Before the 2012 season began, Wyandotte Roosevelt head coach Ron Adams said Taylor Truman would be the team to beat in the Downriver League.
On Friday, Wyandotte (5-0) did just that, as the Bears traveled to Truman (4-1) on what was a rainy night and handed the favored Cougars a 24-20 defeat. With the win, the Bears take sole possession of first place, as Gibraltar Carlson (4-1) lost Friday night.
Despite the unbeaten records of both the Bears and Cougars through four weeks, Truman had crushed some quality opponents along the way, making them the favorite against Wyandotte.
“It’s not often that you’re the defending league champ, (being) 4-0, and you’re an underdog,” Adams said. “So it was kind of nice to see our kids come out and respond the way they did.”
The Roosevelt defense did what no other opponent has been able to do so far -- shut down the high-powered running game of the Cougars.
Wyandotte set the tone early, forcing Truman to quickly punt on its first possession.
With the Bears about to punt away their first possession, as well, Adams reached into his bag of tricks.
Instead of kicking the ball away, he called for a fake that allowed punter Devan Stewart to toss a 40-yard touchdown pass to Damon Singleton, which was Singleton’s first of three touchdowns Friday night.
The extra point by Jacob Simpson was good and the Bears went up 7-0 at the 6:22 mark. Simpson was a perfect 3-for-3 on extra point attempts Friday night.
Two back-to-back sacks of Cougars quarterback Devin Goodwell, who came in with only 14 pass attempts all year, helped Wyandotte easily kill the next Truman drive.
Roosevelt’s D’Aries Davis took control of his team’s ground attack late in the first quarter with several big runs on two consecutive drives, the first of which led to a 32-yard Simpson field goal. Davis finished the night with 132 yards rushing.
Truman got on the board at 4:21 in the second quarter with a touchdown and cut the deficit to 10-8 after a successful 2-point conversion.
About halfway through the third quarter, the Cougars grabbed a 14-10 lead after scoring a touchdown but failing on the 2-point conversion.
In the fourth quarter, Singleton struck again. This time he took off for a 27-yard scamper to the Truman 3-yard line, then ran in a touchdown on the next play, giving his team a 17-14 lead.
Two consecutive turnovers hurt the Cougars' chance at a comeback, one a fumble recovery by Singleton, the other an interception by Brandon Sowards.
Following the Sowards pick, which gave the Bears excellent field position, Singleton ran in another touchdown, putting the Bears up 24-14 with less than two minutes to go.
Although down two scores late in the game, Truman stayed alive with a 78-yard touchdown pass on its first play from scrimmage.
An onside kick attempt by the Cougars failed, however, and Roosevelt was able to ultimately run out the clock and walk off with the win.
Singleton’s phenomenal night was a big part of Wyandotte's win against Truman, but the junior fullback credited his entire team for the victory after the game.
"We all put a whole bunch of hard work in this week to beat this team," he said. "Everyone did their job today. No one worried about anyone else’s job. We all did good things today."
Singleton said his blockers were the key to victory and that the leadership on his squad is unmatched by any other team in the league.
"Our offensive line, I thank them for everything, because if we didn’t do anything like that, we would have lost (and) it would have been a bad thing," he said. "I want to thank our quarterback because he’s probably the best quarterback in the league. Our coaches are probably the best coaches we’ve ever had."
Singleton scored three touchdowns and gained 95 total yards. Davis rushed 25 times for 132 yards. Devan Stewart caught two passes for 20 yards and threw for a touchdown.
A Look Ahead
The Bears are likely in for another tough battle next week, as they head to Woodhaven to play the high-scoring Warriors (4-1). A win next week would qualify Wyandotte for the state playoffs.
Roosevelt is now in sole possession of first place in the Downriver League, as Melvindale (3-2) defeated Gibraltar Carlson (4-1) Friday night, 42-14. Going into this week, Roosevelt, Taylor Truman and Gibraltar were all tied for first with four wins apiece.