**ARTICLE BY HUDSON HARKNESS**
Kent City’s power run game was too much for Newaygo in their 2022 opener, and the Eagles picked up the 20-0 win over the Lions.
The scoring for Kent City started after a blocked punt by the Eagles. Caden Hartzell was able to power his way into the end zone. The two-point attempt by Kent City was no good, and that was all the scoring on either side in the first quarter. Kent City led 6-0.
The scoring drought was alive until Newaygo turned the ball over on downs. This allowed for Kent City to drive the ball late in the second quarter. Mason Westbrook ran right down the throat of the Newaygo defense on his 6-yard touchdown. This two-point attempt was able to cross the goal line, so Kent City took a 14-0 lead to the locker room.
The third quarter consisted of turnovers and tough defense for both teams. No team was able to find the end zone despite multiple trips to the red zone for the Eagles. The Lions found themselves rarely crossing into Eagle territory.
The first half of the fourth quarter embraced the idea of power run teams. It was run attempt after run attempt. That was, until with 3:30 remaining in the game, Kyler Larson was able to punch his short run into the end zone.
Newaygo’s attempts at scoring came up short, and the wet ball hurt the Lions in the pass game. The Eagles secured their first win under Zach Gropp, pitching a 20-0 shutout.
Next week, Kent City will host Central Montcalm. Newaygo will also be at home, welcoming Big Rapids.