Westwood Patriots play keep away in 22-6 football win over Manistique

MANISTIQUE — Westwood did a good job of playing keep away in its 22-6 high school football victory at Manistique on Friday night.

WHS limited the Emeralds to 12 plays and 30 yards of offense in the first half, then made that task even more difficult by executing an onside kick to begin the third quarter.

The Patriots held onto the ball for more than seven minutes to start the second half before taking a 14-0 lead on senior Bryce Markham’s 8-yard run on a reverse to the right side.

“That was supposed to be a squib kick,” first-year Westwood coach Jacob Wolf said. “That’s something we work on every pregame.

“We want the guys to understand what they’re doing, and it worked out well. That definitely gave us momentum.”

The Emeralds got on the board with 5 minutes, 37 seconds remaining in the contest when junior running back Alex Noble scampered 38 yards along the left sideline for their lone touchdown.

Westwood needed just 13 seconds to respond, ending the scoring when senior Jerzee Karki broke off right tackle on a 14-yard run.

“Turnovers and missed opportunities were the story of the first half, and the onside kick took a lot of wind out of our sails,” Emeralds’ coach Steve Pugh said. “They went up by two scores, and we couldn’t close the deal on defense. We took a couple chances and didn’t close the lanes.”

Manistique’s final possession resulted in an interception at the Westwood 15-yard line by Markham, enabling the Patriots to line up in victory formation for the last 46 seconds.

“This was definitely a hard-fought game,” Wolf said. “We’re scrapping and clawing for everything right now, and it all starts with our offensive coordinator Luke Gray and offensive line coach Brad Wiljanen. They did a great job tonight.

“(Manistique is) a physical, hard-hitting team and their quarterback (junior Wyatt Demers) is a heck of an athlete.”

Karki, who rushed 30 times for 157 yards, opened the scoring on a 7-yard TD run off right tackle 53 seconds into the second quarter.

The Patriots (2-3) rushed for 228 of their 235 yards.

Manistique (2-3), which used three QBs, finished with 149 yards in total offense. Junior running back Alex Noble carried nine times for 74 yards, while senior tight end Elmer Zellar caught three passes for 46.

Westwood ran 48 offensive plays to just 27 for Manistique.

“Our defensive guys play hard and together, and we needed that tonight,” Coach Pugh said. “We had to make a lot of defensive plays and that really got us.”

At 7 p.m. Friday, Manistique hosts Bark River-Harris for homecoming, while the Patriots entertain Hancock.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.


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