ADRIAN — Alex Wasyl does a lot of things for the Pinckney football team. Being a historian is not one of them.
“Right now, the goal is to move on and get that home playoff game,” he said Friday night after the Pirates clinched a playoff spot and a share of the SEC White Division title with a 42-14 win at Adrian. “We haven’t done that (had a home playoff game) in how long?”
Upon further review, the answer is: Last year.
But one can forgive Wasyl, who along with his teammates are too busy writing history to keep track of it. He had seven catches for 71 yards, intercepted a pass and nearly had another one (“It was right there,” he said) as the Pirates won their first league title since 1995.
“It’s hard to put into words how much it means to all of us as a team and as a community,” Wasyl said. “For an hour and a half bus ride (from Pinckney), the stands were packed. The student section was there, the whole atmosphere going into the game. The rain. It was just like little league. It definitely was a fun experience.”
The Pirates (6-1 overall, 5-1 SEC White) shared the title with Chelsea, and ensured the tie by dominating the line of scrimmage. Pinckney’s offensive line opened huge holes all night for both Levi Collins (166 yard rushing, three touchdowns) and gave quarterback Jack Wurzer seemingly all night to throw.
Wurzer took advantage, throwing for 231 yards and a touchdown pass to Nick Cain, and also rushing for two scores.
“Gotta love the line,” Collins said, grinning widely. “I’ll have to take them out to dinner sometime.”
“It’s not just tonight,” Wurzer said. “The last three weeks they’ve been on point. I’ve been clean the last three weeks. Couldn’t ask for anything else.”
Wurzer wasn’t clean after the game, with mud streaked on his jersey and the front of his pants. But he had an explanation.
“Victory slides,” he said, smiling, meaning he and some teammates had taken advantage of a wet field to celebrate in the mud on the sideline.
At first, it looked like the Pirates would run away with things early. Pinckney punched in an early score on Collins’ first touchdown, a 16-yard run behind the left side of the Pirates offensive line.
But Adrian (3-4, 2-4) came right back, tying the game on its next possession, then taking the lead by taking advantage of a fumbled punt by Cain that kept the Maples’ drive alive.
Pinckney came right back, tying the game on Wurzer’s 5-yard run around right end, then getting the ball back with less than a minute left in the half and taking the lead for good on Cain’s 36-yard scoring pass from Wurzer.
“To get the score at the end of the half was huge in turning the tide and momentum,” Pinckney coach Rod Beaton said. “It gave our guys a ton of confidence going into the half, and we fed off it.”
After the win was secured, Beaton talked to his players and to those who had made the journey, emphasizing it was as much their win as it was his team’s.
:”What it means is what the people of Pinckney have known for a very long time, that this is a phenomenal place, with people doing everything they can to take care of our people and our kids here,” he said. “I’m glad that football can be a catalyst to bring much-needed recognition to our people and our school and our kids and all the great things we’re doing here. And I meant it. Everyone’s a part of this, and we definitely live in a great town.”
The Pirates play at Ann Arbor Skyline and play host to Lansing Waverly, both of whom were 1-5 going into Friday’s games, to finish the season.
“We’re still looking to win every week,” said Cain, who caught three passes for 102 yards and the touchdown, “go 1-0 and give it our best shot, like we do every week.”