The Pioneers Defense led by Billy Bernecker (34), Levi Neuhaus (76), Daniel Masek (17), Declan Lee (59), and Oatis Ackermann (83) pose for a photo before play resumes. Photo courtesy of Lou Murry Photography. Check out pictures of the game here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45681226@N02/albums/72157710741484243
The Pioneers would again have the comfort of playing on their home turf. Memorial Field would play host to the visitors from Forest Hills Northern. Both teams having lost in week one were looking to get on the winning track.
The Huskies of F.H.N. were coming off the loss to Byron Center a week ago, while the E.G.R. squad had dropped a tough one to the DUX. Both coaches would rely on their defense to try to gain an advantage as well as some much needed momentum.
The Pioneers won the coin flip, and their Defense would get the first chance to do just that. 3 plays later, the Huskies would be forced to punt from deep in their own territory. The result was an errant kick that went directly out of bounds after traveling just 3 yards. The Pioneer defense had set the table for the offense to score quickly. The East Offense would answer that call. Just one play from scrimmage would see Sr. RB John Shelton enter the end zone with the games first touchdown (17 yards). After the Sr Kicker Henry Wassink converted the P.A.T. the score, just 2:20 into the game was 7-0 East.
The next five possessions the Huskies would be forced to punt after the East Defense continued to not allow a F.H.N. first down. The East Offense would score 4 touchdowns before the first 12 minute quarter would end.
The Huskies would put their first of two touchdowns on the board just 26 seconds into the 2nd quarter. QB Trinidad Chambliss would be forced out of the pocket and scramble to the side of the field near his fans. After a great side step, the sideline became clear and the result of a broken play was a 55 yard Huskie Touchdown. Ethan Morello would add the extra point to bring the game to within 3 scores 28-7.
East would answer the score by the Huskies with another of their own just two and a half minutes later. Jr WR Aiden Stadel would take an end around play from the 4 yard line in for a score. The deficit would again be 4 scores. East 35 FHN 7.
Although it appeared the score would remain 35-7 into the halftime break, the East Offense was not done scoring. With just :37 left on the first half clock Sr QB David Lime would connect with class mate WR Josh Weiss for 6 more points. The halftime score would be 42-7 and the Huskies would be facing a running clock in the second half.
East would add one more score in the third frame. Shelton would score his second touchdown of the contest. This one from 35 yards away, that now made the deficit seem insurmountable. But hold on, FHN Coach Eddie Ostipow would keep his team motivated, focused, and they would score in the fourth quarter on a 2 yd Touchdown run by QB Ethan Ericsson. The PAT would be no good and the score board would boast a 49-13 EGR lead. That would be the final as the Pioneers would enjoy a home victory before going on the road for their final non-conference game next week at Hackley Field, home of the 2018 State Runner Up Muskegon Big Reds.
East Grand Rapids QB D. Lime would finish the night 8/10 194 yards 2TD’s and an INT. RB J. Shelton would carry the ball 13 times for 129 yards and 2TD’s. WR Sr J. Weiss 2-91 yards receiving and 2TD’s. While all three would make great Core Power Performance Players of the Game, the award would be given to SR DE Billy Bernecker. Bernecker had 5 tackles, a sack, and 2 tackles for loss, as well as provided some great blocking as a Half Back on the offensive side of the ball.
The Town and Country Group Electrifying Play would go to D. Lime and J. Weiss. They connected for an 81 yard TD that had a lot to do with Weiss making defenders miss after the catch.
The win moves East Grand Rapids to 1-1, while the loss gives the FHN Huskies a record of 0-2. The Huskies will look to get in the win column next week as they begin Conference play in the OK White on the road at Ottawa Hills.