Chippewa defeats Smithville in chaotic WCAL football game
SMITHVILLE – Sometimes on Saturday I felt like I was watching a pinball machine as the soccer ball rolled back and forth up and down the field. Then there was the chaotic moment with 9:27 to go in the first half where several yellow card games were dealt at the same time.
In the end, however, it was Carson Hutzell and Chippewa who figured out the pinball machine and got past that insane moment to claim a 6-2 victory over host Smithville.
“It was a good game,” said Chipps coach Mike Chmura. “Obviously every time we play at Smithville it’s always a tough game. They fight hard and so do we.
Chippewa came out early as Aitor Fernandez made a perfect pass and passed it past Smithies goaltender Layne Yockey (six saves) for a score of roughly two minutes. Smithville triggered the equalizer about two minutes later when Cole Maibach made a perfect pass to Noah Yates about 10 yards away.
Then with 23:48 on the clock, Hutzell scored the first of his three goals during a breakaway in the middle of the field with a tuck inside the far post. About two minutes later, Maximus Butcher beat his defender at the near post and landed a shot right through the face of the net and bowed perfectly to make it 3-1.
It stayed that way until 9:27 when Carter Fath landed a direct kick just outside the 18 that cleared everyone and crossed the back sideline. The closest players to the ball were Smithies Quinn Maibach and Chipps defender Dominic Ferrell, both of whom jumped high but neither could make contact with the ball. Initially, the center referee called for a corner kick, then turned to assess a red card against Chippewa goalkeeper Garrett Hillyer as both teams prepared for the corner kick. . Chaos immediately erupted when the Chipps made their case against the red card and the corner.
“It was definitely a chaotic situation,” said Chmura. “At one point, I didn’t even know who was on the pitch and who had a card. I said to the kids, “and I’m taking care of it, I have to be the one talking to the referee.”
Once everything calmed down, the referee rescinded the red card and awarded the Chipps four yellow cards, one to Hillyer and three to a trio of teammates. He also made the decision to award a penalty to Smithville at the end for a handball in the box.
“To be very honest, I don’t know what happened,” said Smithies coach Sergio Zamora. “The referees have different angles than we have as coaches and we have to respect their decision, it’s just sometimes it’s hard to interpret their call.
“He withdrew a red card which would have made a huge difference for us because (Chippewa) would have played a man at the time,” Zamora added. “Then he decided to take it back, so from my perspective there was so much going on, it was hard to understand what had happened.”
For the Chipps and Hutzell it was just as confusing as they calmed down and refocused.
“We talked about it,” Hutzell said. “We were just defending our teammate to make sure he wasn’t going to be excluded from the game. We were all fighting for him.
Once that was all settled, Fath took the penalty and reduced the deficit from 3-1 to one to 3-2 by driving it into the net before half-time.
In the second half, Chippewa won two more yellows, but also outscored Smithville 3-0 down the home stretch. Bennett Utter stamped his foot to score at 31:59 and Hutzell did the rest, scoring two goals to complete his hat trick.
“The difference is I’m a senior now and I’ve grown up a bit,” Hutzell said of his scoring prowess this year as he now has 22 goals after scoring only nine. over the past three years. “The game has slowed down a bit for me as well and I just keep practicing my shot. “
For a Chipps team that seems to be having a little different rebound than its pace this year and hungry, it’s been big. At the end of the season, Chippewa is currently in a death race against Waynedale for second place in the Wayne County Athletic League.
“This year we are working much better as a team,” said Hutzell. “We all communicate, we pass the ball better and we have great chemistry.”
Another key contributor for the Chipps was Hillyer, who finished with seven saves in the afternoon.
“Garrett has been huge for us even though the goalkeeper is not his natural position,” said Chmura. “He’s got that drive, he’s a team player and does a phenomenal job.”
The Smithies had their chances in the second half as they shot six times on the frame behind solid play from Fath and Yates. The duo did everything they could to move the ball efficiently and put their teammates in good scoring situations, but just couldn’t come up with goals. Fath was a force in the middle of the field as he continually found teammates in the front third but saw those leads empty.
“Carter has been the driving force behind our team for the past few years,” said Zamora. “He’s been a leader here since arriving in freshman, has been captain three times, owns his game, prepares people and does his best for the team.”