Jimmy Lehman is more known as the better passing threat in Pewamo-Westphalia’s two quarterback system.
And the junior embraces his part in a role he shares with Ryan Smith to have the Division 7 No. 2-ranked Pirates a win away from a state title.
“I like coming in and throwing some dots every once in a while,” Lehman said. “(Ryan) comes in and runs. It’s a good little tandem we’ve got going.”
But Lehman wants it to be known he’s more than just a passer. And he made some things happen on the ground last week with a pair of short touchdown runs in last week’s 34-16 state semifinal win over No. 4 Ubly.
“I’ve got some hidden speed,” Lehman said. “People, they don’t know about it yet, but I’ll break it out soon.”
Lehman and Smith are among the many players that have made plays throughout the season and playoff run for the 13-0 Pirates, who face No. 5 Detroit (11-2) Loyola in the state championship game Saturday morning at Ford Field.
While record-setting senior running back and Associated Press Division 7-8 player of the year Jared Smith has been the headliner, Pewamo-Westphalia has relied on more than him in what’s been another strong season. Opponents have been so focused on slowing Jared Smith that the Pirates have made things happen with many of its other weapons.
Lehman described the Pirates as a complete team because of their versatility and Jared Smith said that’s another element that’s made P-W so dangerous.
“(Them focusing on me) opens up a lot of things for them as you can see by the yards and touchdowns they are putting up,” Jared Smith said. “It works good for me because it opens up more for me, and it opens up more for them. Just all-around having a lot of athletes is just great for the team.”
It’s a formula that has helped P-W navigate its way to a CMAC title and past three unbeaten teams in top-ranked Traverse City St. Francis, No. 3-ranked Saugatuck and Ubly to get back to Ford Field for a second straight year. And the Pirates hope it pays dividends one more time as they try to capture their first-ever football state championship.
“Last year was a lot of excitement and a lot of nerves (being at Ford Field),” Smith said. “I think that is going to be one of the biggest differences this year is we know what to expect so we’re going to be coming in a little more calm and hopefully ready to play.”
Division 7 state final: Pewamo-Westphalia (13-0) vs. Detroit Loyola (11-2)
When: 10 a.m.
Where: Ford Field (Detroit)
TV: Fox Sports Detroit