In Play with Tom Markowski

Pewamo-Westphalia defeats Detroit Loyola, 28-14, in Division 7 final for school's first title

Football   | Tom Markowski

State Champs! Sports Network

Detroit – Forget about Pewamo-Westphalia’s vaunted running game. It was the Pirates’ passing attack that had Detroit Loyola befuddled on Saturday.

Loyola held Pewamo-Westphalia record-setting running back Jared Smith in check so the Pirates went to an effective passing game to defeat the Bulldogs 28-14 in the Division 7 final on Saturday at Ford Field.

Pewamo-Westphalia (14-0) won its first title after finishing second in 2011 and last season.

 Loyola (11-3) made its fourth state-final appearance. It’s only title came in 2014.

Junior quarterback Jimmy Lehman threw two touchdown passes of 14 and 37 yards to Logan Hengesbach to give the Pirates a 14-0 lead and the Bulldogs never recovered.

Pewamo-Westphalia increased its lead to 21-0 on a 2-yard touchdown run by Ryan Smith (no relation) with 2:59 left in the third quarter.

“In the first half we made some mistakes,” Pewamo-Westphalia coach Jeremy Miller said. “We cleaned them up and played better in the second half.

“They have some good linebackers and when they started flowing to Jared we went to our other players.”

Jared Smith scored 362 points last season, second most in state history, and his 53 touchdowns are a state record.

He had 38 touchdowns and 2,528 rushing yards coming into the final and Loyola held him to 48 yards on 20 carries.

“I don’t mind being the decoy,” Jared Smith said. “When you come away with a state championship, I have no complaints. I have no problem with the other guys doing the work.”

Ryan Smith, who alternated with Lehman at quarterback, led the Pirates with 81 rushing yards on 18 carries.

“They had a good game plan,” Loyola coach John Callahan said. “We knew what they were going to do. We just couldn’t stop them. They were the better team today.

“Our plan coming in was more about the quarterback read, more than Jared. And (Ryan Smith) did a good job of taking it all the way. We watched film. They have some nice receivers. They have some nice guys. They got loose and put us in a situation. They can throw the ball.”

Hengesbach’s first touchdown came from 14 yards out and was a simple sideline pattern.

The second had a bit more flavor. Hengesbach made a leaping grab down the right sideline to complete a 37-yard scoring play with 4:56 left in the third quarter.

Hengesbach also made a leaping grab of an interception at the start of the fourth quarter.

Loyola scored its touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the first on an 18-yard pass from Price Watkins to Keith Johnson. The second was D’Vaun Bently’s 2-yard touchdown run with 2:56 left.

Loyola had just two first downs in the first half and gained a total of 186 yards.