Photo Credit: Ryan Cusentino
The Lawton Blue Devils and Pewamo-Westphalia Pirates kicked off the Saturday State Championship action with the Division 7 title bout. It was one of just three unbeaten matchups at Ford Field over the weekend, and it lived up to the excitement. In the end, a late score powered Pewamo-Westphalia to a State Championship victory, 14-10.
Lawton got the football first, starting on their own 38 yard line. It was a disastrous first snap for the Blue Devils, as they fumbled the football away. This set the Pirates up with great field position, and they capitalized. Cam Cook broke free on a 3-yard quarterback keeper to take an early 7-0 advantage.
The Pewamo-Westphalia momentum continued to build when they recovered the ensuing kickoff on an onside attempt. PW marched all the way down to the Lawton 15 yard line, but the Blue Devils built a wall. Lawton kept the Pirates out of the end zone, forcing a turnover on downs.
This was the start of an offensive stalemate, as both defenses flexed their muscles. Finally, with three minutes to go in the half, Lawton began its initial scoring march. Beginning at their own 23 yard line, the Blue Devils took six plays to maneuver down the field. The biggest play was the scoring pass, as Landon Motter paired up with Luke Leighton on a 41-yard strike. The extra point by Ethan O’Donnell evened the score at seven.
Neither team scored in the third quarter. In fact, neither team advanced into plus territory until the closing seconds of the frame. After forcing PW into a three-and-out, the Pirates punt was fair caught by Lawton at the PW 45 yard line.
Six running plays later, the Blue Devils faced a field goal attempt with just over ten minutes to play. O’Donnell booted the 43-yard kick straight through the uprights, allowing Lawton to take a 10-7 advantage with 10:06 remaining in the game.
PW started their ensuing drive at their own 20 yard line, after the Blue Devils booted the kickoff for a touchback. After a 14-yard pass on their first play, the Pirates’ offense stalled. Facing a crucial fourth and two, Lawton committed a frustrating offsides penalty. This rewarded PW with a new set of downs. The Blue Devils forced PW into two third-down situations, but the Pirates were successful on both. The second conversion was a 35-yard touchdown carry by Dak Ewalt, giving PW the 14-10 advantage with 5:50 to go.
The Blue Devils went three-and-out on their next drive, but PW could not put it away on their ensuing possession. Lawton was given another chance, taking over at their own 15 yard line with just under two minutes to go. After picking up a first down on a pass from Motter to Cooper Geib, Motter aired it out again. This time, Connor Bengel stepped in front of the pass and hauled in an interception.
Pewamo-Westphalia was able to kneel the football three times, sealing their State Championship. This is the fourth State Championship in six years for the Pirates.
Lawton actually won the yardage battle in this game, with a 240-204 advantage. Jake Rueff was held out of the end zone, with 72 total yards of offense. Landon Motter was 8/17 passing for 118 yards and a score. Luke Leighton led the Blue Devils with 46 receiving yards. Drew Stephayn and Carter Cosby led the team with 10 and 9 tackles respectively.
PW’s Cam Cook was 6/15 passing for 101 yards, and he added 12 rushing yards and a touchdown. Dak Ewalt, the hero in this game, paced the Pirates with 61 rushing yards and the winning score. Brock Thelen was the top receiver for PW with 34 yards on one grab. Ashtin Wirth and Landon Nurenburg each had 8 tackles for the Pirates.