Photo Credit: Sylvia VanderJagt, IG: sylviajade.photography
The stronghold of Jenison’s team all season has been their defense. This was on full display again on Friday as Jenison (4-1) defeated a determined Grand Haven (0-5) team 16 – 0 Friday night in a weather filled game at Jenison’s McKenzie Stadium.
Grand Haven began their opening drive on their own twenty and on a 3rd and 10, junior quarterback Owen Worthington was intercepted by Jenison’s Caleb Dean. Jenison took over on the Grand Haven 17 yard line, and four plays later they cashed in on a 1 yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Jaden Vandalsen. It would prove to be the only touchdown of the game for either team.
Grand Havens second drive was short lived as Jenison senior Nate Kopczynski made the second interception of the game, this one near midfield. The Grand Haven defense would stand tall against the Jenison rushing game and force Jenison to turn the ball back over to the Buccaneers on three consecutive drives before halftime. Grand Haven would also have trouble converting field position into points as they threw their third interception on their fourth drive of the game to end a 10 play drive.
Weather took over in the second quarter as strong winds, rain and sleet swept in to make moving the ball difficult for both teams. With 1:11 to go in the second quarter, lightening appeared which implemented a mandatory 30 minute delay. Officials determined after the delay that they would move directly into a halftime period and resume the game after that point by closing out the final 1:11 of the first half.
The second half found Jenison attempting to move the ball against the stubborn Grand Haven defense, but was found moving the ball difficult against the Grand Haven front line. They were able to recover a muffed punt on the Grand Haven 7 yard line which subsequently set up a 22 yard field goal by senior Nate Ross to stretch the lead to 10 – 0.
The teams would trade possessions throughout the second half with Jenison ending Grand Haven drives with three more interceptions, one by Dean and two by sophomore JJ Bessemer. Ross would end the game’s scoring with two additional field goals on Jenison’s last two drives of 26 and 25 yards respectively.
Jenison will close out the season next week as they travel to 4-1 Hudsonville for a neighborhood rivalry game, while Grand Haven will host the 0-5 West Ottawa Panthers in a showdown of winless teams.