skip navigation

Defense stands tall in Walled Lake Western’s win over Waterford Kettering, 21-7

By By Tim Arrick, For the Oakland Press, 09/11/17, 10:15AM EDT


Western improves to 3-0

WALLED LAKE >> Defense was the name of the game in the first half as neither Waterford Kettering or Walled Lake Western allowed the other team into the endzone. However, the third quarter saw the Western wear down the Captains and take a 21-7 victory to move to 3-0 on the season.

Walled Lake Western head coach Mike Zdebski wasn’t surprised by the low scoring contest. “We expected a defensive struggle,” he said. “I was surprised though that we were able to hold them scoreless until seven seconds left in the game. Their quarterback has been up and down the field and he is a super athlete.”

Related: Photo gallery from Walled Lake Western vs. Kettering

The first quarter saw both teams have two possessions with each squad having a scoring opportunity as the Warriors missed a 41-yard field goal attempt with 4:11 left in the first and then Kettering marched down the field before turning the ball over on downs at the Western 5-yard line.

That was as close as either team would come to scoring in the first half as neither team was able to move the ball past the opponents 45-yard line for the remainder of the second quarter.

Kettering took the ball to start the second half and looked to get on the board first with a 47-yard field goal. The kick was blocked however and the momentum shifted to the Warriors who took the ball over at their own 31-yard line with 8:37 left in the third quarter and marched down the field, scoring on a 22-yard pass from Sam Johnson to Abdur Rahman Yaseen to give Western a 7-0 lead with 3:34 left in the third quarter.

Both teams traded possessions before Kettering got the ball back at their own 19-yard line with 5:39 left in the game still down by seven.

The Captains were unable to move the ball and after a Kettering punt, the Warriors Johnson connected with Justin Thomas on a 40-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0 in favor of Western.

Once again, the Captains weren’t able to move the ball and after punting away again, the Warriors took advantage of a pass interference call that put the ball at the Kettering 10-yard line where Johnson took the ball in for the final Warrior score of the night.

There was no quit in the Captains tonight as they took the ensuing Warrior kick-off and drove down the field via the pass and scored on a 20-yard pass to Anthony Fox from Ryan Nolan to cut the margin to 21-7 with just under eight seconds left in the game.

The Captains attempted an onside kick but were not able to recover and Western ran out the clock for the 21-7 victory.

Kettering head coach Kenny Schmidt had this to say about the game, “Our coaches put together a great game plan and we worked hard all week. The kids executed well and I am really proud of our kids, they gave great effort tonight.”

Offensively, estern was led by Sam Johnson who was 16-of-24 for 215 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Johnson added another 44 yards and one touchdown on the ground. Justin Thomas had eight receptions for 139 yards and one touchdown while Abdur Rahman Yaseen pulled in two receptions for 29 yards and a touchdown.

For the Captains, Ryan Nolan was 8-of-20 for 122 yards and a touchdown to Anthony Fox.

The win improves Walled Lake Western to 3-0 as the Warriors look forward to next week’s game at home against Waterford Mott. Kettering falls to 2-1 and will be on the road taking on the Lakeland Eagles.