Rams stay perfect with 34-13 triumph over Grandville
       On a wet and windy night in Grandville that seemed to favor the homestanding Bulldogs and their punishing ground game, Rockford used their diverse attack and eased their way to a 34-13 win that secured at least a share of the OK Red title. Senior quarterback Drake Irwin was the story of the Rockford offense as he threw for two touchdowns while running for a pair as well. Speedy senior wide receiver Cam Kruisenga tried to nudge his way into a spot on the marquee as well after reeling in five passes for 180 yards and a pair of 58-yard TDs as well.
      The Ram defense was also a huge part of the win while holding a potent Bulldog offense that had been averaging nearly 40 points per game to a pair of touchdowns. After stifling East Kentwood last week and racking up very few stats due to not seeing the field much, Rockford had a plethora of defenders with huge numbers. Senior linebacker Ryan Ahern had an incredible 20 tackles and tossed in an interception for good measure as part of a dominating performance. He was joined by his fellow middle linebacker (sophomore) Sam Cummings with 17 tackles and senior defensive lineman/ LB Gabe Stouffer with 15. Senior cornerback Louis Bosscher chipped in with 7, while senior defensive lineman Hudson Hensley and junior outside linebacker Andrew Hambleton both added six of their own.
      “That’s a good win against a very good team with an excellent coaching staff, ” said Rockford head coach Brent Cummings. “They are a tough team that executes their scheme very well and presented some challenges to us. The kids were excited to come out in these elements and execute and that is exactly what they did. Drake (Irwin) and Cam (Kruisenga) overcame some tough conditions to use their ability to make some things happen for us offensively. When the ball is that wet,, it is not going to come out as hot as it normally does and he was able to adapt and make things happen tonight. Just a great win in all aspects for Rockford.”
      Rockford got on the board first on their opening drive. Irwin did the honors on a six-yard scamper up the middle to make it a 7-0 game at the 6:03 mark of the opening quarter. Chase Vogt converted all four of his extra points on the night for the Rams. Rockford made it 14-0 with 6:42 left in the half when Isaac Poot took a pitch to the right and outraced everyone to the corner for a 24-yard TD. But Grandville kept it interesting with two-yard scoring pass on fourth down with just :03 left in the half to make it a 14-7 game at the half.
      But the second half was nearly all Rockford as they scored on only their second play from scrimmage. After a nine-yard gain on first down, Irwin dropped back and fired a deep pass to Kruisenga that he neatly gathered in en route to a 58-yard TD to make it a 21-7 Ram lead. But the Bulldogs again proved resilient as they marched 65 yards to make it a 21-13 game after the extra point was blocked by Stouffer. But Rockford again had a quick retort as Irwin took it in from three yards out at the 11:07 point of the final quarter to make it a 27-13 Rockford lead after the two-point conversion attempt went awry. Irwin and Kruisenga then performed an act of deja vu with their second 58-yard bomb of the night to make it a 34-13 score with 1:20 left in the contest.
      “Grandville is a team that wants to pound you all night long with their ground game,” said Cummings. “It takes all 11 guys doing their job on defense to slow them down. It takes a defensive line that is going to play their tails off underneath and play hard in the trenches, the linebackers are going to read guards all night long and the corners and safeties have to have discipline and stop any potential big plays. At the same time, they are going to sneak someone out of the back door and you have to be ready for that responsibility. But we did an excellent job against a very difficult team to prepare for.”
      Irwin led the Ram rushing attack with ten carries for 69 yards and a pair of scores. Poot added 40 yards on five carries and a TD and Ryan Ahern had 39 on seven attempts. Irwin was also 8 for 10 passing for 213 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

With the win, the Rams are now 8-0 overall and 6-0 in the OK Red. Grandville fell to 6-2 and 5-1 respectively with the loss. The Rams will look to secure their fifth consecutive OK Red crown with a win over Hudsonville in the regular season finale at Carlson-Munger Stadium at 7:00 P.M. on Friday, October 20 at 7:00 P.M.