For the past four weeks, Wyandotte Roosevelt and Taylor Truman have been on a collision course.
The Bears and Cougars have both rolled through the Downriver League undefeated and Friday night face off at Truman in a contest that could decide the league title.
Currently Wyandotte is locked in a three-way tie for first place with the Cougars and Gibraltar Carlson.
Last season, a winless Truman team came to Wyandotte in week five and nearly ruined homecoming night, as the then undefeated Bears narrowly escaped with a 21-20 win in overtime.
Fast-forward to 2012 and the Bears are 4-0 again heading into action with the Cougars. However, this season Truman has won every game, as well, crushing every opponent and becoming the favorite to dethrone the Bears as league champs.
“We’ve got a lot of respect for (Truman) and what they’re capable of doing,” Roosevelt head coach Ron Adams said. “I just hope it’s a game that’s decided in the last few minutes and that the best team will actually step up and make the plays when necessary and win the game.”
And there's no doubt that both teams will be ready to do just that.
“They’re big, strong, fast and well-coached and it’s not going to be easy," Adams said. "Our kids are going to be fired up. They’re going to be ready to go. I really expect this to be a good football game on Friday night.”
As Roosevelt and Truman prepare for a heavyweight battle Friday night, here is a quick breakdown of the matchup:
Wyandotte’s biggest scoring threat is receiver Devan Stewart, who has caught seven touchdown passes and has the athletic ability to play at a high level anywhere on the field.
Kevin Matejko has looked strong at quarterback, throwing for 584 yards and nine touchdowns. Aaron Robinson has led the rushing game with 232 yards and one touchdown, but several other backs have gotten carries, as well.
The Cougars’ rushing attack has been unstoppable, as six players have gained more than 100 yards. Running back Osris Smith has 564 yards and seven touchdowns. Quarterback Devin Goodwell has an uncanny ability to fake a handoff in one direction, then quickly take off the other way, leading to his 500 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
Although Truman rarely utilizes a passing game, making only 14 attempts so far, the threat does exist. The Bears will definitely need to keep an eye on Rocco Polito, a 6’2” and 211-pound tight end who is on the radar of several college scouts.
The Bears defense is an overall quick and strong unit that has only allowed 21 points this year. However, Wyandotte has yet to see an offensive attack even close to the caliber of Truman’s. At the same time, the Cougars have yet to see a team with tough defenders like Wyandotte's Aaron O’Meara, Damon Singleton, Kyle Campbell and Tyler Winters.
Also a quick and strong unit, the Cougars have shut down every offense they’ve seen, including the high-scoring Woodhaven Warriors. Overall the Cougars have sacked opposing quarterbacks 14 times and have allowed only 22 points.
Wyandotte Special Teams
Although Stewart and Brandon Sowards have done a good job returning kicks this year, the Bears do miss the explosiveness that 2011 graduate Tyler Dunn provided last year.
Kicker Jacob Simpson has become nearly automatic with extra point attempts and has made two field goals this year. In a close game, Simpson’s leg could make the difference.
Truman Special Teams
The Cougars have shown almost no kicking game so far and typically go for 2-point conversions after scoring a touchdown. The lack of a kicking game hurt Truman last year against the Bears, as they were forced to go for two in overtime and were stopped just short of the end zone.
Although Truman is a favorite to win the league this year, Wyandotte is the defending champ and has every intention of keeping the crown. Friday’s game will be a chance for the Bears to show that they’re still the team to beat in the Downriver League.
The Cougars, by winning the game, would get revenge for last year's one-point loss and remove any remaining doubts that they are the best team in the league this season. Truman also will be playing in front of a homecoming crowd that it won't want to disappoint.
Friday night’s game at Taylor Truman, 11211 Beech Daly, begins at 7 p.m. The cost is $5 to get in. Fans hoping to get a seat in bleachers should arrive early, as a large crowd is expected at the game.