Lawton vs. Pewamo-Westphalia – – Division 7 MHSAA Football Championship – – The Bleacher Denizen – – November 27, 2021 – – by Chuck Krafft

Well, your Bleacher Denizen has finally digested his Thanksgiving turkey and it’s time to head off to Detroit’s Ford Field for the MHSAA Division 7 Football Championship. This game will feature the Blue Devils of Lawton against the Pirates from Pewamo-Westphalia.

I’ve actually seen the Pirates once before this year. (During the playoffs, press box space can be hard to come by; this is the first time I was able to blog a Pirate game since the end of the regular season.) However, at the end of the regular season, I blogged this game and was rewarded with a chance to see two teams that went to the State Finals. Lansing Catholic, who beat Warren Michigan Collegiate to win yesterday’s Division 6 championship and Pewamo-Westphalia’s Pirates squared off in this game that was in doubt until the final play!!

https://thebleacherdenizen.com/2021/10/23/lansing-catholic-at-pewamo-westphalia-football-the-bleacher-denizen-october-22-2021/

Both the Pirates and the Blue Devils have had excellent seasons and are both undefeated entering into this State Championship battle.

The Pewamo-Westphalia Band played the National Anthem and did a fine job.

It’s now time to learn the results of this battle through the eyes of a Bleacher Denizen whose football career ended when he learned that large people are allowed to ram their shoulders into you and your big brother can’t come on the field to save you!!!

Nolan Schrauben kicked off for the Pirates to open the game. Carter DeKoning fielded the ball at the Blue Devil 28 yard line and returned it ten yards before Kobe Generaux tackled him. Lawton started its opening drive on its own 38 yard line.

On Lawton’s first play, the Blue Devils fumbled and Ashtin Wirth recovered it for Pewamo-Westphalia. (After this, most of the time, your Bleacher Denizen will call them P-W to save wear and tear on his aging fingers. Pewamo-Westphalia started its drive on the Lawton 36 yard line.

Cam Cook completed a pass to Brock Thelen for a thirty-four yard gain that put the ball on the Lawton 2 yard line. Connor Matthies made the tackle to prevent a Pirate touchdown.

Chase Mitchell stopped the P-W first down play for a one yard loss. Cam Cook rolled to the right and went into the end zone untouched for a Pirate touchdown on the next play. Dylan May made the long snap, Cam Cook held the ball and Conner Russell kicked it through the uprights for a successful extra point. With 10:25 to go in the first quarter, Pewamo-Westphalia held a 7-0 lead.

Nolan Schrauben’s onside kick was recovered by the Pirates’ Corbin Schneider on the Lawton 45 yard line, where P-W started another drive.

Troy Wertman went to the left for a fifteen yard gain; Connor Matthies and Jake Rueff made the Lawton tackle.

Evan Stephayn stopped the Pirate first down run for a one yard gain. Cavin Nurenberg’s second down run into the middle earned five yards before he ran into Evan Stephayn. Troy Wertman’s broke several tackles on his third down run to the right for a seven yard gain before Dustin Mallory and Carter Cosby took him down. P-W had a first down on the Lawton 17 yard line.

Jake Rueff Carter DeKoning teamed up to stop the Pirate first down run for no gain. Carter Cosby covered on the P-W incomplete second down pass. Evan Stephayn and Dustin Mallory stopped the Pirate third down run for a two yard gain. On fourth down, Pirate Quarterback Cam Cook was chased out of the pocket, but was able to get back to the line of scrimmage to prevent a loss. Jake Rueff got the tackle for the Blue Devils. Lawton took over the ball on downs on their own 15 yard line.

Dalton Brown and Landon Nurenberg teamed up to stop the Blue Devil first down run for no gain. Jake Rueff gained two yards on second down before Landon Nurenberg stopped him. Landon Motter completed a third down pass to Copper Geib for a twelve yard gain. Ashtin Wirth pushed him out of bounds.

Carter Cosby earned three yards on a first down run up the middle. Landon Nurenberg made the tackle for Pewamo-Westphalia. Lawton fumbled on the next play; it appeared that P-W recovered the ball, but a replay revealed that Lawton recovered the ball. The Blue Devils gained one yard on the second down play. Jake Rueff took a pitch to the right on third down for a seven yard gain; Conner Russell got the tackle for the Pirates. Lawton had a first down on their own 40 yard line.

Jake Rueff ran for a two yard first down gain; Trevor Spitzley made the tackle for the Pirates. Corey Schafer pressured the Blue Devils into throwing an incomplete second down pass. Jake Reuff went to the right for a six yard third down gain. Gavin Nurenberg made the tackle for the Pirates. Damian Spitzley stopped the Blue Devil fourth down play for a three yard loss. P-W took over the ball on downs on the Lawton 45 yard line.

Troy Wertman went to the right for a three yard gain; Carter DeKoning and Drew Stephayn made the Blue Devil tackle. Kallon Motter covered on the Pirate incomplete second down pass. On third time, Lawton’s Connor Matthies made a hard hit to cause a dropped screen pass. Carter Cosby intercepted P-W’s fourth down pass at the Lawton 15 yard line. He gained a couple yards before Connor Bengel tackled him. Lawton started its series on its own 17 yard line.

Chris Ghee and Damian Spitzley teamed up to stop the Lawton first down run to the left for a one yard game. Jake Rueff burst up the middle for an eight yard second Trevor Spitzley got the stop for the Pirates. Landon Motter went up the middle for a two yard third down gain before Landon Nurenberg and Trevor Spitzley knocked him down.

On the final play of the first quarter, Carter Cosby ran for ten yards before Connor Bengel and Gavin Nurenberg stopped him.

The first quarter ended with Pewamo-Westphalia holding a 7-0 lead. Lawton had a first down on their own 40 yard line.

In the break between the first and second quarter, P-W fan Blake Smith kicked a field goal to win a prize!

On the first play of the second quarter, Cooper Geib ran for three yards; Trevor Spitzley and Landon Nurenberg teamed up to make the Pirate tackle. Jake Rueff went up the middle for a five yard second down gain before Landon Nurenberg stopped his progress. Damian Spitzley stopped the Blue Devil third down run for a two yard loss. Chase Mitchell punted on fourth down; Connor Bengel snared the kick and gained one yard before Drew Stephayn tackled him on the P-W 23 yard line where the Pirates started their next series.

P-W was penalized for five yards for an illegal substitution. Troy WErtman went to the left for a five yard first down gain before Drew Stephayn tackled him. Cam Cook completed a second down pass to Evan Droste for a twelve yard gain before Kallon Motter stopped him.

Connor Matthies covered on the Pirate incomplete first down pass. A false start penalty pushed P-W back five yards. P-W fumbled, but recovered on second down. Corey Schafer recovered the ball and the Pirates ended up gaining two yards on the play. Seth Barr made the tackle for Lawton. Dustin Mallory and Jake Rueff collaborated to stop the Pirate third down play for a two yard loss. Troy Wertman’s fourth down punt went to the 25 yard line where Jake Rueff fielded it and gained eight yards before Ashtin Wirth and Brody Miles stopped him. Lawton started its next series on its own 33 yard line.

Jake Rueff took a first down pitch and gained two yards before Gavin Nurenberg and Damian Spitzley took him down. Chris Ghee stopped the second down run for no gain. Damian Spitzley got into the backfield and stopped the Blue Devil third down pitch for a nine yard loss. Chase Mitchell punted on fourth down. The ball went out of bounds on the Pirate 48 yard line and P-W started its next drive there.

Troy Wertman went to the left for a twelve yard first down run; Carter Cosby and Drew Stephayn made the Blue Devil tackle.

Drew Stephayn stopped the Pirate first down run to the right for a five yard loss. Carter Cosby stopped the P-W second down run for no gain. Luke Leighton covered on P-W’s third down incomplete pass. Troy Wertman’s fourth down punt went out of bounds at the Lawton 23 yard line.

Jake Rueff bulled through the right side for a three yard first down gain before Landon Nurenberg tackled him. Landon Motter went to the left for a nine yard second down gain before Ashtin Wirth and Landon Nurenberg tackled him.

On first down, Jake Rueff went through the middle for an eight yard gain; Ashtin Wirth made the tackle for the Pirates. Landon Motter passed to Cooper Geib for a sixteen yard gain. Matthew Nurenberg got the stop for P-W. Lawton had a first down on the P-W 41 yard line.

Landon Nurenberg appeared to intercept the Lawton first down pass, but on review, (and a long wait) the play was reversed and Lawton got the ball back. On the next play, Landon Motter completed a forty-one yard touchdown pass to Luke Leighton. Carter DeKoning snapped the ball, Dustin Mallory held the ball and Ethan O’Donnell kicked the successful extra point to tie the game at 7-7 with 1:13 remaining in the first half.

Logan Nao boomed his kickoff into the end zone; P-W started its drive on its own 20 yard line.

Cam Cook passed to Evan Droste for a nine yard first down gain. Kallon Motter made the Blue Devil tackle. Cam Cook completed a second down pass to Ashtin Wirth, who gained eighteen yards before Luke Leighton forced him out of bounds. With 29 seconds to play in the first half, P-W had a first down on its own 47 yard line.

P-W made a nice gain on its first down play, but a holding penalty pushed P-W back to its own 37 yard line. On the final play of the first half, Cam Cook ran for a two yard gain before Drew Stephayn took him down.

The game was tied 7-7 at halftime.

The Pewamo-Westphalia band, led by Director Randy Voisinet entertained the crowd at halftime. The band is led on the field by Drum Major Sarah Jandernoa, Assistant Drum Major Chase and Captain Cadence Cooley. It was also great to see Pirate wide receiver/defensive back Nathan Arens playing tuba in the band! The band played several fine songs and finished up with “Happy Together” by the Turtles.

As your Bleacher Denizen is a professional musician, he enjoys saluting high school players for a job well down. For those of you who may be curious about that side of my life, here is a You Tube video I recently put up on my “Chuck Krafft” channel!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUieaBvS38w

Logan Nap kicked off for Lawton to open the second half. His kick went into the end zone and P-W started its opening second half drive on its own 20 yard line.

Mason Mayne and Carter DeKoning stopped the P-W first down run to the left for no gain. Connor Bengel went to the right for a four yard second down gain. Kallon Motter and Chase Mitchell teamed up for the Blue Devil tackle. ON third down, Cam Cook completed a pass to Conner Russell for a fourteen yard gain and a first down. Connor Matthies made the tackle for Lawton.

Dak Ewalt’s first down run up the middle earned four yards before he ran into Chase Mitchell and Evan Stephayn. Troy Wertman went to the left for a four yard second down gain; Mason Mayne got the stop for the Blue Devils. Carter DeKoning and Carter Cosby teamed up to stop the Pirate third down run for a one yard gain; this was one yard short of a first down. After a false start penalty pushed the Pirates back five yards, P-W’s Troy Wertman punted. Jake Rueff made a fair catch on the Lawton 10 yard line; the Blue Devils started their next series there.

Cooper Geib burst through the middle and broke several tackles on his way to an eleven yard gain. Corey Schafer and Conner Russell teamed up to make the PIrate tackle.

Gavin Nurenberg stopped the Blue Devil first down run for a one yard gain. Gavin Nurenberg stopped the second down run for no gain. Tanner Wirth covered on the Blue Devil incomplete third down pass. Chase MItchell punted on fourth down; his punt went out of bounds at the P-W 45 yard line where the Pirates began their next series.

Mason Mayne caught the P-W first down runner in the backfield for a two yard loss. Gavin Nurenberg’s second down run to the right netted five yards before he ran into Drew Stephayn. Carter Cosby and Jake Rueff covered on the Pirate incomplete third down pass. Carter DeKoning applied pressure to the P-W quarterback on the play as well. Troy Wertman’s fourth down punt was fielded by Jake Rueff at the 14 yard line and returned sixteen yards before Landon Nurenberg stopped him. Lawton started its next drive on its own 30 yard line.

Ashtin Wirth covered on the Blue Devil incomplete first down pass. Landon Motter passed to Luke Leighton for a five yard second down gain. Gavin Nurenberg got the Pirate tackle. On third down, Landon Motter threw a screen pass to Jake Rueff, who gained ten yards up the left side before Connor Bengel and Landon Nurenberg stopped him.

Conner Russell covered on Lawton’s long, incomplete first down pass. Jake Rueff’s second down run for a nice gain was negated by a penalty. Corey Schafer made the tackle for P-W. After the penalty, the ball went back to the Blue Devil 37 yard line; Lawton now faced a second down with eighteen yards to go situation. Landon Motter threw a screen pass to Jake Rueff, who darted up the middle for a twelve yard gain before Ashtin Worth stopped him. Matthew Nurenberg and Conner Russell covered on Lawton’s incomplete third down pass. Chase Mitchell booted a forty-four yard fourth down punt that went out of bounds at the P-W 12 yard line where the Pirates started their next series.

Carter Cosby covered on P-W’s incomplete first down pass. Drew Stephayn and Mason Mayne teamed up to stop the Pirate second down run into the middle for a one yard gain. Kallon Motter covered on the incomplete Pirate third down pass. After a delay of game penalty cost the Pirates five yards. Troy Wertman booted a thirty-seven yard punt. Jake Rueff made a fair catch on the PIrate 45 yard line.

Cooper Geib gained two yards on a first down run. Ashtin Wirth made the tackle for the Pirates. On the final play of the third quarter, Carter Cosby’s second down run gained five yards. Chris Ghee made the tackle for P-W.

After three quarters, the game remained tied at 7-7. Lawton had the ball on the P-W 38 yard line

During the break between the third and fourth quarters, P-W fan Jared Huhn successfully punted, passed and kicked a football the entire one hundred yards of the field to win a prize.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Jake Rueff’s third down run around the right end gained seven yards before Conner Russell pushed him out of bounds. Lawton had a first down on the P-W 31 yard line.

Troy Wertman and Connor Bengel stopped the Blue Devil first down run for a one yard loss. Carter Cosby pounded his way up the middle for a six yard second down gain before Ashtin Wirth tackled him. Corey Schafer stopped the Blue Devil third down run for no gain. On fourth down, Carter DeKoning made the long snap, Dustin Mallory held the ball and Ethan O’Donnell booted a forty-three yard field goal to give Lawton a 10-7 lead with 10:06 remaining in the contest.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association reports that Ethan O’Donnell’s field goal was the fifth longest field goal ever kicked in the state eleven man football finals!!

Logan Nap, who sent both of his previous two kickoffs into the end zone also booted this one for a touchback. P-W started its next series on its own 20 yard line.

Cam Cook threw a screen pass to Troy Wertman on the right; he changed direction and ran to the middle for a twelve yard gain before Jake Rueff took him down.

Troy Wertman went into the middle for a first down six yard gain; Evan Stephayn made the tackle for Lawton. Kallon Motter covered on the incomplete P-W second down pass. Carter Cosby stopped the Pirate third down run by Troy Wertman for a two yard gain. P-W needed two yards on fourth down; they got five when Lawton committed an offside penalty. P-W had a first down on their own 47 yard line.

Cam Cook gained six yards on a first down run over right tackle. Carter Cosby made the tackle for Lawton. Kallon Motter covered on the incomplete second down pass. Dak Ewalt went to the right on third down for five yards; Carter Cosby made the tackle for the Blue Devils. P-W was in Lawton territory; they had a first down on the Blue Devil 42 yard line.

Dak Ewalt gained seven yards on a first down run through the middle. Carter Cosby and Drew Stephayn teamed up for the Blue Devil tackle. Kallon Motter covered on the Pirate incomplete second down pass. On third down, Dak Ewalt burst through the middle for a thirty-five yard touchdown run. Dylan May made the long snap, Cam Cook held the ball and Conner Russell booted the ball through the uprights to give Pewamo-Westphalia a 14-10 lead with 5:50 left on the clock.

Nolan Schrauben’s kickoff was fielded by Carter Cosby on the 21 yard line and returned six yards before William Bengel tackled him. Lawton started its series on its own 27 yard line.

Landon Motter completed a pass to Colby Brucks on the right side for a thirteen yard gain. Troy Wertman made the Pirate tackle.

Matthew Nurenberg and Conner Russell covered on the long incomplete first down Blue Devil pass. Gavin Nurenberg went into the middle for a three yard second down run; Corey Schafer made the tackle for P-W. There was a fumble on third down; Cooper Geib alertly dove on the ball to prevent a Blue Devil turnover, but Lawton lost seven yards on the play. A substitution penalty cost Lawton five more yards. Chase Mitchell booted a forty-two yard punt that went out of bounds on the Pirate 28 yard line where P-W started its next series.

Dak Ewalt’s first down run to the left gained five yards before Carter Cosby tackled him. Dak Ewalt carried several tacklers on his way to a ten yard second down gain; Carter Cosby and Carter DeKoning finally tackled him.

Drew Stephayn stopped the P-W first down run for a one yard loss. Gavin Nurenberg went into the middle for a two yard gain before Dustin Mallory stopped him. Kallon Motter covered on the incomplete Pirate third down pass. Troy Wertman’s fourth down punt went to the Lawton 15 yard line, where Jake Rueff made a fair catch.

Landon Nurenberg nearly made a diving interception of the first down Lawton pass. He did knock the pass down. On second down, Landon Motter completed a ten yard pass to Cooper Geib for a ten yard gain. Ashtin Wirth got the tackle for the Pirates.

Connor Bengel intercepted the Lawton first down pass on the Blue Devil 42 yard line. There was just 1:22 remaining in the game.

P-W took a knee three times to run the time off the clock.

Pewamo-Westphalia won the game and the Division 7 Football Title by a 14-10 score. Congratulations to the Pirates on their successful, undefeated season!!!




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