On Sept. 28, Wyandotte Roosevelt suffered a crushing 64-36 loss at Woodhaven, its only defeat of the season.
Now, four weeks later, the Bears (8-1) have a shot at revenge, as they head back to the Warriors’ (8-1) home field tonight for the first round of the state football playoffs.
Although Roosevelt players were frustrated during, and after, the lopsided loss in Week 6 to Woodhaven, the team’s confidence wasn’t shaken long term. Wyandotte rebounded with three consecutive wins and grabbed a share of the Downriver League title.
Now that a rematch against the Warriors is set, Roosevelt coach Ron Adams said it’s a rare opportunity that his team is looking forward to and is prepared for.
“It’s not very often that you get a chance to redeem yourself,” Adams said. “In this case we do have that opportunity and I believe that … on Friday night you’re going to see a very focused, disciplined football team in the Wyandotte Roosevelt Bears.”
As the postseason kicks off tonight for Wyandotte, here is a quick breakdown of the matchup against the Warriors.
The Woodhaven defense looked vulnerable to the passing game in Week 6, as quarterback Kevin Matejko completed 21 passes for 358 yards and four touchdowns. A repeat performance could be enough to give the Bears a win this time.
Receivers Devan Stewart and Brandon Sowards are dangerous weapons capable of quickly igniting the offense. Running backs D’Aries Davis, Aaron Robinson and Damon Singleton have all proven they can be very tough to take down.
In Week 6 the Woodhaven offense, led by option quarterback Nick Mahar, completely trampled the Bears. That night the Warriors put up 64 points and amassed almost 800 yards on the ground.
This season Mahar has run for 1,605 yards and 19 touchdowns, while running backs Garrett Weirich and Mickey Sutton have combined for 26 touchdowns and 2,040 yards. One problem for the Warriors, however, is that they lost 20 total fumbles during their nine regular season games.
With the exception of Woodhaven, Roosevelt’s defense has been able to shut down every other opponent. Kyle Campbell, Kyle Matejko and Brandon Sowards have all had a big impact this season.
In the last three games of the season, which included games against Gibraltar Carlson and Allen Park, Wyandotte allowed only 21 total points.
The Warriors finished the 2012 regular season having yielded 197 points, by far the most of the three 8-1 Downriver League teams. Last week Gibraltar Carlson scored 22 first-half points against Woodhaven and was down by only five points heading into the third quarter.
The Roosevelt players will head into tonight’s game with revenge on their minds. However, the Bears will have to keep their cool in all situations, as personal foul penalties, along with an ejection, helped lead to the team’s demise in Week 6.
Many of this year’s Wyandotte players were a part of last season’s run to the regional final, giving them experience dealing with postseason pressure. Woodhaven reached the playoffs last year but was bounced in the first round.
A Look Ahead
The winner of tonight’s game advances to play either Taylor Truman or Allen Park for the district title next week.
Friday night’s game at Woodhaven High School, 24787 Van Horn Road, begins at 7 p.m. and tickets are $5. Fans hoping to get a seat in the bleachers should arrive early, as a large crowd is expected at the game.
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.
WDIV-TV also will be broadcasting from the game as this Downriver rematch was voted as the Friday Football Frenzy Game of the Week.