The Grandville Bulldogs squared off with Byron Center in a highly-anticipated non-league battle on Thursday. Grandville raced out to a big lead, before holding off a ferocious Byron Center rally. In the end, Grandville escaped with a 45-27 victory.
On the opening kickoff, Tyson Mann got Grandville started. He fielded the kick and raced 79 yards for a touchdown. On their first offensive drive, Grandville also found the end zone. Carson Kopko broke free for a 54-yard touchdown run. A successful conversion made it 16-0 Grandville.
Byron Center would finally bridge the gap with a touchdown of their own. Hunter Schichtel and Brady Breit, the Byron Center lethal duo, struck again for a 34-yard touchdown. Tyson Mann responded for Grandville with two touchdowns, a 50-yard run and a 1-yard plunge. These were also paired with successful two-point tries. Byron Center would get seven more points at the end of the half, a pass from Schichtel to Blake Ottow, but they trailed 32-14 at the break.
In the second half, Byron Center struck first. London Tungate reeled off a 33-yard run. A failed conversion left them behind by 12 points. Grandville would answer late in the third quarter. Tyson Mann found the end zone for a fourth time. His 3-yard run was paired with an extra point to push the lead to 19, 39-20.
The final quarter saw the teams exchange scores. Tungate and Isaac Lee linked up for a 12-yard touchdown pass in the opening plays of the frame. Jayden ‘Tank’ Terry would wrap things up with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Hunter Schichtel finished with 130 passing yards for Byron Center. He added 96 on the ground. London Tungate paced the BC running game with 115 yards, while Brady Breit hauled in 84 receiving yards. Next week, Byron Center will face Forest Hills Central in their OK White opener.
Carson Smith passed for 109 yards for Grandville. Jayden Terry had 59 yards rushing, but Tyson Mann led the way with 148 on the ground. Next week, Grandville squares off with Hudsonville in their OK Red opener.