Matt Ojala caught the game-winning touchdown pass as time expired in the third quarter and his twin brother, Travis, came up with an interception late to secure Calumet’s 6-0 victory over Westwood in the opening round of the district playoffs on Friday.
Stellar defenses were on display throughout the contest. Westwood drove deep into Calumet territory twice in the first half but couldn’t score. The Copper Kings employed a trick play to reach the Patriots 30-yard line with five seconds left in the first half but an offensive pass interference penalty on the next play sent the game into halftime scoreless.
Calumet forced a punt late in the third quarter and took over at the Westwood 48-yard line. A drive aided by multiple Patriot penalties culminated in Calumet quarterback Brent Loukus tossing a 14-yard touchdown pass to Matt Ojala as time expired in the quarter.
The Patriots forced and recovered a fumble at their own 43-yard line with less than seven minutes to play. Faced with a long fourth down, Westwood quarterback Nathan Beckman completed a 17-yard pass to Zach Niemi. The Patriots drove inside the Calumet redzone with less than two minutes to play before Travis Ojala intercepted a pass at the ten-yard line to seal the victory.
Calumet improves to 10-0 and advances to the district championship next Friday night against Traverse City St. Francis. Westwood closes the season at 7-3 and graduates eleven seniors.