Eagles' late scoring drive stuns Bucs

Facing 70 yards for a potential go-ahead touchdown with under 2 minutes to play, a game-winning drive for Hudsonville seemed highly illogical on Friday at Buccaneer Stadium.
Nate Thompson
Oct 14, 2012


But Eagles’ sophomore quarterback Mason Opple — who struggled mightily throughout the contest and didn’t compete his first pass until the third quarter — seemingly flipped on a switch and ignited the Eagles to a stunning finish.

Opple completed five passes in Hudsonville’s hurry-up offense on the decisive drive, including the game-winning 5-yarder in the flats to tight end Dakota Butcher with 14 seconds remaining, giving the Eagles a stunning 20-16 victory over the host Buccaneers.

“We went into the hurry-up mode and added a few things to it, and guys just started making plays,” said an ecstatic Hudsonville head coach, Dave Lidgard. “I tell you what, with high school sports, it just an interesting thing with emotion and ebbs and flows. We needed that victory. It’s been a struggle for us all season.”

It was just the Eagles’ second win this fall and it came in spoiler mode. The loss for Grand Haven all but eliminates any slight hope the Bucs had at reaching the Division 1 playoffs or having a chance at a share of the O-K Red Conference title. They now sit at 3-5 overall with a visit from league-leading Rockford looming in the regular season finale next week.

“Yeah, this one really does (hurt),” said a somber Grand Haven head coach Mike Farley. “We needed this one to put us even at 4-4, with a chance to compete for a share of the league title next week. But now, that’s not going to happen.”

Grand Haven was in control throughout the first half, as its defense completely bottled up the Eagles, limiting them to just 13 total yards. Opple was a complete mess, as he was 0-for-6 passing, including a badly thrown heave over the middle that was picked off by the Bucs’ Ryan Maguire in the first quarter.

Grand Haven opened a 7-0 first quarter lead on a 12-yard touchdown run by sophomore Aaron Gordon, and had some success running the ball throughout the first half with junior tailback Abe Westerman picking up 51 tough yards between the tackles. He led the Bucs with 72 yards on 21 carries.

Senior quarterback Michael Penland also had one of his most successful stretches of the season, as he completed his first 11 passes and threw for 103 first-half yards.

To read more of this story, see today's print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.



well I have gone to all the games even the out of town ones,I even lisen to the monday night show,I support the teem and I was a buc football player in the seventys.I even know some of the players as friends of my kids. The monday night show is alywas asking the town to come to the games, and we do the last few years the statem is full rooting on the teem.
Well I look at Mona Shores,Lowell,Rockford and west ottawa as well as the season Spring lake and Fruitport has.As I see it we had the talent,but our QB early on looked on but gave up and I was frustrated by the playes to the right up the middle against a five up front defence that went knowwere time after time..wide receivers that can,t catch the ball ,in my day if you droped the ball in a game next day in pratice you had to catch 20 before you went home..I played defencee and at half time in the locked room if the Qb and offence was'nt doing ther job some one was geting a talking to so to speak.
Next year their really need to be some really big changes..this year was enbarsing..if you want to keep the fan's coming..some reall changes need to be made..this last game with Rockford you will see some reall players like shores and west ottawa..their is no reason we can't be that good..we will see about next year..if it turns out the same as this year well ! , than some changes will have to be made we are compeating with some reall powerhouse teems it's time to really get toughf and stop making excuses. that kinda girls locker room talk ooo you did your best or their are just kids just don't fly in football the players and staff both need to man up.


Spell check......


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