bounds at the Pirate 33 yard line.

A penalty on Catholic pushed the Cougars back five yards. On the first down replay, Ashtin Wirth covered on Catholic’s incomplete first down pass. Nic Gruber dove into the middle of the line for a five yard second down gain. Corbin Schneider got the tackle for P-W. Ashtin Wirth covered on the Catholic incomplete third down pass. Alex Watters’ fourth down punt went out of bounds at the P-W 47 yard line; the Pirates started their series there.

Dak Ewalt went to the left for a four yard first down gain; Alex Watters made the tackle for Catholic. Dak Ewalt went to the middle for a two yard second down gain; Bo Poljan got the Cougar tackle. Troy Wertman made a very effective handoff fake (Your Bleacher Denizen’s eyes were glued to the would-be runner; he had to rely on the announcer to learn what happened. Nice Fake!!!!) Troy Wertman gained four yards to earn a first down for the Pirates at the Cougar 41 yard line.

An illegal procedure penalty pushed P-W back five yards. Dak Ewalt went to the left for a sixteen yard second down gain; Alex Watters made the Cougar gackle.

Troy Wertman passed to Ashtin Wirth for a twenty yard gain that gave P-W a first down on the Cougar 10 yard line.

Dak Ewalt gained four yards on a first down run to the left before Bo Poljan knocked him down. Dak Ewalt gained another four yards on second down; Bo Poljan was there to stop him. Troy Wertman’s third down run up the middle produced a two yard touchdown. Brandon Lewis foiled the point after attempt by knocking the P-W pass out of the air. With 6:19 left on the game clock, Pewamo-Westphalia had a 12-7 lead.

Ashtin Wirth’s kickoff was fielded by Daniel Shipman on the 27 yard line; he gained six yards. Catholic started its series on their own 34 yard line.

On the next play, Ashtin Wirth recovered a fumble to give Pewamo-Westphalia a first down on the Catholic 36 yard line.

Dak Ewalt plowed through the line for a seven yard first down gain; he ran into Rory Durr. Owen Biegans stopped the P-W second down run for a one yard gain. Bo Poljan started the Pirate third down run for a one yard gain. On fourth down, Troy Wertman leaped over a scrum to gain four yards to earn a crucial first down for the Pirates.

Dak Ewalt gained two yards on a first down run to the left. On second down, Troy Wertman gained three yards to the right before Christian Tucker tackled him. Troy Wertman went to the left to gain seven yards on third down for his Pirates. P-W had a first down on the Catholic 12 yard line with 2:26 left on the clock.

Dak Ewalt gained four yards; Matt Gehle got the Cougar tackle. Troy Wertman gained two second down yards up the middle before Bo Poljan halted him. Dak Ewalt’s third down run was stopped by the Catholic line after a three yard gain. P-W needed one yard for a first down! The Catholic line rose to the challenge and stopped the P-W fourth down run for no gain.

With 51.7 seconds remaining in the game, Catholic had a first down on their own 3 yard line.

After an incomplete first down pass, Catholic had a penalty on the second down that pushed them back half the distance to the goal. (One yard in this case.) On the second down replay, Ashtin Wirth covered on the incomplete Cougar second down pass. Catholic’s third down pass fell incomplete. A fourth down pass interference penalty gave Catholic a first down on their own 17 yard line with 30.6 seconds remaining in the game.

The game was getting more exciting with every play! Catholic had 30.6 seconds to score a touchdown that could win the game!

Ashtin Wirth covered on the incomplete Cougar first down pass. Joey Baker completed a second down pass to Alex Watters for a twelve yard gain to give Catholic a first down on the Catholic 29 yard line with 18.4 to play.

Catholic spiked the ball on first down to stop the clock. A roughing the passer penalty gave the Cougars a first down on their own 44 yard line with 11.6 seconds to go.

Joey Baker completed a pass to Alex Watters for a 28 yard gain; Alex Watters alertly stepped out of bounds with 6.3 seconds left to give his Cougars one last chance at the win.

Joey Baker threw a long pass that Conner Russell intercepted near the goal line. This was the final play of the game.

Pewamo-Westphalia won this battle of the Titans (OK, really the Cougars and Pirates) by a 12-7 score!

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