Central Holds Off Western 27-19
October 25, 2009
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By: John Keuvelaar
For Central, it was a chance at redemption for a season that could have been and bragging rights for a year. Behind the rain soaked support of their faithful, the Wolves jumped out to a 20-0 lead. Western stormed back but the determined Wolves held off the playoff bound Warriors for a 27-19 win.
Central struck pay dirt on their first possession. Led by the emotional return of senior wide receiver Deon Martin and the power running of Darion Lopez, the Wolves moved down field. Lopez capped off the drive with a run from seven yards out. When the kick failed, Central held a 6-0 lead.
Riding the emotional momentum, Central drove back down field on their next possession. The drive was highlighted by Lochinski's 19 yard touchdown strike to Deon Martin. Volk's extra point kick made it 13-0 in the first quarter.
Disaster struck again for the Western Warriors on the ensuing kickoff. A fumble was recovered by Lopez and the Wolves were in business again. Fittingly it was Lopez that finished off this drive with a four yard run and following the Volk kick, a 20-0 early second quarter lead.
But Western has shown resolve all year and they were ready to show why they are in the MHSAA playoffs. Led by Austin Pichiotino, the Warriors came right back with a drive of their own. Central stiffened and on fourth down from the fifteen yard line, Pichiotino hit Jesse Metz who broke free from the touchdown saving tackle to reach the end zone. When the kick failed, they were on the board down 20-6.
Western seemed to have righted their ship in the second quarter. Marching down field with time running out, Pichiotino hit Tyler Ellis with thirty seconds until halftime to put the Warriors within 7, 20-13.
A pack of wolves converge in on Josh Alba. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
Jake Collins jars the ball loose on this hit. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
Jason Pressler is upended but hands on to the ball. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
Stu Starkweather nearly bats down the pass. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
Tyler Ellis scores for Western. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
Central Dance Team shows their new dance routine to the crowd. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
Josh Aalba makes this fingertip catch. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
Darion Lopez rushes past Western defenseman Kyle Lee. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
Jason Pressler makes a touchdown saving tackle on Darion Lopez. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
Cohl Kerkau puts the hit on the ball carrier. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
Western got a big break in the second half when Jesse Metz intercepted a Central pass giving the Warriors a lift. Moving back down field, Pichiotino found Ellis again for a seven yard touchdown bring Western to within one. But the tying extra point failed and Central held on to a 20-19 lead.
Central's defense got stronger on the rain soaked muddy field shutting down the Warriors. But Western has a history of big comeback wins so Central's offense needed to respond. And respond they did. Unable to stop Central's rushing attack all night, the Wolves drove down field. When Lopez punched the ball in from two yards out, Central had a 27-19 lead.
But with this rivalry, no lead is safe. Western went to the air with under two minutes to play. The Warriors were able to move the ball down field quickly thanks in part to two pass interference penalties and a key fourth down pass to Tyler Ellis for 39 yards.
Soon they found themselves on the Central 20 with little time remaining. Central's defense stepped forward. Kyle Melton registered a big second down sack. Then on the final play of the game, Pichiotino's pass was short of the end zone. Central's defensive backs batted the ball away and the celebration began.
Central had a big rushing night with Lopez racking up 157 yards in 22 carries. Jacob Lochinski added 100 yards through the air with 8 for 13 throwing. Western was led through the air by Austin Pichiotino. The sophomore signal caller amassed 189 yards passing on 15 of 30 throwing. Five of those passes were to Tyler Ellis for 95. Western was held to 39 yards on the ground.
Jason Pressler brings down Chris Volk. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
Darion Lopez breaks into the end zone for the score. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
Central enjoys a much deserved celebration. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
Jason Pressler fights to free himself from a lone wolf's claws. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
Central Cheerleaders "cheer" on their teams lead over Western. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
Tyler Ellis show the dirt of the battle. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
Tyler Ellis tries to avoid this diving wolf. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
Central defenders stop Western's final play of the game. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
Nothing like a mud filled celebration after a big win. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
Look what I found in the mud. (MyBayCity Photo by John Keuvelaar)
John Keuvelaar is a college student at Midwest Photography Workshops and Delta College.
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