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Western Out-Slogs Central 27-13 in the Rain

Western 8-0 Record Claims Saginaw Valley League Title

October 26, 2008       1 Comments
By: John Keuvelaar

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Western versus Central is a huge rivalry with Central holding the head-to-head lead in wins.

This year the two teams were at polar opposites. Central, the leagues defending champion, has struggled this year playing well but mustering only two wins. Western is undefeated in league play and with a win, would be the outright champ.

A big question was how the Warrior offense would respond to Scott Osentoski's first start at quarterback following the loss of starter Matt Grew to a broken wrist last week.

Dylan Byington and teammate try to bring down Justin Gwizdala.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

The line of battle. This is where games are won and lost.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

Jordan Murphy breaks this long gainer.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

You gotta love the enthusiasm
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

Even with the rain, these fans are not going to miss this game.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

A tight squeeze is placed upon this runner.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

The other big question in games like these is who will win the battle of turnovers. This game is always full of big hits, but it is the turnovers that seem to rule much of the outcome. It didn't take long for this point to be made.

Central received the ball first putting them in the best position to make a statement. With a steady rain falling most of the night, the ball was slick. The first snap was fumbled with Hunter Motko of Western recovering it on Central's 20 yard line. The Warriors wasted no time as Justin Gwizdala took it 20 yards on their first play for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

The score remained the same until half way through the second quarter when Justin Gwizdala breaks another 20 yard run for his second touchdown putting Western on top 14-0.

Central looked to narrow the score before half time by going to the air, but Corey Arnold intercepted the ball on Central's 30 yard line. Scott Osentoski then ran it down to 18. A few plays later, after Osentoski took it down to the 4 yard line, Justin Gwizdala punched it in for a 21-0 half time lead.

Jordan Murphy looks to break another long one.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

Scott Osentoski did a great job filling in for injured teammate.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

Chris Barton and Justin Gwizdala look to put the hit on Marques Rangel.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

Brian Kernstock looks to run down Jordan Murphy.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

Joe Hanisko looks for more running room.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

Gwizdala looks like he's about to get a Wolf hug.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

The kick is good as Central's #9 Mitchell Martins kicks the extra point.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

The third quarter played out like a chess match with neither team being able to score. But the quarter ended with Western on the march as Corey Arnold took a pass down to the Central 31. Then the Central defense rose up to stop the drive and the Wolves took over on the Central 30.

Running out of time, Central looked to the air. Mike Schepper hit Jordan Murphy for a first down on the Western 47. Following a completion to Issac Saucedo at the 25, Schepper hit Murphy for a 20 yard touchdown pass and the Wolves were on the board, 21-7.

After a great kickoff return to the Western 45, Gwizdala peeled off a 24 yard run moving the ball to the Wolves 31. But from there, the Warriors could only move the ball 9 yards and Central took over on the 22.

Needing to strike quickly, Schepper went to the air only to be picked off by Corey Arnold who returned it to the Wolves 15. Osentoski hit Caleb Boileau but the combination of a hard hit and a wet ball produced a fumble which Western recovered on the 3 to retain possession. Moments later, Gwizdala went over the top for a touchdown putting the Warriors well in command with 3:06 to play, 27-7.

Central showed no quit as Schepper moved the Wolves down field through the air. Then Schepper hit Deon Martin for a 25 yard score and a final of 27-13.

"The Senior class has been hungry. They dreamed of this since the beginning of the year. They worked exceptionally hard, kept their focus and it paid off," exclaimed a joyous Coach Eurick.

Western finished the year at 9-1, 8-0 in league play and undisputed champs of the Saginaw Valley league. They now wait to find out who and where they will play their opening playoff game.

A lone wolf tries to gain yardage while being hunted down by a pair of warriors including Evan Feinauer.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

Wolves fight on by trying to prevent Scott Osentoski from gaining more yards.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)

Western's Justin Gwizdala weaves his way through the wolves.
(MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
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John Keuvelaar

John Keuvelaar is a college student at Midwest Photography Workshops and Delta College.

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