The East Grand Rapids Pioneers were off to a 1-5 start, their worst six-game start since 1969. Just like that 1969 club, the 2021 Pioneers won their seventh game in convincing fashion, blanking Greenville 42-0 on Friday night.
East Grand Rapids scored twice in each of the first three quarters of the game. In the opening frame, it was their rushing attack that made an impact. Andrew Caswell scored just under two minutes into the action, as he ripped off a 17-yard touchdown run. With three minutes left in the quarter, Jack Higgins scored from 31 yards out. Nick Collins booted two extra points to make it 14-0 Pioneers.
Forty-six seconds into the second quarter, the passing attack of EGR joined the scoring sheet. David Bernecker found Oscar Osbourne for a 2-yard touchdown. In the final minute of the first half, Bernecker and Conor Callahan linked up for a 61-yard touchdown. This gave the Pioneers a 28-0 halftime lead.
The running clock came into effect on the opening drive of the second half. 106 seconds into the third quarter, Andrew Caswell returned to the end zone, this time a 37-yard gallivant through the ‘Jackets defense. Mason Margherio rounded out the scoring with a 5-yard carry for East Grand Rapids, his first touchdown of the 2021 season.
East Grand Rapids dominated Greenville 378-97, as the Pioneers carried the football for 284 yards. Andrew Caswell rushed for 72 yards, Jack Higgins added 61 and Margherio chipped in 55. Tyler Sikkenga was the other Pioneer over fifty rushing yards with 53. David Bernecker completed 5/6 passes for 94 yards, with Conor Callahan (61 yards) his top target.
East Grand Rapids, 2-5, will try to return to the win column against Northview. Greenville, 0-6 0n the season, will look to snap a 16-game skid against Lowell on Friday.