Wolverines offense sputters, Warriors clinch MAC Title
Week 9 action for the Wolverines spotted the top team in the MAC Conference, Mohawk Warriors, who were looking to clinch the MAC title as they held the tie-breaker against Freedom. The Wolverines were looking to push back the Warrior fans’ hope for a MAC title until the following week. Both teams have relied on the run game and defensive side throughout the season. With that being said, the Wolverines fought hard, but came up short losing 14-0 to the Warriors as the Warriors clinched the MAC title.
The Wolverines came into the game knowing that their fate had been sealed the previous week for playoffs after losing to their rival Riverside 21-7. However, the Wolverines were looking to slow down the Warriors offense and become only the second team to be the Warriors. The first half looked like the Wolverines had come to play on defense, giving up just 120 yards on offense (63 yards came from one play), but more importantly held the Warriors offense which averaged almost 30 points per game to only 7 points. The lone score in the first quarter came from a busted coverage and miss tackle from the Wolverines defense as WR Dmitry Pendro broke through on a 63 yard pass from Nicholas Wheeler for the touchdown. The PAT attempt by Dylan Lloyd was good as the Warriors led 7-0.
The big play in the first half for the Wolverines was a blocked field goal by Rick Pitrelli right before halftime as the good kicker for the Warriors Lloyd lined up for a 42 yard field goal, but was no good. The halftime score read only 7-0 Warriors.
The big issue for the Wolverines in the first half was their offense. The Wolverines offense only had 70 total yards in the first half, all rushing yards, but also only had 4 first downs. It wasn’t until almost the 5 minute mark in the first quarter until the Wolverines had their 1st first down.
The Wolverines received the second half kickoff, but only moved the ball 13 yards on 8 plays as the Wolverines had to punt once again, adding to their 6 total punts on the evening by Rick Pitrelli. The punt by Pitrelli was a muffed snap as Pitrelli barely got the kick off. The Wolverines downed the ball at their own 47 as the Warriors took over with only 47 yards to go to the endzone.
The Warriors took almost 6 minutes off the clock to wear down the third quarter to the 3:55 mark as RB Braydon Cameron was able to break through in the second half, scoring on a 6 yard rush off to the right side. The PAT by Dylan Lloyd was good as the Warriors now led 14-0 late in the third quarter.
The Wolverines only had the ball two more times, gaining a total of 62 yards of offense in the second half. The Wolverines rush game was held in check while the quick passes and slant passes that the Wolverines use primarily were shut down all game long, giving the Wolverines a total of 132 yards on the night as the Warriors proved worthy of the MAC title, winning 14-0.
The top performers for the Wolverines were both running backs - Rick Pitrelli who finished with 77 yards on 16 carries and Donavin Chambers who finished with 57 yards on 22 carries. QB Ryan Gibbons was able to complete only one pass on the night for just 9 yards.
On defense, once again the middle linebacker and Senior Coulton Cunningham stepped up with 11 solo tackles, now giving him 88 tackles on the season, averaging just under 10 tackles per game.
The Wolverines now turn to Week 9, the last week of the 2018 season. For the Wolverines, two big goals are at stake - a huge win against another 2A opponent in Brentwood would send the Seniors out with a win on the last home game, last game, and Senior night, while a win in the last week of the season against Brentwood would give the Wolverines 3 wins on the season, improving their win total from last year and the season before.
The broadcast for Week 9 will start approximately 6:30 due to the introductions and send offs of the Seniors for the Wolverines. You can check in on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and our website when the broadcast begins along with the live stat stream for the game.