Full send for the Wolves
MICHIGAN CITY — Full send for the boys.
It’s a saying on the Michigan City football team that means to play hard all the time.
The Wolves left little doubt that Friday’s regular season finale and Senior Night would be anything short of a full send.
City scored four second-quarter touchdowns and held Crown Point to 11 yards through three quarters of a 48-0 Duneland Athletic Conference thrashing at chilly Ames Field.
“As some of the guys on the team like to say, we full sent it,” said Zennon Wilhelm, who caught touchdown passes of 2, 7 and 11 yards from Bryce Hayman. “In the locker room before the game, coach (Roy) Richards was telling the younger guys, you’re playing for this senior, you’re playing for this senior. Everyone on the field just went full send for the boys. Sitting here as a senior, seeing how much the program’s changed, we just won Senior Night 48-0. It feels great.”
Classmate Justin Wozniak snagged a Hayman tosses for 38 yards and was a wrecking ball on defense. He obliterated C.P. quarterback Will Pettit on a rush, sending the ball flying toward the goal line, where Chase Triplett pounced on it for a third-quarter touchdown.
“A lot of it was just beating the guy with my speed, switching it up every play, catching them off guard,” Wozniak said.
It was the signature play of an overwhelming defensive performance in which the Bulldogs (3-6, 2-5) completed three passes for five yards and amassed the bulk of their 80 yards rushing on the last drive of the game.
“It’s good to know after football’s over we can always look at the stadium and remember we made history,” Wozniak said. “A lot of it’s the coaches. Coach (Phil) Mason came here and brought a few of his buddies, and really changed things a lot, almost everything about the program. It’s probably the best thing that could have ever happened here.”
City (7-2, 6-1) came into the game averaging 48 points over its last four games and didn’t do anything to hurt its average. Lyric McFarrin ran up 127 yards on nine first-half carries, capping his offensive night in the second quarter with a 29-yard scoring run. Tyler Siegmund got the night rolling, taking in a 4-yard jet sweep less than two minutes into the game. Hayman added a fourth TD toss with a 29-yarder to Michael Bradford in the third.
“Honestly, I was a little worried. I didn’t know,” Mason said. “Crown Point is always a physical team. They can cause you some problems, but we obviously came to play. They’ve been smart, we’ve been keeping them focused week to week.”
With the hope of bigger things still to come, Mason took the occasion of the seniors’ final regular-season game to laud a group that was sophomores when he took over and has gone 23-10 during his tenure.
“It’s a very important group,” he said, “They bought into the culture change, what we’re trying to establish as a program. They’ve provided great leadership, a great example. Hopefully, we can keep this thing rolling.”
Hayman finished 8 of 13 for 136 yards, connecting with four receivers. Wilhelm had four catches for 35 yards. The 2-yard score wasn’t even supposed to go to him, a play in which Hayman improvised after a bobble in the backfield.
“Zennon’s a great player, a good route runner,” Mason said. “He’s always gone up and made big plays. You see him run out on the football field, you don’t expect him to do what he does. He’s deceptive. He’s smart. He plays the game extremely hard.”
The Wolves will enjoy a little time off in the coming week with a bye next Friday before facing Munster in the Class 5A sectional opener Oct. 26 at Ames.
“It’s hard to be sentimental right now, looking to the future,” Wilhelm said. “We have our whole lives to be sentimental. The big thing about winning senior night was we made a point going into the playoffs, we’re not not just going to take it easy our last game. We want to keep the momentum going.”
Michigan City 48, Crown Point 0
Bryce Hayman threw four touchdown passes, three to Zennon Wilhelm.