Lincoln Willis recovers a fumble as East wins big. Photos by Murray Sports Photography.
To see the game in pictures click here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45681226@N02/albums/72157711204595226
Grand Rapids South Christian Sailors 35
East Grand Rapids Pioneers 59
The staff at 5/3rds Park worked diligently to turn an incredible baseball park into a football field. Their hard work paid off. Just over 3,000 fans were in attendance to watch two undefeated Ok Gold teams square do battle on the multi surfaced playing field. The fans were rewarded with incredible sight lines, wonderfully manicured grass, and an amazing scoreboard to enjoy the game. The teams would also add a bit of their own flare to the evening.
The first half went as most would have imagined. Similar to a couple of heavy weight fighters, both teams forced to punt on their first two possessions. The Pioneers would open the scoring on their third possession. QB Sr. David Lime would connect with WR Sr Davis Jennings from 3 yards out. K Sr Henry Wassink would add the PAT and the first quarter scoring would end showing East with a 7-0 lead.
The second quarter would see both squads score in several ways. SC would even the tally with a QB Sr. Chase Bradman connection to WR Jr. Elliot Grashuis from 13 yards. The SC kickoff after the PAT would then be returned 85 yards by East Sr. Robbie Stuursma. D. Lime would again take to the air and find WR Sr. Jack Mundell for a 38 yard TD. The next drive for the Pioneers would see WR Sr. Josh Weiss take a wide receiver sweep to the house for a 57 yard TD. SC C. Bradman would then find WR Jr. Eli Smith for a 19 yard TD. That would bring the game back to a 2 TD affair. The Sailors would take a little momentum into the locker room knowing that they would get the ball to begin the second half. Halftime score 28-14 East.
The third quarter would see 7 scores. 6 touchdowns and a Wassink 26 yard field goal. SC would score the first of many second half touchdowns as Bradman found WR Jr. Jared DeHaan for a Sailor crowd pleasing 84 yard TD. Each time the Sailors would score, the Pioneers would answer keeping the lead at no less than 7 points. The East answer would come from RB Sr. John Shelton IV from 1 yard away. Sailor play caller Bradman would then deliver a strike to WR Sr. Hudson Oetman for a 26 yard score. East QB R. Stuursma would then complete a TD pass to WR Sr. Jack Sheridan from 39 yards. Bradman wasn’t done yet, he would then reconnect with Grashuis for a 20 yard score. That would draw the Sailors to within 7 again, but a FG and a Shelton 29 yard diving reach for the pylon (see photo, Murray Sports Photography) TD would allow East a lead of 52-35 headed into the 4th quarter.
Shelton would cap off the night with his 3rd score of the night as he evaded would be tacklers and ran into the end zone from 19 yards. This would be the final scoring play for either team as some of the non starters would take the field to finish the final frame.
The Stuursma kick return was voted as the Town and Country Electrifying play of the game.
Chase Bradman was voted the Core Power Performance Player of the game. He finished the night with 6 carries for minimal yardage, but through the air, a career night. 30-54 for 465 yards 5 TD’s. The Pioneer defense hit him hard and often, but he continued to appear unfazed by the continued abuse.
The loss for the South Christian Sailors will move their overall record to 3-3, and they will now be in sole possession of 3rd place in the OK Gold at 2-1. They will travel to GR Christian next week. The Eagles defeated Thornapple Kellogg tonight and are now 4-2 (3-0).
The win moves the Pioneers into a tie atop the OK Gold with GR Christian. Both teams are 4-2 (3-0). The Pioneers will travel to Thornapple Kellogg next week. T/K lost to GR Christian tonight 0-35.