Wyandotte Roosevelt will be looking to defend its district championship tonight as the team heads to Taylor Truman for a second-round playoff battle.
The winner of tonight's contest moves on to play either Southfield or Oak Park next week for the regional title.
The Bears (9-1) advanced last week with a victory at Woodhaven, getting revenge for a 64-36 loss in Week 6 to the Warriors (8-2).
Tonight the roles are reversed a bit, as it will be the opposing Cougars (9-1) looking to avenge a loss to Roosevelt.
In Week 5 Wyandotte traveled to Truman for a battle of then unbeaten teams. About two hours later the Bears were back on the bus and heading home with a 24-20 win.
Tonight Roosevelt will make the journey back to the corner of Goddard and Beech Daly and meet the Cougars once again. This time, however, one team will advance in the playoffs, while the other will have to put away its pads and cleats until next year.
“This is the playoffs, it’s a little different scenario than it was in Week 5,” Wyandotte head coach Ron Adams said. “Our players understand this is it, you don’t get another opportunity, like we did against Woodhaven, to redeem ourselves.”
With Round 2 of the state playoffs getting under way tonight, here is a quick breakdown of the matchup between the Bears and Cougars.
The last time the two squads met, fullback Damon Singleton torched Truman for three touchdowns and D’Aries Davis ran for 132 yards. The two juniors represent only half of Wyandotte’s dangerous backfield, as Aaron Robinson and Kyle Matejko have had outstanding nights this year, as well.
Quarterback Kevin Matejko was solid last week, throwing for more than 200 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Devan Stewart has caught 30 passes for 674 yards in 2012 and has scored 13 total touchdowns. Brandon Sowards has caught five touchdowns and has 435 yards receiving.
Truman’s speedy running backs, and quarterback, have proven they can be very hard to stop. In the Week 5 matchup, however, the Bears did just that, halting the otherwise high-scoring Cougars in their tracks.
Coming into the game on Sept. 21, Truman was averaging 44 points and 413 rushing yards per game. Roosevelt held them to just 20 points, and113 yards on the ground.
The Cougars have been very successful this season running the ball, having totaled nearly 3,800 yards on the ground and scoring 49 rushing touchdowns. Running back Osiris Smith and quarterback Devin Goodwell have led the offense, combining for 19 rushing touchdowns and more than 1,800 yards on the ground.
Goodwell has thrown for 418 yards and five touchdowns, with his primary targets being Cortez Gardner and Rocco Polito. The last time the two teams played, the Bears were able to sack Goodwell five times.
Counting last week’s playoff game, the Cougars have only given up 115 points this season, which is the fewest allowed of any Downriver League team. Overall, Truman has sacked opposing quarterbacks 30 times this year.
In Week 5, Roosevelt’s offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage against the Cougars defense. Wyandotte’s blockers kept Truman defenders away from Kevin Matejko and helped set up a ground attack that controlled the clock for most of the night.
Truman will be playing on its home field and will likely have a large, noisy crowd cheering them on. After getting beat by the Bears on homecoming night, in front of those same fans, the Cougars will certainly be seeking redemption.
Wyandotte has playoff experience on its side, as many players from last year’s district championship team will be on the field tonight. Having already played in pressure-packed postseason games, that experience could help players stay focused in such a situation, and allow them to guide those who are playing in November for the first time.
Taylor Truman is located at 11211 Beech Daly Rd. and tickets for tonight’s game are $5.
Parking at the school is accessible from either Beech Daly or Goddard Rd.
Those who want to get a seat in the bleachers should arrive early, as a large crowd is expected. The temperature is expected to hover around 40 degrees tonight, so dress warm.
For those unable to attend the game, Wyandotte Patch will be hosting a live chat throughout the game, bringing minute-by-minute updates of what's going on, both on and off the field. This is in addition to the Facebook updates normally done for Friday night lights.
Fox Sports Detroit will have cameras at the game tonight, filming for the Friday Football Overtime show. The program is scheduled to air at 11:30 p.m. tonight, with an encore presentation airing tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.