Defending Division 7 state champ Pewamo-Westphalia made its third consecutive trip to Ford Field and came away with its second state title in a convincing win over Saugatuck, 21-0, Saturday morning at Ford Field. The Pirates finished the season 13-1 after running up a season-long point differential of 532-87 over its opponents.
How it happened: Pewamo-Westphalia scored all three touchdowns by halftime and maintained control in the second half by running a ball-control offense. The Pirates had 336 offensive yards gained for the game, despite losing the time of possession battle, while the Indians only gained 147 yards - most of those coming on their last drive of the game.
P-W’s defense was outstanding all day, dominating the field and bending only on the last drive late in the game. Yet even that opportunity for Saugatuck was thwarted, when the Pirates’ defense stopped the Indians on four plays inside the 4-yard line, culminating with a QB sack by Noah Spitzley back at the 20.
Star power: P-W quarterback Jimmy Lehman led the way with 91 yards rushing, 58 passing and a touchdown on a 12-yard run in the first quarter for a 14-0 lead.
P-W running back Bryce Thelen added 92 yards rushing on 17 carries for an average of 6.6 yards.
Defining play: While dominating the game on the ground all morning, P-W went to the air for a 40-yard completion from quarterback Jimmy Lehman to Brayden Platte to the Saugatuck 11-yard line late in the second quarter. It set up the Pirates third touchdown, a pass to Peyton Heckman for 12 yards and a 21-0 lead with 31 seconds remaining in the half. Considering Saugatuck had only gained 29 total yards on offense to that point, it seemed unlikely the Indians could come back.
Stat stuffers: In the first half, P-W’s offense out-gained Saugatuck, 203-29, and moved the chains with 12 first downs compared to the Indians’ three. P-W also earned four sacks on quarterback Jackson Shriver.
P-W finished with 18 first downs to Saugatuck’s 11, and committed no turnovers while the P-W defense grabbed an interception by Jacob Pung and a fumble recovery by Damon Schneider.
What it means: Pewamo-Westphalia added back-to-back titles to a trophy case which also includes 2015 and ’11 state runners up. P-W lost this year’s home opener to Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central, 28-21, but never lost again and didn’t allow more than 14 points in a game – while pitching seven shutouts. Saugatuck got hot at the right point in the season, making the playoffs with the minimum six wins before running off four consecutive victories to reach Ford Field. The Indians were state runner up in Div. 8 in 2010 as well.