The East Kentwood Falcons have been a surprisingly strong team all season. Anchored by a behemoth offensive line, Kyle Dent and Kionte Blakely had been able to lead the Falcons offense to average 53.3 points per game entering Friday night against Grandville. The Bulldogs’ offense averaged a bit lower totals as a result of two tough games to open the season, but a 73 point effort last week against Grand Haven showed their offense is capable of exploding. Though the offensive outputs didn’t reach those numbers, there was never a lack of fireworks in a 37-30 Kentwood victory on Friday night.
Grandville started the scoring in this one midway through the first quarter as Shane Baker punched it in from six yards out. Landon Poll was able to convert the two-point try to extend the Grandville lead to eight.
They would onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, and Grandville recovered. With just ten seconds to play in the first quarter, Baker scored again, this time from five yards out. Poll’s two-point conversion put Grandville ahead 16-0 after the first twelve minutes of play.
After running just one offensive play in the first quarter, Kentwood was able to move the ball in the second quarter. Kyle Dent kept the football from three yards out to put the Falcons on the board about three minutes into the quarter. This cut the margin to nine, 16-7.
The Falcons’ defense stepped up just before the half as Ryel Daye made an interception and returned it to the Grandville 23. This set up a Dent pass to Stephan Bracey from six yards out to pull Kentwood within two at halftime.
East Kentwood scored first in the third quarter on a 21 yard field goal by Christian Tanner. This gave the Falcons a 17-16 advantage. In the final three minutes of the quarter, both teams scored a touchdown. First Shane Baker scored his third touchdown of the night from ten yards out to put Grandville up by five. Just forty-two seconds later, Stephan Bracey broke a 61 yard run touchdown to put Kentwood back ahead 23-22 entering the final frame.
In the fourth, Dent and the Falcons scored on a six-yard keeper with 7:21 to play. The extra point was good to put Kentwood up eight, 30-22. With five minutes to play, Noah Atwell rushed it in from a yard out for Grandville. The two-point try was good and this game was tied at 30.
Kentwood responded with a lengthy drive, which was capped off with a nine-yard run by Kionte Blakely. The extra point put the Falcons ahead 37-30 with 1:55 to go. The Falcons’ defense stepped up at the end of this one as Ryel Daye made his second interception of the night to seal the victory.
With the win, East Kentwood is firmly in the drivers’ seat in the OK Red. They are now 4-1 on the year and 3-0 in the OK Red. These three wins include wins over West Ottawa and Grandville, the two heavyweights in the league. Next week, they will take on Grand Haven in their fourth league game. For Grandville, they fall to 2-3 on the season and they have a 1-1 league record. Next week, they host rival Hudsonville in a key game for playoff position for both teams.