Loyola scores late, downs Pewamo-WestphaliaFootball  |
Jackson – Detroit Loyola’s return to the Division 7 state finals hit a few bumps along the way Saturday at Withington Stadium and its ticket to Ford Field was still for up grabs with five minutes to play.
An 11-yard touchdown run by Marvin Campbell and an 80-yard interception return by Harvey Caddell eliminated any doubt, however, as the Bull Dogs held off upset-minded Pewamo-Westpahlia, 41-21, in a Divisio 7 semifinal.
Loyola (13-0) earned a chance to dethrone Ishpeming, a 22-18 winner over Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary, for the title next Saturday at Ford Field at 10 a.m. Ishpeming defeated Loyola in each of the last two state finals.
Loyola led 28-14 with 5:20 to play after senior tailback Mideyin Wilson scored on a 2-yard run to cap a seven-play, 62-yard drive. Pewamo-Westphalia countered immediately when quarterback Trey Bauer threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to freshman Jimmy Lehman.
At that point Pewamo-Westphalia coach Jeremy Miller was right where he wanted to be.
“When it comes down to it, we just didn’t make enough football plays,” Miller said. “We told the team at halftime (trailing 20-7) to stop worrying and just play the game, which they did.
“I know they came in with an impressive record and everything but we felt like we would be competitive. The first half was not indicative of our ability.”
Pewamo-Westphalia (10-3) opened the second half with a 70-yard scoring drive, capped by a 10-yard touchdown run by sophomore Jared Smith.
“Let’s give them a lot of credit,” Loyola coach John Callahan said. “At no point did they back down. This was Division 7 playoff football at its best, even though mentally we made some mistakes that I was not happy about.”
Loyola’s backfield tandem of Campbell (23 carries, 180 yards) and Wilson (14 carries, 88 yards) provided a bulk of the Bull Dog offense. Caddell also scored late in the first quarter on a 51-yard pass from quarterback Nick Lee to put Loyola ahead 12-0.
“As well as Marvin ran the ball, let’s not forget about Mideyin – he threw some great blocks,” Callahan said. “The two of them together are the best backs I’ve ever had. Marvin’s at about 1,800 yards and Mideyin is over a thousand. That’s a helluva combination.”
Wilson is looking forward to a return trip to Ford Field.
“This win means everything,” he said. “We want to prove that we’re champions. We showed today that we won’t quit, no matter how tough things get for us.
“We made some mistakes but in the fourth quarter we stuck together and got it done.”