Hematites & Patriots set for Friday night battle

ISHPEMING – When Ishpeming and Westwood meet up every fall on the football field, fans from both schools pack the stands. This year’s rivalry game has a bit more meaning to it, so seats will be at a premium come Friday night.

Through three weeks of the regular season, both the Hematites and Patriots are 3-0, so first place in the Mid Pen Conference will be on the line. Ishpeming has dominated the rivalry in recent years.Westwood’s last win over the Hematites was back in 1998.

“I think that it sets up well that both teams are doing 3–0 coming in,” said Westwood head coach John Jessen. “It says a lot for our local community that they can have two football teams that start their seasons off this well and I think it’s going to be a fun Friday for both teams.”

“I think that our record has really helped us. Being 3–0 going into this game, we have a lot of momentum going and we’re keeping the intensity up at every practice,” said Westwood Wing Back Mitch Messing.

“Every year we have a chip on our shoulder when we play them,” said Westwood running back Marquise Baggiore. “It’s not fun, but we have to work to win, that’s what we’re determined by, that’s how people value us is beating Ishpeming.”

“Obviously there are things we need to work on, but I like our competitiveness, I like our physicality and we’re making plays when we need to,” said Ishpeming head coach Jeff Olson. “You know they (Westwood) have been blowing teams out. It’s going to be a great football game.”

“I think that our size will definitely help us,” said Ishpeming quarterback Ozzy Corp. “They’re quick and small so we want to use our size to our advantage.”

“We’re ready to play and they’re obviously going to be ready to play. I think it’s going to be a great game and everyone is going to be hyped to watch,” said Ishpeming wide receiver Ozzie Hakkarinen.