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DIVISION 7: Pewamo-Westphalia’s defense shuts down Lumen Christi, ends Titans’ 35-game win streak in D7 title game

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, November 30, 2019, 1:04 pm

DETROIT — Pewamo-Westphalia’s defense did what it did all season, blanking an opponent.

This time, it just happened to be the three-time defending state champion, Jackson Lumen Christi, that got the brunt of that Pirate defense in the Division 7 state championship game. 

P-W scored once in each half, and it was plenty for a stifling defense to hold up for a 14-0 win, snapping Lumen Christi’s 35-game win streak. 

It was the third title in four seasons for Pewamo-Westphalia (14-0).

The Pirates recorded their ninth shutout of the season, holding Lumen Christi (12-1) to 109 total yards, 80 net rushing yards, at 2.7 yards a clip. 

“We take pride in the fact that nobody runs on us,” said P-W coach Jeremy Miller of his team ending Lumen Christi’s streak of 200-yard rushers in the finals. “We’ve kind of rode that (the defense) all season. Our defense has been outstanding.” 

Defense set up the Pirates’ first touchdown, as Aaron Bearss picked off a pass at the Lumen Christi 40 with 27 seconds left, and five plays later caught a 27-yard touchdown from Ethan Thelen with three seconds left in the first half to break the scoreless tie.

“I was just sitting back in the zone, and saw both of the receivers come into my area, and was just reading the quarterback’s eyes,” said Bearss, who also won a state title with the boys basketball team last winter. 

Two long punt returns — one by Nate Martin for 60 yards, and one by Carter Thelen for 43 — flipped the field for Pewamo-Westphalia, but they came up empty both times.

It was another play by Bearss, who drew a pass interference call to keep the Pirates’ drive alive with just over three minutes remaining that set up P-W’s second score. Three plays later, Carter Thelen took a toss, and broke tackles at the line of scrimmage and the goal line to score from 16 yards out, making it a two-score game.

Brock Thelen picked off a pass with 1:13 left and returned it for an apparent third touchdown, but the score was called back by a personal foul on the return. It still allowed P-W to kneel out the clock on the win.