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Last Update: 10-24-2014 

MHSAA Playoff show, Fox Sports Detroit, Sunday 7:00pm

2014 CAAC Red Standings (* Clinched Playoff Spot)

  School

Conf.

Overall

Week Nine

Pre-District
*DeWitt

5 - 0

9 - 0

Beat Fruitport 40-6

TBD
*St. Johns

4 - 1

8 - 1

Beat Goodrich 35-28

TBD
*Mason

3 - 2

6 - 3

Beat Det. Community 57-0 TBD
Haslett

2 - 3

4 - 5

Lost to Chelsea 21-6

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

0 - 5

1 - 8

Lost to Parma Western 49-28

 

 

Panther Puzzle: Last Friday in the first quarter, JD Ross took a kickoff from Portland's Jacob Cairl, found a crease in the wall and turned on the jets for an 81 yard kickoff return.

The Puzzle: Who was the last Panther to return a kickoff for a touchdown?  

Answer: After Haslett scored in the fourth quarter in the 2009 game at Haslett, Ross Parsons took the kickoff at the 15 yard line and sprinted down the eastern sideline for the exclamation point on the Panthers' 38-12 win.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Fruitport Trojans (4-5) VS DeWitt Panthers (9-0)

 DeWitt, MI (10-24-2014): The DeWitt Panthers finished the regular season undefeated after beating the Fruitport Trojans 40-6 on a perfect fall evening at Memorial Stadium. Eighteen seniors were recognized along with their biggest fans, their parents in ceremonies before the game. The Panthers will now await the results of the playoff selection show which will be broadcast locally on Fox Sports Detroit at 7:00pm Sunday evening.

DeWitt kicked off to Fruitport to start the game. And let's say, to be kind, the game started kind of ugly. It was like one of those good news/bad news jokes. Brown University bound Jacob Wozniewski recovered a Fruitport fumble on the first series setting the plate for the Panther offense at the Fruitport 35 yard line. Unable to get a first down, DeWitt turned the ball over on downs. The second Fruitport drive ended on another fumble recovered by Mason Bennett. The next Panther drive ended after three plays when Will Nagel's pass was intercepted by Trojan Nick Kramer. That Fruitport drive ended at the Panther 12 when Ethan Barthold scooped up a Trojan fumble. The first five possessions consisted of four turnovers and a turnover on downs.

The Panthers scored on this drive on 12 yard pass from Nagel to Mason Bennett. After another Panther defensive stop, the Panthers drove 54 yards on 11 plays with Matthew Meagher kicking a 31 yard field goal to make it 9-0 after the first quarter. Even the Scoreboard Panther sputtered this evening.

The Panthers scored twice in the second quarter. The first on a 16 yard run by Big Ben Heinritz who left a wake of Trojans behind and the second on a pretty 33 yard pass from Nagel to JD Ross to make it 23-0 at the half.

During the half time festivities, besides a wonderful show by the DeWitt Marching band, WLNS-TV6 and Michigan State Federal Credit Union presented two large trophies. The first was to the best cheer squad in the Mid-Michigan area, The Spirit of DeWitt.... the DeWitt Panther cheer squad. The second was to the DeWitt Marching band as the most spirited band in the TV6 news area.

There was also a very special presentation made by DeWitt Athletic Director in honor of retiring DeWitt Cheer coach Deb Rambow. Deb is stepping down after a wonderful 30 year career as the head of the Panther Cheer squad. Further accolades and accomplishments will be detailed in a later edition.

Meagher kicked a 24 yard field goal on the first drive of the third quarter for DeWitt. The third quarter saw the Panther defense continue to shine. DeWitt put the game away in the fourth quarter with a 17 yard sprint around the left end for sophomore Ross and Nagle taking it in from two yards out to finish the scoring. The Panther defense bent a little at the end of the game and allowed a seven yard pass from Jarod Wierengo to Zach Miller on the last play of the game.

Heinritz led the Panther offense with 102 rugged yards on 16 carries. Called up from the JVs, Nagel rushed for 59 yards net on 17 carries and completed eight passes for 97 yards and two scores, one to Ross and one to Bennett. ShonQuise Trainor had 43 yards and Ross 41 yards rushing. DeWitt rushed for 246 yards on the night.

The defense played very well again tonight, limiting the Fruitport quarterbacks Jarod Wierengo and Antonio Flores to 13 completions on 33 attempts for 122 yards and intercepted them four times, two by Brad Grost and one each by Ross and Cullen. Cullen also had two batted passes, Ross one, Wes England one and Beau Yabs one. England had an outstanding night with 10 tackles, a sack, caused a fumble and the batted pass. Zamaira, the "quarterback" of the defense, had eight tackles, Grost six tackles with a sack, and Jacob Wozniewski had two caused fumbles and a recovered fumble.

Meagher was good on four of five extra points and two field goals and consistently deep kickoffs. Having a solid kicker is so valuable as a team enters the playoffs and Meagher has continually improved and gained confidence during the season.

Next up.... find out Sunday night at 7:00pm on Fox Sports Detroit. Chances are good that DeWitt will host at least the first playoff game.

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

 Twenty Five Years Ago: The DeWitt Panthers finished the 1989 season undefeated. It was unlikely that the Panthers would make the playoffs as the previous year they went to the Class C semi-finals before losing to powerhouse Detroit DePorres 20-6. Panther coach Gail Thornton recalls....

That was the first year that we were a Class B High School, we were the smallest B in the state, we made it by one student, which made our chances of qualifying very slim.  If you recall there were only 4 classes in those days and only 16 teams per class qualified.  I still think that system was better because if forced you to try to play very good schools rather than just find any 6 you can beat. 
 
That being the case, as I recall, after going 9-0 with some class C teams on our schedule we needed, I believe 7 teams to lose their 9th game for us to qualify, which seemed impossible.  As a matter of fact I left after the game with Bart Rypstra (assistant coach), and headed up north to go now hunting.  We were someplace north of Clare when I got a call saying that Mitch Album had called and said according to what he was seeing we were in, and I was to give him a call.  I believe that evening is when the DeWitt, DeWhat DeWhere thing got started.  So Bart and I happily turned around and returned home.
 
As it turned out the four teams we faced were all ranked in the top 10 in the state, and Farmington Hills Harrison was ranked Nationally, I believe 7th and of course had Mill Coleman as their quarterback.

 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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