Wykons overcome slow start to post fifth win
Nathan Thomson’s stiffarm repels Lake Linden’s Jesse Hill, as he scampers to an open lane downfield. His work momentarily done, lineman Cayne Rowell (72) has a perfect place to admire a nice gain.
IRON RIVER—As West Iron County football coach Mike Berutti’s looks around the U.P. high school football landscape this year, he sees some very good teams and then several strugglers with little in between.
With just one loss so far and having already qualified for the playoffs, Berutti’s Wykons certainly qualify as one of the good teams. But the combined records of the teams they’ve beaten after their 26-6 home victory over Lake Linden-Hubbell on Sept. 28 is 5-25 (.167 winning percentage) counting the forfeits of Manistique, which recently cancelled its season because of low numbers.
So in some ways, the jury is still out on how good the Wykons, the No. 3 team in the UPSSA small school poll, are. And their performance against the Lakes (1-5) didn’t really answer the question clearly either.
For after one half, West Iron (5-1, 4-0 in West Pac Iron Division) sputtered offensively amidst a slew of penalties and led just 7-0 at halftime. And that lead shrank to one after LL-H (1-5, 0-4) drove the ball downfield and scored to begin the second half.
But from there, the Wykons pitched a shutout and got their offensive kinks ironed out to score the last 19 points of the game and win going away.
“I think if we could get everybody on the same page and everybody healthy, we could be pretty good,” Berutti said. “We’ve been good enough to win, we’ve scored (26.3) points per game and the defense has played well. I just want to see us ready earlier in the game. Everyone needs to be ready to play, not just one or two guys.”