IRON RIVER—Fans who made the 260-mile round trip to see West Iron County open its football season Aug. 30 at Munising got to see one Wykon point for each 37 miles they drove.
But the Wykon defense did its job, holding the Mustangs to 111 total yards and no points, as a touchdown early in the fourth quarter gave West Iron a 7-0 win.
The game was scoreless after three quarters. In the first half, West Iron nearly had a TD when QB Andrew Peterson completed a short pass to Ryan Rogers—but Rogers was beyond the end line when he caught it.
Finally, early in the fourth quarter, everything came together. Starting from near the Wykon 40, the team stayed on the ground exclusively and ground down deep into the Munising end—no long plays. Peterson scored on a 5-yard run, and Rogers kicked the extra point.
The Mustangs still had eight minutes left to counter, but West Iron’s defense didn’t let them. The Wykons had the ball back and took a knee at the Mustangs 5 as time ran out.
West Iron’s first possession of the night went well until they got to the Mustang 35—an overthrow, an underthrow and a drop ended it. “I’d say we played the entire game between our 40 and their 20,” said Coach Mike Berutti.
The Wykons seemed a little bit off—almost getting past a tackler, almost completing a pass, almost this, almost that. “The longer we let them hang around, the longer they believed.”
The Wykon defense, though, handled the Mustangs’ spread offense well. Munising only earned four first downs all night (one in the first half) and crossed midfield just once.
“Our inside running was good, with [Ron] Varney and Chasz [Jonet],” the coach said. “But that’s the only place we could run, between the tackles.” Before long, that’s where Munising’s defense focused.
Berutti said Munising’s linebackers moved to the ball well, and their big defensive ends were also a force.
“We’ve got to get better at finishing plays. We get close to breaking things--one block away here or a shoestring tackle there and it’s a different ball game. But you’ve got to do it.”
WIC team: 214 yards (3-14-52 passing, 43-162 rushing). Munising team: 111 yards (5-16-44 passing, 24-67 rushing).
Rushing: Ron Varney, 18-88; Peterson, 11-62. Passing: Peterson, 3-14-52. Receiving: Joe Pisoni, 1-34.
Defense (tackles-assists): Jake Polich, 9-3; Peterson, 6-2, Tylor Capadagli, 5-1. Interceptions: Colton Pangrazzi, Polich, Capadagli.
• The Wykons open their home season Sept. 6 at Nelson Field against L’Anse, which squashed Houghton 48-14 in its season opener. Big game.
Wykons 0 0 0 7 -- 7
Mustangs 0 0 0 0 -- 0