Byron Center Senior RB Owen Holverstott catches a 43 yard TD. Photos courtesy of Lou Murry Photography.
To see pictures of the game go here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/45681226@N02/albums/72157719874401586
The Bulldogs of Byron Center were finally able to play a game in their own backyard. Week 2 was a forfeit win sandwiched between two long road trips. Week 1 they were at Birmingham Seaholm (W 42-28) and last week in Elkhart Indiana (W 28-20). The home fans were happy to have their dogs back as they filled the stands at Waddell Stadium. The student section were so active that the entire press box actually rocked back and forth most of the night.
East Grand Rapids would come into the game looking to clean up some of the miscues from a week ago. Turnovers and penalties were the main focus for Coach Casey Longo, and for the most part, their hard work had paid dividends. One key turnover at the 4 yard line allowed the bulldogs to score with little effort, but the East defense did a good job when the ball bounced the Bulldog way.
East would score the first 2 touchdowns of the game. A 12 yard run by JR RB Andrew Caswell and a 2 yard run by JR QB David Bernecker followed by a missed and then a made PAT by SR K Nick Collins had East up 13-0. Unfortunately for the visiting Pioneer fans, the Bulldogs would score the next four touchdowns and eventually holding on to a 28-20 lead late in the game for the win.
Byron Center trailed 13 to 0 until an “ESPN Sports Center Worthy” play by the offense. JR QB Hunter Schichtel dropped back to pass. The ball was tipped by a Pioneer D-Lineman, and a one handed catch was made by JR RB Jason Sevigny. Several broken tackles later the Bulldog running back would find the end zone. The result a 64 yard touch down that sparked a flame in the Bulldog fans, family, and especially the team. Next to score for the Bulldogs would be JR Brady Breit on a 1 yard run, capping a 4 yard drive and putting the home team up by one (14-13). Byron Center would find themselves in great field position on the next series starting from the mid field stripe. Just a few plays later Breit would again score. This time a 7 yard reception followed by another perfect PAT by SR K Nathan Wieber (21-13). The final scoring play for B/C would again come from the arm of Schichtel, this time to SR RB Owen Holverstott for 43 yards putting the game just out of reach.
East Grand Rapids would get within 8 on a 4 yard power run by SR RB Nathias Grady (shown below) with just 3:10 remaining on the 4th quarter clock. The Pioneer defense would stop the Bulldogs and offer one final chance for East to force an overtime. The drive, although aided by a few penalties, would eventually come up just short and the Pioneers failed to convert on 4th down.
Unofficially Andrew Caswell finished the game with 33 carries for 209 yards for the Pioneers. The Bulldogs were led by Schichtel with 9/12 for 166 yards and 3 TD’s passing and 12 carries for 30 yards.
The Pioneers (1-3) will travel to Forest Hills Northern (1-3) next week while the Bulldogs (4-0) are back on the road, headed to Northview (3-1).
East Grand Rapids Special Teams tries to flip the field and the Bull Dog return man Jason Sevigny, while Nathias Grady finds a big hole and the end zone late in the game. Photos courtesy of Lou Murry Photography