Week 5 Rematch Between DeWitt and Waverly Propels DeWitt to Distric Finals

 Week 2 of the MHSAA football playoffs and many of the matchups this week are rematches of games played earlier in the season and DeWitt’s game is no exception.  DeWitt faces Lansing Waverly whom they beat 47-0 in week five of the season at Waverly.  Rematches are difficult to win both ends as both teams have seen each other and know how they play.  Many times, these games are split between the two teams.   Would Lansing Waverly be able to get their second playoff win and knock the Panthers out of the playoffs?  As this game is held in DeWitt, the Warriors of Waverly face a very steep challenge to overcome. 

Before the game there is a moment of silence for MHSAA legendary coach Mike Smith and DeWitt Township Police Sargent Bill Darnell, both of whom passed away late this week.  It was a very touching moment.  DeWitt won the coin toss and deferred to the second half so Waverly has the first possession. The Warriors drive starts on their own 12-yard line.  They punt on fourth and one, but end up with a first don on their 36-yard line thanks to a roughing the kicker penalty on DeWitt.  Another penalty on DeWitt allows the Warriors to cross midfield.  This would be the only time in the game that would happen.  The Warriors would only get one more first down the rest of the game, and that will come late in the fourth quarter.

DeWitt starts out their scoring on their first possession by scoring on a 72-yard pass from Tyler Holtz to Luke Bresser.  The Warriors are called for offsides on the PAT and so the Panthers decide to go for two and succeed to go up 8-0.  They score on their second possession with a 30-yard pass from Holtz to Tommy McIntosh.  This time Nicholas Flegler tacks on the extra point to put the Panthers up 15-0. After a Waverly pass is picked off on their first play, DeWitt scores again 2 plays later on a 5-yard run by Andrew Debri.  With another extra point the Panthers now go up 22-0, which is how the first quarter ends as DeWitt loses the ball on a fumble on the third play of their next drive.

In the second quarter DeWitt scores on a 20-yard field goal by Nicholas Flegler on their first possession. On their second possession they score again on a 19-yard pass from Holtz to Luke Bresser to put the Panthers up 32-0.  The Warriors fumble the kickoff return and DeWitt recovers.  They end up scoring again 2 plays later on a 24-yard pass from Holtz to Kylor Mills.  Another Nicholas Flegler extra point and DeWitt pulls to a 39-0 lead over Waverly. 

DeWitt intercepts a Waverly pass on their third play.  Six plays into DeWitt’s drive and the Panthers score for the last time in the half on a 1-yard run by Connor McKean.  Brandon Soltis kicks the extra point this time and DeWitt ends the half up 46-0. 

The DeWitt Marching Band has a fantastic performance at halftime.  The second half starts with DeWitt having the first possession and a running clock.  Both DeWitt and Waverly punt on their first possessions of the second half, which takes up the whole third quarter.  DeWitt scores on their second possession with an eight-yard drive culminating in a two-yard run by Jonathan Warner.  Unfortunately, the extra point is blocked to the score remains 52-0, which is how the game ends as Waverly manages a first down on their next possession, but end up turning over the ball to DeWitt on downs.  DeWitt takes a knee during their next possession to end the game.

DeWitt holds Waverly to only 28 net yards of offense in the game while they racked up 374 yard, 124 on the ground and 258 in the air.  Tyler Holtz connected with three different receivers for touchdowns, Luke Bresser for two, Tommy McIntosh for one, and Kylor Mills for one.  Andrew Debri, Connor McKean, and Jonathan Warner all had rushing TD’s on the night.  Luke Bresser had three receptions for 108 yards leading the receivers.  Tyler Holtz had 28 yards rushing while Andrew Debri had 24 and Ryan McKinney had 22.  Nicholas Flegler had one field goal and four extra points in the game and Brandon Soltis had one extra point.

With this win DeWitt stays undefeated on the season and goes on to the district finals next week.  They will face the Mason Bulldogs, who defeated the Fowlerville Gladiators 38-13 to stay undefeated as well.  Mason has outscored their opponents 307-87 so far this season while DeWitt has outscored their opponents 397-50.  Both teams have been very dominating this year with very strong defenses and the ability to score both through the air and on the ground.  The matchup will be at DeWitt next Friday night and should be a great game.