The Grandville Bulldogs were among the first games to kick off the 2022 MHSAA football season. They traveled to historic Atwood Stadium in Flint for a showdown with Grand Blanc. In addition to the showcase venue, this was a tall test for Grandville, as the Bobcats were 12-1 a season ago. Early on, Grand Blanc pushed Grandville, but in the end, the Bulldogs delivered a statement victory, a 49-25 win.

Carson Smith got Grandville started offensively with an 8-yard quarterback keeper in the first quarter. A two-point conversion run by Jayden ‘Tank’ Terry gave the Bulldogs an 8-0 edge. Grand Blanc would respond quickly, as Owen Szczembara found Tae Boyd on a 52-yard touchdown strike. The Bobcats would fail their conversion attempt, however, leaving them two points behind.

In the final minute of the first quarter, Grand Blanc was able to take their first lead. Kaden Baker powered across the goal line from a yard out. Another failed conversion left the Bobcats ahead just four, 12-8, after the opening frame.

Jayden Terry would push Grandville back ahead in the first minute of the second quarter. The freshman shot through the defense, running around the right edge for a 20-yard touchdown run.

After an interception by Cashis Ruff, the Bulldogs were back in business. Carson Smith found Brayden LaCroix on a 59-yard passing strike. This pair of scores put Grandville ahead 20-12. Grand Blanc remained resilient, responding back with an 8-yard pass from Szczembara to Jaylen Johnson. A third straight failed conversion attempt left the Bobcats back by two points.

In the final four minutes of the first half, Grandville seized momentum and expanded their lead. First, Carson Smith and Tyson Mann paired up on a 71-yard touchdown strike. After an interception by Mann, Isaac Strock booted a field goal 22 yards through the uprights, giving the Bulldogs a 29-18 halftime advantage.

The third quarter started with stalled drives on both sides. With just under four minutes to go in the frame, Carson Kopko darted through the Bobcats’ line, racing 78 yards to the end zone. Grand Blanc responded with a third touchdown pass from Szczembara, this time to JT Webber. A successful PAT kick brought Grand Blanc one point closer than they started the half, trailing 35-25.

Grandville used the fourth quarter to extend the final margin of victory. Tyson Mann used his legs on the first score, carrying the ball six yards across the goal line. With less than a minute to go, Jayden Terry returned to the end zone. His 8-yard touchdown run, paired with Strock’s second successful PAT of the quarter, gave Grandville its final 49-25 advantage.

In typical Grandville fashion, the Bulldogs asserted their dominance on the ground. Carson Kopko led the way with 200 yards on 16 carries. Jayden Terry, playing his first high school game, finished with 18 carries and 111 yards. Carson Smith completed just three passes, but tallied up 168 yards through the air. As a team, Grandville racked up 604 yards of offense. Grand Blanc was led by Szczembara, who finished with 277 yards passing. The Bobcats had just 22 yards rushing as a team.

Next week, Grandville will face Byron Center in a non-conference showdown that has already captured the area’s attention. Grand Blanc will begin Saginaw Valley Red play with a game against Flint Carman-Ainsworth.