Bears’ gritty defense gets team to state semifinals

Photo courtesy of G. Filipiak
Wyandotte Roosevelt running back Kyle Matejko Jr. dashes forward with the pigskin to help the Bears win a Division 2 regional playoff game against Oak Park.

“We are playing at a very high level of high school football and have a shot at going all the way in this year’s state playoffs.”

Those were the words of Wyandotte Roosevelt head coach Ron Adams last week.

Adams has his Bears (11-1) a step closer to a Division 2 state title. Providing that Roosevelt can win yet another game in the playoff formula, they could wind up at Ford Field Friday as a participating team still gunning for a state championship.

The Downriver team had a date wtih Birmingham Brother Rice (10-2) Nov. 17 in a semifinal tilt played at Gibraltar-Carlson. The winner of that game moves on to the state finals.

Last week, a surging Roosevelt squad beat visiting Oak Park (9-3) 10-6 in a hard-fought contest. Gaining a gridiron victory in that game moved the Bears up the ladder and netted them a regional championship that the entire city is proud of.

“You guys have earned something tonight that can never be taken away from you,” Adams told his players after the game.

It was a gritty Roosevelt defense that highlighted the win over the speedy Oak Parkers. The Downriver League co-champs were able to stop their opponent time and time again with goal line stands.

Quarterback Kevin Matejko fired a perfect strike to split end Brandon Sowards for the late touchdown that sealed the Bears’ win. Kicker Jacob Simpson did his part earlier by booting a 33-yard field goal.

Birmingham Brother Rice is without a doubt one of the best teams in the state, and they pose as defending state champions from the 2011 season. Brother Rice is the highly touted team and considered to be the heavy favorite against Wyandotte.

The Bears, however, may have enough talent to overcome the underdog role and spring a surprise. There are some Downriver followers of prep football who think an upset could happen.

No matter what takes place in the Division 2 semifinal, Wyandotte Roosevelt is a team that has gone the deepest into the playoffs.