Hard to believe it already the next to last game of the regular season. This week DeWitt travels to Lansing Waverly for a conference match-up against the Warriors. In most years this game would be considered to be a game that could just be overlooked as Lansing Waverly has not had a winning season since they made the playoffs in 2012 with a 6-4 record. But in this roller coaster ride of a year of 2020 nothing can be overlooked. Waverly enters the game with a 2-2 record, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Their two losses came from playing Holt in week 2 and only losing by 6 and then having to face East Lansing the next week and only allowing 17 points, the fewest allowed against East Lansing so far this year. But the Warrior’s defense faces a big challenge in stopping the Panther’s offense led by Tyler Holtz. Can they hold DeWitt’s score down and allow their offense, who have only averaged 16 points per game, to step up and give them the winning edge. Only 48 minutes of football will be able to tell.
DeWitt once again won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. Waverly got the ball first and started off with a 21-yard pass on their first play from their own 28-yard line. After that they struggled for yardage and had to punt. DeWitt didn’t seem to have a problem getting yardage and scores four plays later on a 4-yard run by Andrew Debri with Brandon Soltis tacking on the extra point.
Waverly’s second drive doesn’t go any better as before they can even get a first down Nate Cole’s pass is picked off by Tommy McIntosh and run back 15 yards for a pick-six. Brandon Soltis tacks on another extra point to now go up 14-0. Waverly does better on this series and manages 60 yards over 9 plays before having to punt back to DeWitt with 3:49 left in the first quarter. DeWitt manages to move the ball from their own 16 all the way to the Waverly 20 before the ball is turned over to Waverly with a call that a pass was a lateral that was dropped and picked up by Waverly. This stops DeWitt’s drive prematurely and gives Waverly another chance. They move the ball from their own 28 all the way to the DeWitt 16 before turning the ball over on downs 13 seconds into the second quarter.
DeWitt’s drive spans 13 plays over 84 yards and almost six minutes before scoring on a 4-yard run by Andrew Debri with Brandon Soltis tacking on another extra point. It is starting to appear that Waverly does not have a answer for DeWitt’s high-powered offense. Waverly only manages eight yards before turning the ball back over to DeWitt on a fumble. DeWitt capitalizes on this going 35 yards culminating in a 6-yard TD pass from Tyler Holtz to Luke Bresser with just over three minutes left in the half going up 28-0.
Waverly has another 3 and out after only gaining two yards and punts back to DeWitt leaving them just over two minutes in the half. DeWitt only needs 38 seconds to score again on a 22-yard pass from Holt to Nicholas Flegler. This time the extra point kick is wide left to make the score 34-0. Waverly tries hard to score before the half making some quick passes only to be thwarted by Cooper Brumfield intercepting a long pass just as time is expiring on the half.
DeWitt gets the first possession of the second half and in just four plays, aided by a personal foul against Waverly, DeWitt scores once again on a 13-yard pass from Holtz to Bryce Debri. This time the extra point try is wide right to leave the score 40-0. With the running clock now the second half goes quickly with DeWitt scoring once more on their next possession on a one-yard Connor McKean run with 1:20 left in the third quarter for the final score of the game.
DeWitt has a total of 390 yards in the game, 167 rushing and 223 passing, while holding Waverly to only 115 yards split evenly between rushing and passing. Unfortunately, Waverly also has 3 turnovers, 2 interceptions and one lost fumble to DeWitt’s 1 lost fumble. DeWitt averaged 8.2 yards per pass while holding Waverly to only 2.7 yards per play. DeWitt made 6 of 8 third down conversions while Waverly was only 2 of 11. Both teams are plagued by penalties with each team having 8 for over 70 yards total each. The officials in the game seemed unreliable as many questionable calls were made against both teams and a number of times, they would signal penalties or time-outs on the wrong team. Some times two different officials would signal different calls on the same play with no clear signal on the penalty or outcome before just marking off yardage. It was often difficult to understand what had just happened on a play.
DeWitt, now 5-0, goes next week on to face Stevensville Lakeshore (4-1) whose only loss comes from Portage Northern. Waverly, now 2-3, goes on next week to play Kalamazoo Loy Norrix who is still winless this season.