The Kent City Eagles began their 2021 season by unveiling a beautifully renovated stadium. Their first opponent, the Newaygo Lions, gave Kent City all they could handle in this game. Ultimately, the Eagles held on for a 20-19 victory.

In the first half, Kent City played sloppily on offense. They committed five turnovers, stalling their own scoring chances and setting up Newaygo for all nineteen of their points. After neither team scored in the first quarter, the Lions capitalized on an Eagles’ turnover to get on the board in the second quarter. Remi Gracik and Remy Wells paired up for the first score, as Gracik’s pass went for a 17-yard touchdown.

Gracik scored the Lions’ second touchdown as well, though it was his defensive play that resulted in six points. He scooped up a fumble and ran through the Kent City offense for a 65-yard touchdown. Wells would also contribute in the defensive scoring, as he had a 55-yard interception return touchdown. Newaygo entered the locker room with a convincing 19-0 advantage.

In the second half, Kent City’s offense came into form. They committed zero turnovers, allowing their crew to build and sustain scoring drives. On their opening drive of the third quarter, Mason Westbrook broke free for a 40-yard touchdown, trimming the deficit to thirteen points. This margin would hold into the start of the fourth quarter.

Westbrook wasn’t done impacting this game, as he would score two more touchdowns in the final frame. His 8-yard run brought Kent City within five, and his 32-yard sprint to the end zone gave the Eagles their first lead. They would not relinquish this advantage over the final four minutes. In his stellar performance, Westbrook surpassed 200 rushing yards.

Newaygo begins CSAA Gold play next week with their first home game against Central Montcalm. Kent City is currently searching for a Week 2 opponent after their originally scheduled foe, Orchard View, cancelled their season.