The Rockford Rams and Grandville Bulldogs were two of the best teams in West Michigan all season long. It was only fitting that they got an opportunity to play once again in the district finals on Friday night. It was even more fitting that the two teams needed extra periods to decide a winner. After three overtimes, Rockford was able to emerge with a 34-28 victory and a district title.

Neither team scored in the opening quarter. The biggest play in the quarter was an interception by Grandville’s Carson Smith on a pass thrown inside the red zone.

In the second quarter, Grandville struck first. Zac VanderWest got the Bulldogs on the board with a one-yard touchdown run. Rockford would even the score in the second quarter with a touchdown run of twenty-nine yards by Zak Ahern. Grandville got another big play on the defensive end when Brayden Gamble hauled in an interception. This left the game tied at seven as the teams went to half.

The third quarter saw more stellar defensive play. Rockford thwarted a Grandville drive with a key fourth down stop. Later, Carson Smith got his second interception of the night.

With four minutes to play, Rockford would take the lead. Zak Ahern found Luke McLean on an eighteen yard touchdown that put the Rams up 14-7.

Grandville would roar back with just over a minute to play to even the score. Ian Sanders took to the air and found Marcel Love on a twenty-eight yard touchdown.

Neither team scored the rest of the way, sending the game to overtime.

Ian Sanders kept the football in the first overtime and powered his way into the end zone from seven yards out. Rockford would respond with a six-yard touchdown pass to Zak Ahern.

In the second overtime, Ahern took to the air and found Caden Currie on a seven-yard touchdown. Marcel Love responded for Grandville with a three-yard touchdown run.

As the third overtime came around, Grandville got the football first. The Bulldogs made positive ground, and they elected to go for it on fourth down. On the biggest play of the game, Rockford’s defense made a critical stop and sent the ball over to their offense.

Needing just three points to win the game, Rockford did not take their foot off the gas pedal. Zak Ahern took to the air and found Caden Currie on a ten-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone that delivered the victory.

Grandville was led by Ian Sanders with sixty-seven passing yards. Cam Terry added ninety-eight yards on the ground, while Marcel Love chipped in thirty four.

Zak Ahern was the star for the Rams with 139 passing yards and ninety-three rushing yards. Ethan Nash added eighty-two yards on the ground. Luke McLean led the team with sixty-four receiving yards.

Rockford clinches their second district title in three seasons. The Rams will now look for their first regional crown since 2012 when they host Saline next week. The Hornets (8-1) advanced to the regionals with a narrow 14-8 victory.