The Newaygo Lions hosted the Fremont Packers on Friday night, and both teams were looking for their first victories of the year. An early onslaught of points gave Newaygo a comfortable lead, and they did not relinquish it over the duration of the ballgame. In the end, Newaygo won 45-28.
Halfway through the opening quarter, the Lions got on the scoreboard. Grant Harkness kept the football, and the signal-caller plunged across the goal line from a yard out. Later in the frame, Harkness found Remy Wells on a 6-yard touchdown pass, propelling the Lions to a 14-0 edge.
The first touchdown of the second quarter saw Harkness find Amaree James for a 52-yard strike. Fremont would finally break the drought with an explosive 80-yard touchdown pass from Kyler DeKuiper to Wei Chen. Newaygo would close the half with two touchdowns. Harkness would pair up with Wells on touchdown throws of 5 and 53 yards. This gave the Lions a comfortable 35-7 lead.
Fremont started the second half out strong, scoring two touchdowns. Justin Dirheimer got things started with a 28-yard run. He would follow up with a 10-yard touchdown run on their ensuing possession. Jayden Joseph would provide some security for Newaygo, as the senior ran 25 yards to the end zone, pushing the lead back to 21 points, 42-21, with one quarter to go.
In the final frame, the teams each had one scoring drive. Justin Dirheimer’s third touchdown got things started, moving the Packers within fourteen points. With three minutes to go, Newaygo’s Josiah Long booted a 30-yard field goal to wrap up the points on both sides.
Offense was a plenty in this game, with 940 combined yards of offense (536-404 Newaygo). Grant Harkness was 16/21 for 251 yards, while Kyler DeKuiper was 11/17 for 184 yards. Justin Dirheimer (173 yards on 21 carries) was just edged out by Harkness (23 carries, 179 yards) in the ground attack. Jayden Joseph added 109 yards on 12 carries.
Next week, Newaygo will take on Tri-County. Fremont will continue to look for their first win, as they face the Grant Tigers.