The West Ottawa Panthers have been one of the surprise teams in West Michigan, as they have navigated through the “manageable” part of their schedule to a 3-1 record and a first place tie in the OK Red. This week, they travelled to Hudsonville to take on an Eagles team that was struggling early on in the season, but showed promise as of late. The typically potent West Ottawa offense (32.75 PPG), was slowed down a bit tonight, but their defense flexed their muscle in a 20-7 victory.

Xavier Wade, one of the top wide receivers in West Michigan, strutted his stuff in this contest as he was on the receiving end of the game’s first two touchdowns. Isaac VanDyke found him on a thirty-eight yard touchdown and a five yard touchdown in the second quarter to give the Panthers an early 14-0 lead. Just before the half, VanDyke decided to use his legs, and he kept the ball for a one-yard touchdown scamper. West Ottawa took a commanding 20-0 lead into the locker room.

In the second half, the West Ottawa defense continued to shine. Throughout this contest, they gave up just one touchdown while forcing two turnovers. In the first half, they yielded just one first down, and in the second half the only productive drive was the touchdown scored on a pass from Drew Martini to Ian Smith with eighty-two seconds to play.

West Ottawa is now 4-1 overall, 3-0 in the OK Red, and they share the OK Red lead with Grandville, who is also 3-0 in league play. They have a huge test next week as they hit the road to take on East Kentwood, who will come in off their first loss of the season (28-14 to Grandville). For Hudsonville, they enter the back half of their schedule at 1-4, and they will host the Wildcats of Northview next Friday night. They need to win out to simply give themselves a potential chance for an at-large playoff bid, but given their recent play, this may be a tall task.

2Q 10:43WO 7-0Vandyke pass to Wade
2Q 4:10WO 14-0Vandyke pass to Wade
2Q 0:15WO 20-0Vandyke 1yd run
4Q 1:22WO 20-7Martini pass to Smith