Damien Fortson lays out for a 31 yard catch. Photos courtesy of Lou Murry Photography To see all of the Murry Photography pictures click here…https://www.flickr.com/photos/45681226@N02/albums/72157720002017410
Some would say that the Battle/Rivalry between The East Grand Rapids Pioneers and the Lowell Red Arrows is one of the best in the state. Bally Sports Detroit would agree. Through the first 6 weeks of the 2021 campaign they have featured some of the biggest rivals in their Friday Night game of the week. This week they were in East Grand Rapids. The rivalry between East and Lowell has featured some great athletes, coaches, and final second plays. When I recall the games of the past I think of names like Grady, Catlin, Nichol, Sturrsma, and of course Dean (coach and players). Only one of those names were in action Friday night, and yes, he did have an impact in the final score.
The visiting Red Arrows controlled the line of scrimmage all night long. The Arrows would use the run 63 times and only pass the ball on 5 plays. East on the other hand, would only run 25 plays for the game, 11 of which were pass plays. East JR QB David Bernecker had success throwing the ball. He completed 6/11 for 135 yards including some dimes to senior WR’s Damien Fortson and Ian Masek. Meanwhile the East running attack was held in check by the Red Arrows front 7. JR RB Andrew Caswell has been averaging +220 yards per game. On Friday night he was held to just 29 yards on 8 carries.
The Arrows running game featured a three headed monster. SR FB Carter Blough, SR RB Josh Rau, and JR RB Carson Crace would split 54 of the 63 rushing plays. Finishing the evening with 121, 56, and 61 yards respectively.
Fumble, scoop, but not a score
The opening drive for the Red Arrows started at the 20 after a touchback. Lowell would then methodically march the ball down the field in what seemed to be the makings of the first score of the night. The first play inside the Red Zone, JR QB Dawson Huhn had the ball dislodged, it hit the turf, and was picked up by East SR DL Joe Rose. Rose intended to “Scoop and Score” but was brought down by Lowell WR Aiden Fitzpatrick near the midfield stripe.
That would be the extent of the excitement for the Pioneers in the first half. The Red Arrows would again march the field after blocking a 46 yard FG attempt and punch it in on a J. Rau 1 yard plunge. Rau would score from 3 yards on the next drive capping their 2nd drive of more than 11 plays. 14-0 at the Half.
East would drive and score on their 2nd possession after the intermission. SR RB Nathias Grady would line up in the wildcat formation, take the direct snap, and find the end zone from 13 yards away. 14-7 Lowell end of the 3rd.
Lowell would answer in the 4th as Blough scored on the ground from 6 yards. A 22 yard field goal by Lowell Soph K Todd Parcheta would extend the lead to 24-7 late in the 4th.
With the win the Arrows improve to 2-2 in the OK White and will travel to Northview (2-2) next week
The loss drops the Pioneers to 0-4 in the OK White, next week they will also be on the road as they visit the winless Greenville Yellow Jackets.