Photo courtesy of Lou Murray,

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The East Grand Rapids Pioneers and South Christian Sailors squared off on Friday night in a non-league showdown of two historically strong programs. EGR would win Friday night’s game 30-21, shaking off a tough opening loss to Zeeland West.

Neither team scored in the first quarter, but Chandler VanSolkema got things started with a 3-yard touchdown run. David Bernecker got the Pioneers in front with an explosive offensive burst. The Pioneers’ quarterback found Damien Fortson Jron a 80-yard touchdown strike that gave EGR a 7-6 edge.

East Grand Rapids would extend their lead in the first half on a short touchdown plunge by Nathias Grady. His 1-yard run gave the Pioneers a 13-6 halftime lead.

After forcing South Christian to turn the ball over on downs, East Grand Rapids scored first in the third quarter. Nick Collins booted a field goal from 35 yards that gave the Pioneers a ten-point edge.

Drew Caswell (11-yard) and Jeremy James (45-yard) both used their legs in the early stages of the fourth quarter to extend the East Grand Rapids lead. Those two touchdowns extended the score to 30-7 in favor of the Pioneers. South Christian would draw nearer on two more touchdown runs by VanSolkema, but it would not be enough.

The Sailors will begin the OK Gold portion of their schedule next week, as they take on Middleville. East Grand Rapids will commence OK White action with a date against the Grand Rapids Christian Eagles.