Statistically, the Fowler defense wasn’t as highly-touted as Pewamo-Westphalia’s heading into their CMAC showdown on Friday night.
But the Eagles made it clear they had a formidable unit as well.
After not allowing a first down in the first half, Fowler turned P-W over four times on downs in the second half and had two interceptions on their way to a 14-0 win to take sole possession of first place in league.
“Their defense just wouldn’t let us get in the end zone,” P-W coach Brad Weber said.
“We knew they were going to make plays and we just had to capitalize. If they made a big play we had to come back and just make a better one and we did tonight,” Fowler senior Napoleon Watts said.
Perhaps no play was bigger than the first of the Eagles’ two interceptions in the second half.
After a 49-yard run by Jered Myszak set up first-and-goal for the Pirates, P-W (5-2, 5-1) tried a fade pass to 6-foot-6 junior receiver Lane Simon.
But senior defensive back Trent Goerge out-jumped Simon and grabbed the ball away to prevent the Pirates from pulling within a touchdown.
“That was insane. I can’t believe he caught that,” Watts said. “Wonderful play and just great concentration. … It just swung the momentum to our side and pretty much won us the game.”
“We talked with our DBs all week. They’ve got two kids that are 6-6 and they can go up and catch the ball, but our philosophy is if we’re in the right position to at least make a play on the football, then we’re doing the right thing,” Fowler coach Craig Koenigsknecht said. “Trent obviously did that on that play.”
Senior quarterback Dustin Wirth accounted for both of Fowler’s touchdowns in the first half.
Wirth found senior Jacob Schmitt on a 10-yard pass for the game’s first score in the first quarter and scored on a 1-yard quarterback keeper in the second quarter.
Senior running back Tyler Koenigsknecht led Fowler with 30 carries for 130 yards.
The Eagles (6-1, 6-0) clinched at least a share of the conference title with the victory and can claim the league crown outright with a win against Potterville next Friday.
“We just wanted to come back and win one. We wanted to get that CMAC (crown),” Watts said. “We came in third last year and we wanted it this year.
“That was our whole goal.
“After we lost to Mendon (in the season opener), we just wanted the CMAC.”