**ARTICLE BY HUDSON HARKNESS**
A slow start for Big Rapids hurt the Cardinals, as Coopersville gets the week one win on the road, 42-19.
Just two minutes into this game, Coopersville reached the end zone with a 3-yard run from Dylan Merlo. The PAT by Evan Raymond goes through the uprights to put the Broncos up by seven.
Both defenses stood strong until two minutes remained in the 1st quarter. Nash Merkins powered his way in for a 3-yard touchdown run. After the successful PAT, the Broncos held a 14-0 lead, a score that would hold after one quarter of action.
Nash Merkins got his number called again, and capitalized on the 42-yard run that ended in another Coopersville seven. Just three minutes after Merkins’ 2nd touchdown, he went for the hat trick with a 4-yard run up the middle to give Coopersville the 28-0 lead headed to half.
On the first drive out of the break, Dylan Merlo broke off a 37-yard run to give Coopersville seven more points. Big Rapids finally put a number on the board with a minute remaining in the third quarter with a Ayden Hewer 1-yard dive. Jace Heck’s PAT was good, and heading to the final 12-minutes, Coopersville maintained a 35-7 lead.
The Broncos put seven more points on the board just fifteen seconds into the fourth quarter when Colton Bosch connected with Nick Gordon for the 28-yard touchdown. The Cardinals started to push the ball down the field with four minutes left in the game when Charlie Hewer reaches the end zone for six. Big Rapids did not give in when there was 47 seconds left, and Wil Strickler connected with Riley Vennix for the 47-yard score. Coopersville was able to finish Big Rapids off with the 42-19 win.
Next week, Coopersville will hit the road for a clash with Sparta. Big Rapids will also travel, as they visit Newaygo.