The magical postseason run for Wyandotte Roosevelt came to an end Saturday afternoon with a 31-3 loss to Birmingham Brother Rice in the MHSAA state semifinal game at Gibraltar Carlson.
The Bears (11-2) played a strong first half and found themselves down only two touchdowns at the start of the third quarter.
However, some costly mistakes, combined with some big plays by the Warriors (11-2), ultimately crushed Wyandotte’s hopes of playing at Ford Field next week for the state title.
Roosevelt co-captain Aaron O’Meara said it was tough to deal with the loss, but he knows the Bears put forth their best effort on the field Saturday -- and all season long.
“Our goal was states, but we gave it a hell of a run,” the senior said. “We played hard to the end.”
- Read Patch's live blog from the game.
The Warriors got on the board first when quarterback Cheyne Lacanaria hit Sergio Perkovic with a 29-yard touchdown pass early in the first quarter. Kicker Jason Alessi hit the extra point and Brother Rice went up 7-0. Alessi made all four of his attempts on Saturday.
Wyandotte was able to stop the Warriors on their next drive, as Devan Stewart and Kyle Matejko each came up with big hits during the stand. A holding penalty called against Brother Rice slowed the team down, as well.
Late in the first quarter, Stewart came on to punt for the Bears, near midfield. Instead of him kicking it away, Wyandotte called for a fake. Stewart took the long snap, and then threw deep to Damon Singleton. The junior fullback jumped high above the defenders to catch the ball, but landed out of bounds.
In the second quarter, the Bears were driving on offense and had reached midfield, but a busted running play resulted in a fumble recovery by the Warriors.
Brother Rice quickly converted the turnover into seven points with a drive that was capped by an 18-yard touchdown run from Shon Powell.
Starting on its own 20 after the kickoff, Roosevelt moved about 60 yards down the field and set up kicker Jacob Simpson for a 39-yard field goal, with only 13 seconds left in the half.
Although little time remained, the Warriors were not content taking a 14-3 lead to the locker room.
Brother Rice’s Brian Walker was back deep for Simpson’s kickoff and promptly took it 63 yards to the Wyandotte 19-yard line. With only a second left on the clock, Alessi lined up and hit a 36-yard field goal, giving his team a 17-3 lead at half time.
A third-quarter punt by Stewart, from the Bears’ end zone, hooked right and sailed out of bounds deep in Wyandotte’s territory.
Brother Rice took advantage of the short field and quickly grabbed a 24-3 lead, as quarterback Alex Malzone capped a short drive with a touchdown pass to Grant Perry.
Roosevelt was stopped twice on offense during the fourth quarter and was forced to punt both times.
With 1:45 left in the game, the Warriors added seven more points, as Walker ran in a touchdown from seven yards out to give his squad a 31-3 advantage.
Despite the defeat on Saturday, Wyandotte head coach Ron Adams said 2012 was a rewarding season, and he plans to use the team’s success as a building block toward future championships.
“Hopefully it’s something that we can build on, and take it to the next step, now that we have been here to the state semifinal,” Adams said. “We want to get to Ford Field. That’s the goal.”
D’Aries Davis had 10 carries for 35 yards and Stewart had five catches for 60 yards. Kevin Matejko completed 12 of 25 passes for 117 yards and no interceptions. On defense, Singleton led the team in tackles with 12.
Check back with Wyandotte Patch next week for a full wrap up of the Bears' season.