Wyandotte Roosevelt head coach Ron Adams didn’t have to say a word to his team Friday night to show them just how proud he was of their effort in a 31-14 playoff win at Woodhaven.
Before starting his post-game address to the squad, Adams simply looked at the Bears (9-1) with a knowing smile. It was an expression the joyous group quickly recognized as they erupted into cheers.
Roosevelt had plenty to be happy about, as the victory advances the team to the second round of the state playoffs, and avenges a 64-36 loss on Sept. 28 to the Warriors (8-2).
Adams said his squad was better prepared this time, especially on defense, to put up a stronger fight against Woodhaven.
“To give up 64 (points) and then to come back and hold your opponent that scored 64 on you to 14 ... that’s a 50-point differential," he said. "That tells you something.”
- Read Patch's live blog from the game.
Early on, however, it looked as if the Warriors might dominate again.
Woodhaven took over after stopping the Bears on the first drive of the game.
Warriors quarterback Nick Maher, who ran for more than 300 yards against the Bears in Week 6, promptly led his team on a 72-yard scoring drive. The drive was capped by a 29-yard touchdown run from Mickey Sutton, who had five rushing touchdowns against the Bears four weeks ago.
Wyandotte quickly tied the game as quarterback Kevin Matejko hit running back D’Aries Davis 14 seconds later with a 39-yard touchdown pass. A penalty on the previous kickoff, and a penalty immediately after, helped set up the good field position for the Bears.
Early in the second quarter the Warriors went back on top, taking a 14-7 lead after an 11-yard touchdown run by Maher.
A few miscues on both sides, along with tough defense by Roosevelt, resulted in only three more points scored in the half.
Those points came courtesy of Wyandotte kicker Jacob Simpson, who hit a field goal at the 4:34 mark of the second quarter, cutting the deficit to 14-10.
Heading into the second half, the Bears tightened up even more defensively. Damon Singleton, who was ejected in the second quarter of Week 6 meeting, helped lead the way with a sack and two forced fumbles, doing his part to keep the Warriors off the board.
Woodhaven fumbles were ultimately the team’s downfall, as they allowed Wyandotte to grab the lead and hold on to it for the rest of the night.
Roosevelt recovered one Woodhaven fumble at its own 24-yard line, late in the third quarter. Wyandotte quickly cashed in as Matejko completed a 60-yard touchdown pass to Devan Stewart, putting the visitors up 17-14.
Another fumble by the Warriors was recovered by Wyandotte at the Woodhaven 38-yard line, setting up the second touchdown of the night from Davis. Following a 14-yard pass from Matejko to David Skarzynski, Davis ran in a score from eight yards out, putting his team up 24-14 early in the fourth quarter.
About midway through the fourth quarter, Roosevelt’s Tyler Winters sacked Maher to force a turnover on downs.
After eating up about four minutes of the clock, Matejko completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Sowards in the end zone.
Woodhaven fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, losing any chance for a comeback, and the 31-14 score stood as the final.
Matejko said that the Bears changed their mental approach coming into Friday night’s game against the Warriors, compared to the Week 6 contest, which was lost by 28 points.
“They obviously killed us last time,” Matejko said. “We came in here with a different attitude than last game (and) we beat them.”
A Look Ahead
Roosevelt will travel to Taylor Truman next week and take on the Cougars (9-1) in the second round of the state playoffs, competing for the district title. In Week 5, Wyandotte knocked off Truman 24-20 on the road. Although Roosevelt won that contest, Truman will still host next week because they are the higher seed in the playoff bracket.
A win by Wyandotte against the Cougars would give the Bears their second consecutive district crown. Truman advanced in the playoffs by beating Allen Park 29-7 on Friday night.
Editor's note: This story originally incorrectly credited Wyandotte's Aaron Robinson with scoring Roosevelt's third touchdown of the game. It was D'Aries Davis who actually scored the touchdown.