2017-11-16 / Sports

Lakers defeated by Pewamo-Westphalia

By: Jake Kennedy
Contributing Writer


Pirate defenders Bryce Thelen and Jacob Pung close in on Lakers running back Preston Warren. 
Photo by Jake Kennedy Pirate defenders Bryce Thelen and Jacob Pung close in on Lakers running back Preston Warren. Photo by Jake Kennedy PIGEON – The Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Lakers came into the game against the Pewamo-Westphalia Pirates as underdogs and they weren’t able to flip the script, losing to the Pirates 34-0 in the Regional Final of the MHSAA Division 7 playoffs.

“I’m really proud of my whole team, they’re a great group of men,” said Laker head coach Steve VerBerg following the loss.

The Lakers held their own in the first quarter of the game, forcing a turnover and a punt on the first two offensive drives for Pewamo-Westphalia, but they weren’t able to get anything going on offense as both of their drives ended in punts.

The scoring started for the Pirates on a 44-yard touchdown run by Hunter Wirth, Alec Thelen added the PAT to make the score 7-0.


Pewamo-Westphalia running back Cameron Wirth breaks away from Lakers defensive back Brennan Wissner. 
Photo by Jake Kennedy Pewamo-Westphalia running back Cameron Wirth breaks away from Lakers defensive back Brennan Wissner. Photo by Jake Kennedy Laker quarterback Brennan Wissner took to the air and tried to spark the offense, throwing for 49 yards on their next drive. The Lakers were unable to move the ball in Pirate territory and turned the ball over on downs at the 36 yard line.

Pewamo-Westphalia let the ball fly on their next drive, racking up 57 yards through the air by Quarterback Jimmy Lehman.

Lehman ran the ball in the end zone from 1 yard out, and the PAT by Thelen put the Pirates ahead 14-0 with just 43 seconds left in the first half.

The third quarter was almost a carbon copy of the first quarter as no team could move the ball.

The Lakers felt pressured to put points on the board early in the 4th quarter and that led to an interception from Wissner by Jake Pung of the Pirates, who returned the ball all the way down to the 1 yard line of the Lakers.

Lehman wasted no time and took the ball into the end zone on the very next play on a quarterback sneak, the PAT from Thelen again pushed the score to 21-0.

Wissner dropped back to pass on the next play for the Lakers and was intercepted again by the Pirates, this time by Thelen.

The Pirates scored another touchdown when Lehman dropped back to pass and found his tight end Andre Smith for the 9-yard touchdown, making the score 27-0.

After a run by Jacob Kretzschmer lost yards for the Lakers, Wissner dropped back to pass again and was intercepted for the third time and it was Garrett Trierweiler who ran the ball back into the end zone scoring six more for the Pirates and Thelen knocked home the PAT, making the final score of the game 34-0.

“That’s a very good Pewamo team,” said VerBerg. “We kept it close here in the first half and moved the ball in spots, we knew we had to make some plays happen and unfortunately we threw a couple interceptions that really turned the tide.”

The Lakers held the defending Division 7 State Champions to just 77 yards in the first quarter and 68 yards in the third quarter, but they weren’t able to ever capitalize against the tough Pirate defense.

Despite the scoring difference, the Lakers were only outgained in yardage by 5 total yards, tallying up 410 total offensive yards.

The Lakers were led in yards by Brennan Wissner who had 143 yards on 10 for 23 passing. Preston Warren had 66 yards rushing and 22 yards receiving, Taylor Kady added 35 yards on the ground and Jacob Kretzschmer tallied 30 yards rushing. Adam Legault hauled in 76 yards through the air while Nick Siegfried caught a 37-yard pass. Mason Pasek finished off the yards for the Lakers with 8 yards through the air.

For head coach Steve VerBerg, he led his Lakers to a Greater Thumb West Conference title and Regional Final in just his first year of coaching.

“We really tried to be as disciplined as we can and I think by our play on the field we showed that we changed things around as a program,” said VerBerg. “I’m really proud of my kids and my staff, none of this would have been possible without them.”

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