Grand Haven’s Wade Wilson recovered Jake Lovett’s blocked punt for a touchdown in the third quarter and Isaak Newhouse had a spectacular 75-yard punt return for another score early in the fourth to give the Bucs a commanding lead over the Bulldogs and helping clinch their 21-11 victory.
The win for Grand Haven, coming in its O-K Red Conference opener, keeps its slim playoff hopes alive. The Bucs improve to 2-3 overall, while Grandville drops its second-straight game and falls to 3-2.
After a scoreless first quarter, Grandville put the first points on the board thanks to a 42-yard field goal by Ameer Abden early in the second.
Grand Haven responded with just 1 minute, 29 seconds remaining in the first half thanks to some razzle dazzle. A double reverse turned into a receiver pass from Isaak Newhouse to tight end Quinton Morley, who found pay dirt for a 32-yard score.
After Grand Haven’s defense pinned the Bulldogs deep and forced a punt, Lovett broke through and blocked the kick, which was pounced on by Wilson in the end zone for a 14-3 Bucs’ advantage with 4:56 to play in the third.
Newhouse helped give Grand Haven a 21-3 advantage early in the fourth quarter, with arguably the season’s most spectacular play. The junior initially misread Grandville’s punt, but tracked it down, made a pair of Bulldogs’ miss with a juke move, then found a lane down the right sideline to the end zone.
Grandville tried to make things interesting by trimming the Bucs’ lead in the fourth. The Bulldogs were awarded a rare safety after Grand Haven fumbled and the ball scooted out of the back of the end zone amidst a mad scramble for possession.
The Bulldogs scored their first touchdown with 4:33 to play on a 10-yard quick slant, but their two-point try was unsuccessful.
Both teams struggled to produce much offense, as Grand Haven had 150 total yards, while Grandville was limited to 134.
Abe Westerman led the Bucs’ ground game with 76 yards on 21 carries.
Newhouse totaled 9.5 tackles from his safety position, while defensive tackle Tyler Tippens also had a tremendous game with 5.5 tackles and a sack. Aaron Gordon had three tackles for loss.
Grand Haven hosts East Kentwood in the Bucs’ Homecoming contest next Friday.