Wykons clinch playoff berth
IRON RIVER—The matchup between West Iron County and Gwinn on Oct. 12 had all the ingredients for an emotional, hard-fought prep football game.
Both teams entered the game one win shy of assuring themselves of a spot in the MHSAA playoffs. Plus, the game fell on Gwinn’s homecoming with all the hullabaloo that accompanies that.
Turns out, the teams did stage quite a struggle, with the Wykons eventually leaving with a 12-6 victory and a playoff spot in their back pocket.
“It was a good football game between two pretty good football teams,’ WIC coach Mike Berutti said. “You go up to Gwinn, it was their homecoming, they have a parade through town, they’re trying to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in a long time. It was a physical game by both teams.”
Bryant Schram scored both touchdowns for West Iron (6-2, 5-1 in West Pac Conference Iron Division). The senior fullback ran in from 1 yard out midway through the first quarter and then scored what would eventually be the game winner on an 11-yard burst halfway through the third quarter.
The Modeltowners (5-3, 3-2) got their score on a 50-yard run from senior running back Seth Aho almost immediately after Schram’s first touchdown.
The Wykons had opportunities to put more distance between themselves and Gwinn, advancing the ball inside the Modeltowners 15-yard line three times, but failed to score because of a missed field goal and turnovers, Berutti said.
“We let them hang around,” Berutti said. “We had our chances. We’d put ourselves in a good position but then we’d get tackled for a loss and then we’d be in a poor position.”
The difference in the game came down to a third-quarter drive by West Iron when Berutti decided to get back to basic, power football despite Gwinn’s efforts to load up to stop the run.