Pewamo-Westphalia wins second title, repeats as D7 champions with a 21-0 victory over Saugatuck
Detroit - Pewamo-Westphalia repeated as state champions and its defense must receive much of the credit.
The Pirates won their last 13 games after losing to Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central and their season culminated with a 21-0 victory over Saugatuck in the Division 7 final over Saugatuck at Ford Field on Saturday.
The Pirates recorded their seventh shutout and this was their third consecutive finals appearance. Pewamo-Westphalia lost in the 2015 finals to Ishpeming (22-16) then captured the title last season with a 28-14 victory over Detroit Loyola.
It also marked the first shutout in Division 7 since 2007 when Mendon defeated Traverse City St. Francis, 20-0.
“Our defense has been like that all season long,” Pewamo-Westphalia coach Jeremy Miller coach. “We have played great defense and we did that again today.
“I thought it was huge (being able to score on the first drive). We preached all season long that we had to establish the run game right away and we did that again. That set the tone. We put together that long drive, tried to keep it on the ground. Then we scored again (right after) that turnover. We had the nice lead right away.”
Pewamo-Westphalia scored on its opening drive as Bryce Thelan scored on a 5-yard run then took advantage of a Saugatuck turnover. Andre Smith recovered a fumble on the next drive and the Pirates, with 2:40 left in the first quarter, quarterback Jimmy Lehman scored on a 12-yard run.
The Pirates held Saugatuck (10-4) to 130 rushing yards and 17 passing.
Pewamo-Westphalia yielded just 87 points (6.3 per game) this season and in the playoffs the Pirates gave up 29 total points.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling, winning another title,” said Miller. “We did so facing a lot of adversity. We had some injuries, but with us it’s the next-man-up. We had guys step up all season long.”
The Pirates increased their lead to 21-0 with 31 seconds left in the first half when Lehman threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Payton Heckman. The drive was aided by a 40-yard pass from Lehman to Brayden Platte to the Saugatuck 11.
"We had a great season. Nobody expected us to be here,” said Saugatuck coach Bill Dunn. “I am proud of my guys. They did a tremendous job to get here. We had a few struggles, but we never quit on each other and we gave them a fight in the second half as best we could.
“That we held them to 21 points is a credit to our defense, which was exceptional against a great opponent. They were just a little bit better today.”
Jacob Stewart led Saugatuck (10-4) with 43 yards on nine carries.
Lehman was just 3-for-5 passing for 58 yards before leaving the game early in the third quarter. Bryce Helen led the Pirates with 92 yards on 14 carries, Lehman had 91 yards on 17 rushes and Hunter Wirth had 69 yards on six carries for Pewamo-Westphalia.