The Spring Lake Lakers started the Division 4 playoffs against Grand Rapids Christian on Friday night. They raced out to a lead, before a second-half resurgance allowed GRC to capture a 48-24 victory.
On the opening drive of the game, Spring Lake marched 11 plays down the field. Running the ball each time, they capped off a drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by Christian Folkert. Grand Rapids Christian fumbled quickly, and Ty French recovered. Two plays later, Christian Folkert powered across the goal line to give them a 14-0 lead.
The lead continued to grow for Spring Lake, as Jackson Core connected with Derrick Paggeot on a 36-yard touchdown pass. They added a field goal to grab a 24-0 lead. In the final minute of the first half, Alek Wickstrom found Aviere Thomas on a short touchdown pass to put the Eagles on the board. Spring Lake took their 24-7 lead into the locker room.
Grand Rapids Christian started the second half with a scoring drive, marching eight plays on their first possession. Ja’Martae Hogan capped off the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run. After securing an interception, the Eagles tightened the lead further. Aviere Thomas was open once again, and Wickstrom found him on a 15-yard connection that brought the score to 24-21 in favor of Spring Lake.
With eleven minutes to go, Grand Rapids Christian took the lead for the first time. Aviere Thomas showed his abilities with a 72-yard sprint down the sideline. On their next possession, Ja’Martae Hogan extended the lead with a 9-yard carry. The Eagles would ice it with a pair of scores. CJ Jones had a short touchdown carry, and Amir Nixon returned an interception for a touchdown.
This win gives the Eagles a 7-3 record on the season, and a third comeback win in their pocket. They now get a rematch with Unity Christian, one of the state’s best teams. The ‘Saders won their playoff game 67-0 against Forest Hills Eastern on Friday. In Week 2, Unity Christian won 58-21.