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Last Update: 10-31-2014

2014 CAAC Red Standings (* Clinched Playoff Spot)





District Final

5 - 0

9 - 0

Beat Tecumseh 46-7

*St. Johns

4 - 1

8 - 1

Lost to GR Christian 21-13


3 - 2

6 - 3

Beat Linden 28-13 At DeWitt

2 - 3

4 - 5

Lost to Chelsea 21-6

Waverly 1 - 4 3 - 6 Beat Fowlerville 30-14  

0 - 5

1 - 8

Lost to Parma Western 49-28



Panther Puzzle: Last Friday, the DeWitt Panther defense forced Fruitport into seven turnovers during the game, four interceptions and three fumbles. This was the second most turnovers in a game ever by a Panther defensive unit.

The Puzzle: What was the most turnovers a Panther team recorded in a game? Hint: It was during the Thornton era.  

Answer: In 1980, in Coach Thornton's first game, the defense caused 8 turnovers in a 6-0 win over Saginaw Swan Valley. Conversely in game six that year, the Panthers coughed up a record 11 turnovers in a 41-0 thumping against Okemos, 8 fumbles and 3 interceptions.

Did you know? Ten short years ago, DeWitt Freshman coach Dr. Wayne Shooks prepared for his final game as a football coach. Coach Shooks had an incredible won/loss record running the wishbone offense. His record over the 16 years was 135-2-1. Coach Shooks also was a long time track coach with Tom Zielaskowski. Please click here to read Geoff Kimmerly's article on Coach Shooks and click here to see the local tributes on Channel 6 and 10.












2014 Division 3 Pre-District
Tecumseh Indians (5-5) VS DeWitt Panthers (10-0)

DeWitt, MI (10-27-2014):  Brutal. With the weather similar to last year's semi-final game at Goodrich, the DeWitt Panthers defeated the Tecumseh Indians 46-7. The Panthers move onto the district finals next Friday night at DeWitt against the Mason Bulldogs. Mason defeated Linden this evening 28-13 at Linden. In week three, DeWitt edged Mason 25-10 at Mason.

Yes, brutal. Temperatures were in the mid to low 30s and a steady 25mph wind raked the field from north to south with occasional gusts to 40mph kept the crowd down and kept the action on the field down too. The two teams were a combined 2 for 16 passing for 24 yards. So, it turned into a running game on both sides.

If you look strictly at the statistics, you would think it were a fairly close game. Both teams ran the ball well, DeWitt 382 yards to Tecumseh's 300. Both teams had 14 first downs, both teams with two backs over 100 yards rushing. Only one turnover, four total penalties...  The difference was the Panthers ability to put the ball into the end zone.

Some familiar faces were back for this game. Last week, the Panthers had eight starters out due to injuries or sickness. This week, most everyone was back, including senior quarterback Jacob Johnson. Johnson made his first return since taking a targeting hit to the head in week five. Johnson played the first few series and  was two of five passing for 24 yards. It was difficult to pass in the wind.

The first victory of the night was winning the coin toss. DeWitt won the toss, elected to defer to the second half and was able to choose the wind at their back to start the game. DeWitt held Tecumseh  to a four-and-out leaving the Indians to punt into the wind. The result, a nine yard punt which resulted in the Panthers driving to the seven yard line before stalling. Matthew Meagher kicked a 24 yard field goal to put the Panthers up 3-0. After a short Indian drive and 15 yard punt, the Panthers scored on their second possession. A Johnson 15 yard pass to JD Ross and 42 yard run by Ben Heinritz put the Panthers into the end zone and up 10-0. The Indians put together a 73 yard drive into the Panther "red zone", with the bulk of it coming on a nice 56 yard run by Wyatt Cadmus. On a fourth down pass from Jakob Coker to Jimmy Terry, Shayne Cullen made a great play and batted the pass away and DeWitt took over the ball on downs. DeWitt was unable to sustain a drive and had to punt from deep in their own territory. Meagher caught the wind and a great roll and booted a 78 yard punt, putting the Indians back to their own three yard line. The defense stuffed Tecumseh and Coach Rob Zimmerman burned all three time outs leaving the Indians to punt from their own end zone into the wind within the last minute of the first quarter. The result, a negative two yard punt that went out at the Indian five yard line, giving the Panthers a first and goal. Heinritz took the handoff and scored on the next play.

Once again, the Panther defense held Tecumseh on a three-and-out and Ben Zamaira blocked the Jeff Arnett punt and the ball rolled out of bounds in the end zone and the Panthers had a safety, making it 19-0 DeWitt early in the second. Arnett and the Indians had a free kick that went out of bounds and the Panthers had good field position at the Indian 45. ShonQuise Trainor took the hand off on the first play after the free kick 45 yards for the touchdown. The next Indian series, now going with the wind, Coker's pass floated long with the wind and was intercepted by Ross.

DeWitt scored one more time in the first half on a 59 yard drive. Heinritz burst through the line on a 54 yard run and was brought down at the five yard line. Ross then capped the drive with a five yard blast into the end zone giving the Panthers a 33-0 lead at the half.

DeWitt scored once in the third quarter on a 13 yard run by Heinritz who seemingly carried the entire Tecumseh team with him to the one, shook them off and stepped into the end zone. In the fourth quarter, Will Nagle scored on a 44 yard scamper to end the Panther scoring for the night. Cadmus scored for Tecumseh on a nine yard run around the left end with less than two minutes to play to spoil the Panther shutout.

Tecumseh ran the ball well against DeWitt. Cadmus finished the night with 174 yards on 24 carries and ran hard all night. His stable mate, Mitch Meger had 121 yards on 28 carries. But their downfall was poor field postion in the first quarter and failed to capitilize in the second quarter when they had the wind at their back.

For DeWitt, Heinritz ran for 143 yards on 15 carries and three scores. Nagle, who took over for Johnson early in the second quarter, rushed for 113 yards and had some wonderful reads on the option offense. Trainor had 58 yards and a touchdown and Ross 50 yards rushing.

Defensviely for DeWitt, Joshua Hanna and Jacob Wozniewski each had 10 tackles as did Zamiara and Zamiara had the blocked punt. Brad Grost had 8 tackles, Wes England had six, Collin Smith five, Parker McAnallen five and Cullen four with that big batted pass to stop an Indian drive.

Meagher kicked his fourth field goal in the last three games and was five of six on extra points. His miss was headed through but a gust of wind kept it from traveling far enough and pushed it left.

Up next, the district final with league rival Mason.

Season passes are not honored at MHSAA tournament games. Tickets will be available at the gate and are $5 and will be available at each school on Friday.

 Click here for Division 3 Bracket.

Twenty Five Years Ago:  (Second in the series of DeWitt's first football state final team)

The DeWitt Panthers finished the 1989 season undefeated. Last week, we learned that the improbablility of the Panthers making the playoffs. The first week of the playoffs, Panther coach Gail Thornton recalls....

Our first game was at Ludington, we left DeWitt early in the morning on a Charter Bus to make the long trip to Ludington.  The weather was horrible, rain, wind and cold.  When we arrived, the good folks in Ludington had left a bushel of green apples in our locker room for the boys.  We laughed and told the boys we would eat them on the way home.  I recall the huge waves coming in off Lake Michigan.  The field conditions were really bad, the wind and rain continued throughout the entire game.  The wind was blowing so hard that Jeff Shooks was able to get a punt off that ended up to be over 90 yards.  No one could move the ball with any consistancy.  We had a 7-6 lead very late in the 4th quarter and Ludington was moving well into our territory.  We finally got them to 4th down and 2 or 3.  They tried a trick reverse, and I can still see Travis Gribble staying home on his end and snuffing it out.  We took over and ran out the clock. It was a very exciting time, we had just beaten a top 10 class B team on their own field.  After the game we were treated to a dinner out at a very nice restuarant in Ludington by our "Bus Driver Ruth" I can't think of her last name, but she managed to drive us to every game that season.  Her and Terri Davis our Superintendent paid for dinner for the entire team.  It had been a great day!

How are the playoff teams and pairings made? Please click here to read the article by Geoff Kimmerly.


 Panther News & Notes:

DeWitt, MI (10-24-2014): Please click here to enjoy the article on Brown University bound Jacob Wozniewski in the Lansing State Journal.

DeWitt, MI (10-06-2014): Please click here to enjoy the article on Cameron Fegeur written by Seth Newman of MLive.

Detroit, MI (09-19-2014): Must read, must share article by one of the finest high school writers in the State, Mick McCabe. Congratulations Ben Zamaira.

What a very special moment. with just over a minute to play in the DeWitt and Mason game, Brad Wilton took the snap from under center. The southpaw quickly turned to his left and threw a ball toward wide out Jay Granger. Granger made a great catch, put a move on DeWitt safety Ben Zamaira and rambled 65 yards toward the end zone,  where the band was sitting and cheering the play for Mason's only touchdown of the game. Granger, a special needs student at Mason HIgh School was able to enjoy the moment with his team mates as the Mason band played the fight song while players hoisted Granger to their shoulders to celebrate the touchdown.


Detroit, MI (08-25-2014): Please click here and enjoy the article Mick McCabe wrote on DeWitt being one of his top teams in the state. Jacob Johnson is also ranked in the top 25 players in the state by McCabe, please click here to view that article.

Tom Markowski of the Detroit News has the Panthers ranked in the top 10 as well. Please click here to view his article.

Jeff Dullack has written a nice article on Jacob Johnson, please click here and enjoy the article.



  Nine Conference Championships in a row!

> 2014












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