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Photo courtesy of Lou Murray

East Grand Rapids opened the season with 3 non conference games. Although coming up on the wrong side of the final score in two of those, their goals are very achievable. One of those goals is to win the OK Gold Conference. A great step toward that mark would be to start conference play with a victory. Not an easy task as the host Forest Hills Eastern Hawks have been playing real well.

The Hawks entered the contest 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the Gold. They have the offense to keep pace with anyone, as they have scored more than 75 points in those first three games. The Defense would be the big question in this one. They have given up 40 in a loss to Fruitport, but only allowed Holland Christian 7.

The two teams are very good in all three areas of the game. A game like this is typically decided by minimizing mistakes. Advantage Pioneers. The East G.R. defense was up to the challenge.

East drove the field on their opening drive and put 7 points on the score board with a 6 yard run by Nathan Milanowski. The kick off to follow would be returned 90 yards for a Hawk score by Luke Brenner. The score would be tied and the Hawks offense had not yet ran a play. The two teams offense would offer interceptions to each other before the Pioneers would punch it in once more before the 1st quarter would end. That score was a John Shelton run from 24 yards. 14-7 would be the score to start the second frame. East would score 3 more unanswered touchdowns before the end of the half. A 20 pitch and catch from Robbie Stuursma to Jack Mundell, Next another Shelton run, this time from 43 yards. Finally a David Lime pass to Aiden Stadel for a 15 yard score. East would lead at the break 35-7.

The second half would begin with a Hawk drive resulting in a touchdown. Gage Kruger would connect with Caden Vandenberge from 27 yards out. This would bring the score to within 21 points (35-14). The onside kick would be recovered by the Hawks, and the home crowd was poised for Eastern to again cut into the Pioneer lead. That is when the Pioneer defense really went to work. The defense held the Hawks to 3 consecutive failed 4th down conversions. East was able to score on two of the turnovers on downs and extend their lead to  49-14. Both scores would come through the air as Lime would connect with Josh Weiss from 16 yards and Stuursma from 21 yards. Each of the Pioneers scores were followed by extra points from Henry Wassink.

John Shelton was the Core Power Performance Player of the game. 21 carries 213 yards 2 TD’s

The Town & Country Group Electrifying Play of the Game was the Brenner 90 yard kick return.

With the loss the Hawks fall to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the Ok Gold. Next week they will host Grand Rapids Christian. The Eagles throttled West Catholic tonight 50-10 and are now 2-2 and 1-0.

The win move East Grand Rapids to 2-2 overall and 1-0 in the Ok Gold. Next week they host Wayland. The Wildcats dropped to 0-4 tonight after loosing to Middleville T/K 14-23.