Walled Lake Western is heading into the state playoffs on a five-game winning streak after a 28-13 victory at home over Northville on Friday, Oct. 19.
“We knew Northville would give us everything they had and we got the game we expected,” Western Head Coach Mike Zdebski said. “I think the fact that we took care of the ball and maintained our poise and presence at halftime was key.”
The Warriors (7-2) finished the regular season with at least 7 wins for the third straight year.
When Selection Sunday came around on Oct. 21, Western was matched up against Farmington (6-3) from the Oakland Activities Association (OAA) White Division.
The Falcons and Warriors will square off in a Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Division 2 pre-district game at Western on Friday, Oct. 26.
“Anyone that makes the state playoffs is good. Farmington will be a tough out,” Zdebski said.
The Falcons had a 6-1 record after Week 7 before losing their final two games of the season to Farmington Hills Harrison and Lake Orion.
Against Northville (5-4), which shared the Kensington Lakes Activities Association (KLAA) Central Division title, Western senior Josh Jones scored on a 3-yard touchdown run on the Warriors’ first drive to put Western up 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.
However, Northville came back to tie the score at 7 in the second quarter.
With the score tied in the third quarter, Jones scored again on a 4-yard touchdown run to put Western back up 14-7 at the end of the third.
Josh Jones then capped his night with a 9-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter for a 21-7 Warriors lead before Malik Green finished off the Mustangs with a 57-yard touchdown run.
“As soon as we were up 28-7, we got all the seniors in,” Zdebski said.
Warriors’ quarterback Kyle Bambard finished with 11 carries for 100 yards rushing while completing 11-of-17 passes for 84 yards.
Green finished with 66 yards rushing on 11 carries, while Josh Jones had 32 yards rushing on 11 carries.
On defense, Zach Prokes and Melis Johnson each finished with six total tackles for Western while Josh Jones and Tomone Jones each had five.
John Witkowski and Tomone Jones also each had an interception for the Warriors, while Johnson also recovered a fumble.
Northville was among a handful of 5-4 teams shut out of the state playoffs.
Last season, Western fell a win short of playing for the Division 2 state championship at Ford Field after falling in overtime to eventual Division 2 runner-up Lowell in the state semi-finals.
Western’s first step toward getting back to that plateau is this Friday night against Farmington.