Billy Bernecker (34) and Davis Jennings (88) spent most of the evening giving Mattthew Berg (11) the business. Photo courtesy of Mike Steers Photography.
The Pioneers of East Grand Rapids finished their regular season on Friday night with a dominating victory against the Wyoming Wolves. The stout defense and the rain stifled the Wolves’ offense, and East Grand Rapids got their third straight OK Gold title with a 30-7 victory.
On the games’ first drive, the Pioneers’ defense set the tone by forcing a three-and-out. Their offense followed on their third play with a 66 yard touchdown run by Jalen Broussard. At the end of the quarter, East Grand Rapids got their second touchdown on a thirty-yard jet sweep run by Jack Billo. This gave the Pioneers a 14-0 advantage.
In the second quarter, East’s defense held serve, limiting any successful drives by Wyoming. Their offense got a late quarter touchdown run by John Shelton IV, a four-yard carry, to give the Pioneers a 21-point lead heading into the locker room.
The second quarter was a bit slow on the offense end for East as they only mustered ten points. In the third quarter, it was Shelton again, this time from seven yards out. They would add a fourth quarter field goal of 32 yards by Henry Wassink to extend their margin to 30.
The Wolves got a touchdown late in the fourth quarter on a run by Cameron Simon, a sophomore two-way player. Adel Odobasic’s extra point pulled the Wolves within twenty-three, but they would lose this one 30-7.
East Grand Rapids’ defense was very strong in this one, as they forced three turnovers and they held Wyoming to negative 4 (yes negative!) passing yards on the night. Their third down efficiency was also strong as they held Wyoming to 1-for-13 on third-down conversions. The Core Power Performance Impact Player of the Game was given by announcers Dave Van Noord and Nick Ott was senior Davis Jennings, but the award could have been given to a whole slew of defensive players.
Wyoming falls to 2-7 and 1-5 in the OK Gold with tonight’s defeat. The Pioneers finish their regular season with a 6-3 record and a 5-1 league mark. The league record is good enough to share the league title with Grand Rapids Christian, and the regular season record qualifies them for the MHSAA Playoffs. On Sunday, the Pioneers will find out their playoff foe, and their potential path for a deep postseason run.