By Randy Gregory,
Michigan Sports Radio
After narrowly escaping Grandville with a 53-46 double overtime thrilling win last week in a hotly contested rivalry game, another more recent bitter foe will provide the opposition on Friday, September 24 at Carlson-Munger Stadium in Rockford. Despite their 2-2 record, Hudsonville will bring another excellent team to the fray. That record is very deceiving however as the two losses were by four points to Saline and two points to Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. Both of those teams currently sit at 4-0 as the regular season nears going past the halfway point.
In both of those losses the Eagles came right up to the precipice of winning as they were turned away at the goal line inside of the final ten seconds against Saline and failed on their final drive against St. Mary’s. Similarly, they were very fortunate to escape with a win last week against Jenison as the Wildcats missed a 20-yard field goal attempt on the last play of regulation in a 23-22 Eagle triumph. Their other game was a 42-17 win against a winless Holland West Ottawa team.
The Eagles offense features a decent running attack but is predicated on a strong passing game. All three of their touchdowns against Jenison came via the pass on plays covering 78, 33 and 29 yards. Rockford will counter with a multi-faceted attack that can score at any time from any position on the field led by senior quarterback Zak Ahern. Rockford is putting up an impressive 45 points per game while allowing 20.5. Hudsonville averages 27.5 while allowing 22.5 to their opposition. A Ram defense that had posted consecutive standout defensive performances against Cedar Springs and East Kentwood was shredded by Grandville last week for over 450 yards and 46 points. That will be a point of emphasis for Rockford this week.
he Eagles have made the playoffs in seven of the last eight years and are coached by Brent Sandee. Sandee has resurrected a program that had struggled for a few years from 2009 to 2012. The Rams are led by second year coach Brent Cummings who has a record of 12-1 during his short tenure. Rockford leads the All-time series between the schools with an overall mark of 16-7. Hudsonville actually won 4 of the first five meetings between the two teams in a series that began in 2003. But Rockford has won the last five and fifteen of the last eighteen to assume control.
The Rams saw what a rivalry contest could produce last week against Grandville and will see more of the same when the Eagles journey north and east to take on the Rams. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 P.M. on Friday, September 24 and another large turnout is anticipated for both squads.