DETROIT, Michigan -- On Saturday, the Ishpeming Hematites went to the locker room down 16-0 to the Pewamo-Westphalia Pirates, but 22 unanswered points behind quarterback Ozzy Corp, who led Ishpeming to a 22-16 victory in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 7 State Championship at Ford field in Detroit, Michigan.
The Hematites (13-0) set the tone early with a huge fourth-and-one defensive stand at their own one-yard line. Pewamo-Westphalia handed the ball to Jared Smith, but the defense of Ishpeming proved to be too much.
Eventually, the score board lit up. The Pirates (13-1) handed the ball to Smith, who took the carry for 25 yards into the end zone to put the team up 8-0 just nine seconds into the second quarter. The two-point conversion was executed on a pass from Jimmy Lehman to Bryce Thelen.
Smith ran the ball 27 times for 149 yards and a score to finish the season with 53 rushing touchdowns. The junior accumulated 314 carries for 3,243 yards over 14 games, which is an average of 232 yards per game on the ground.
The score doubled on a 50-yard connection between Lehman and Thelen with 9:17 to play in the half. Smith pushed through the pile to complete the two-point conversion.
Thelen's reception for 50 yards was the only catch of the day for anyone on the Pewamo-Westphalia roster. It was also the only completion for Lehman, as he finished 1-for-5 through the air and ran for 14 yards in the loss.
With the score 16-0 in favor of the Pirates, the Ishpeming offense made a huge touchdown drive, finished off by Corp. The senior quarterback carried the ball from one-yard out to cut the Pewamo-Westphalia lead to 10 after his passing play for a two-point conversion was incomplete.
The defense of the Hematites stepped up as they forced Smith to fumble near midfield. With 0:11 seconds to play in the first half, Corp was sacked by Smith to force a fourth-and-11. The pass was incomplete to end the first half.
Only twice did the scoreboard change in the second half and both changes were for Ishpeming to help them win the Division 7 championship.
Pewamo-Westphalia got into a hole as Lehman tossed an interception just 15 seconds into the second half. The ball was picked off by Thomas Finegan.
On the offensive end, Finegan caught two passes for 24 yards from the arm of Corp. His interception was returned for 17 yards.
Corp, who is the quarterback, carried the ball on a keeper to right side of the field for a four-yard score to make it a two point deficit, 14-16.
It was the same play call for the same player as Corp took a quarterback keeper through the pile on the one-yard line into the end zone to give his team a 22-16 lead with 3:52 left in regulation.
The senior quarterback completed 6-of-11 passes for 77 yards, but he did most of his work on the ground. Corp, who accounted for every Ishpeming score, carried the ball 32 times for 132 yards and three touchdowns.