Wyandotte earns key early season win over Allen Park, 23-14
Wyandotte – For Allen Park and Wyandotte Roosevelt, two teams entering 2015 as the favorites in the Downriver League, both teams circled week two as a game they would need to win to help their cause in search of a Downriver League Title.
After being forced to wait an extra day a due to weather postponing the game, it was Wyandotte’s defense that controlled the game throughout as the Bears went on to pick up a 23-14 win.
Wyandotte coach Ron Adams said that picking up a win over Allen Park was key for his team and added that with preseason rankings and even some doubt around his program, Friday’s win made a bit of a statement for the Bears going forward this season.
“In preseason predictions, everyone had Allen Park No. 1 and us No. 2,” he said. “A lot of people didn’t give us a chance going into this game and I already said this, but people within our own circle don’t believe that this is one of the better teams that we’ve had in the past 10 years. But you never, ever underestimate your opponent and any time you’re underestimated, you’re at an advantage. Our kids responded and I’m proud of them.”
Trailing 6-0 to start the second half after a pair of Wyandotte field goals, Allen Park scored early on in the third quarter when quarterback Antonio Mangiapane scrambled to his right and got into the end zone from seven yards out to give the Jaguars a 7-6 lead.
But Wyandotte would answer right away as the Bears drove down the field, setting up a 7-yard touchdown run by David Long to put Wyandotte on top 13-7 with 6:44 left to play in the third quarter.
After Wesley Fiema’s third field goal of the game gave Wyandotte the 16-7 advantage after three quarters, the Wyandotte defense would hold the Jaguars off the board until late in the fourth quarter.
It was a third down pass from Magiapane to James Whiteford that would go for a 53-yard Allen Park touchdown score to trim the Wyandotte lead to 16-14 with 3:50 left to play.
Allen Park coach Tom Hoover said that Friday’s game was a touch challenge for his young team and Wyandotte was able to use some of its experience to its advantage.
“We’re young, we lost 25 seniors from last year and that’s no excuse,” he said. “I thought this was an early time to catch a team like this and it proved true and give them (Wyandotte) all the credit.”
Allen Park would then catch Wyandotte off guard as the Jaguars recovered an onside kick, but during the ensuing Allen Park drive, Wyandotte safety and starting quarterback Tyler Thorington would come up with an interception with less than three minutes left to play.
Shortly after Thorington’s interception, Long would take off for his second touchdown run of the day, this time from 27 yards away to all but put the game out of reach, pushing the lead to 23-14 with 2:32 left to play.
Long said that the right play calls and key blocks were key to both of his touchdown runs on Friday.
“The defense was overloading on one side,” he said. “So coach called the right play, he called toss and the linemen and fullback blocked it perfectly and it was really easy after that point.”
Allen Park would put together one final drive and drove the ball inside the Wyandotte 15, but the Bears defense once again came up with a key stop, forcing a turnover on downs as the offense would run out the clock.