WIC’s run ends with loss at dome
By ADAM NIEMI
Iron Mountain Daily News
MARQUETTE — Saginaw Nouvel Catholic Central held off West Iron County 17-14 in the MHSAA Division 8 football state semifinal at the Superior Dome in Marquette on Friday night.
The Panthers (13-0) got a winning 21-yard field goal from kicker Jacob Burr early in the third quarter, the only points that were scored in the second half after the teams were tied 14-14 at halftime.
Burr’s first field goal of the season puts Nouvel in the state championship game to be played Friday morning at Ford Field in Detroit.
The winning score was set up by an 83-yard return on the opening kickoff of the second half that brought the ball to the Wykons’ 2-yard line.
West Iron’s defense held the Panthers to the fourth-down field goal with 10:04 left in the third quarter.
The teams punted after every drive of the third quarter as the game turned into a tense defensive stalemate.
“Both defenses kind of took over. We couldn’t get our quarterback (Neil Tomasoski) out,” WIC head coach Mike Berutti said. “We had some open receivers and we just couldn’t get that open receiver and get that big play to make that difference to get down the field to score and win this football game.”
The Panthers averaged 45 points a game this season before scoring 54 against Lincoln Alcona in the regional finals last week. The Wykons’ defense put Nouvel in a place it hadn’t been all year.
“Our defense really tightened up in the second half,” Saginaw Nouvel head coach Michael Boyd said. “They played a tremendous second half of football. We struggled offensively — something we don’t do.”
WIC’s second possession ended on a 37-yard touchdown pass to Caden Pellizzer. The Panthers tied it later in the opening quarter on a 6-yard run by quarterback Tate Hausbeck after a handoff was fumbled and Hausbeck scooped up the ball.
After the Wykons missed a 30-yard field goal early in the second, they scored 3:14 before halftime on a Jayce Brockhagen 2-yard TD run to go up 14-7.
NCC tied it with 1:02 left in the half on a 12-yard pass from Hausbeck to Kenneth Kujawa.