**ARTICLE BY SEAN MASSA**
The Wildcats and Lakers began their 2022 seasons in a closely-contested battle along the Lakeshore. This one would go down to the wire, with Montague holding on for a narrow 20-17 victory.
Following a scoreless first quarter, Spring Lake found themselves in the end zone first in the second quarter. They took a 3-0 lead when Carter Ball booted a 42-yard field goal. Montague would answer right back, as Colton Blankstrom returned the kick-off 95 yards to the house to give his squad the 7-3 lead.
Spring Lake quarterback Reid Grimmer would find the end zone later in the quarter, with a 2-yard QB sneak to make it a 10-7 game in Spring Lakes’ favor. Montague’s Chase Gowell would continue the back-and-forth tilt, as his 43-yard touchdown pass put Montague ahead 14-10 heading into the half.
After a heavily offensive second quarter, the defenses stood strong for both squads in the third quarter, until Alex Lee of Spring Lake broke free for a 70-yard touchdown run to give his team the lead, 17-14.
Montague would answer back late in the fourth quarter, with an Adam Baird 1-yard touchdown run to regain the lead once again. A missed extra point kept the game just one field goal length away, as Montague lead 20-17 with 2 minutes remaining.
Spring Lake would enter the 2-minute drill, driving across midfield and into scoring position. Unfortunately, an offensive penalty would set them back, resulting in a hefty 50-yard field goal attempt to tie the game by Carter Ball. Balls’ kick would fall just short with 20 seconds remaining, and Montague would run out the clock and secure their first win of the season.
Next week, Montague will look to go to 2-0 when they face Ravenna. Spring Lake will seek their first victory when they take on Zeeland East.