The Newaygo Lions have had a frustrating 2021 campaign that saw them enter Week 9 with a 1-7 record. Facing a 4-3 Holton team that was holding onto the #26 playoff spot in Division 8, the Lions scored a major upset. Newaygo took away a big potential playoff point payoff in a 43-30 victory.
In the first quarter, Newaygo took a 9-0 lead. Midway through the frame, Dyllan Bazzett brought Holton down in the end zone, taking a 2-0 lead on a safety. On the ensuing possession, Grant Harkness found Bazzett on a 17-yard touchdown pass.
Austin Fowler, one of the area’s leading passers, got Holton on the board with a 16-yard strike to Bret Hosmer. Newaygo answered with two more scores to take a commanding 23-6 halftime lead. Grant Harkness tossed both scores, finding Josiah Long and Remy Wells on short passing plays.
In the third quarter, Holton returned to the end zone. Austin Fowler found an open Kevin Erickson for a 12-yard touchdown toss. The Red Devils got back within nine, 23-14.
Newaygo got the fourth quarter started with two touchdowns. First, Harkness used his legs on a 1-yard keeper. With three minutes left, Jayden Joseph ran seven yards for a touchdown that extended the lead to 37-14.
Holton scored with 1:49 to go, as Fowler and Kevin Erickson scored on a 27-yard passing play. Newaygo quickly answered on a 40-yard Jayden Joseph sprint to the end zone. With two seconds to play, Austin Fowler found Rice Robins on a 15-yard touchdown strike.
Grant Harkness finished 15/28 passing for 204 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Jayden Joseph added 149 rushing yards on 22 carries. Amaree James paced the receiving corps with 89 yards for the Lions.
Austin Fowler finished 26/33 passing for 250 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Fowler added 33 rushing yards. Kevin Erickson had 10 catches for 125 yards and three scores. Rice Robins added 49 receiving yards on 6 catches.
This Sunday, Holton will hope their performance has rewarded the team with a berth in the playoffs. Newaygo’s season will come to an end with their 2-7 record.