Wykons’ season ends with disappointment
West Iron’s Nathan Thomson (22) fends off Lake Linden-Hubbell’s Caleb Klein as he tries to reach the edge during the Wykons’ playoff opener on Nov. 2 at Nelson Field. Thomson was injured on the play and never returned as West Iron’s season ended with a 36-14 loss.
IRON RIVER—By virtue of its regular season performance, the West Iron County Wykons set themselves up nicely for the playoffs by earning a first-round home game against a team they’d already defeated a month previous.
But all the expectations for a pre-district victory and another shot at top-seeded Ishpeming were blown away in the cold wind at Nelson Field when West Iron was toppled by Lake Linden-Hubbell 36-14 on Nov. 2.
With their victory, the third-seeded Lakes advance to face the Hematites in the district final in Ishpeming. With their defeat, the second-seeded Wykons ended their season with a 7-3 record.
It was a long game for the blue-and-white against a determined opponent. Lake Linden-Hubbell outplayed West Iron from the start under the re-emergence of standout senior quarterback Carter Crouch, who had been sidelined off and on during the regular season with a knee injury.
On the other side, a crushing early-second quarter injury to junior Nathan Thomson left the Wykons without one of their premier players on both sides of the ball. Throw in another week of penalty issues and nothing really went well for West Iron.
“Just couldn’t get anything going, and then after a while, it just started to fall apart,” said senior linebacker Noah Thomson. “As soon as we got something going, minor setbacks, and then it all falls apart.”
“We came into the game expecting a big win, and everybody in town probably agrees with that, and we just came out and nobody had a focus how we thought we were going to come into the game,” added senior quarterback Trey Bociek.
The Lakes, winners of four straight games, took the opening kickoff and placed their stamp on the contest immediately. Crouch connected with senior receiver Cole Gregoire for a 24-yard strike on the third play of the game to set up LL-H on the Wykon 37. Senior running back Jesse Hill took off on a 12-yard run to the WIC 16 three plays later before Crouch hit Caleb Gregoire for a 12-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-six.
The Lakes added the 2-point conversion and took an 8-0 lead before the Wykons ever got the ball.