Bucs end season on sour note thanks to Rockford

There were no late-season heroics turned in by the Grand Haven varsity football team on Friday evening at Buccaneer Stadium.
Nate Thompson
Oct 20, 2012

Visiting Rockford made sure of it right from the opening kickoff and pretty much the rest of the way, as the Rams stamped their achievement of becoming outright champions in the O-K Red Conference following a 45-7 thrashing of the Bucs.

Grand Haven sees its three-year playoff streak end, while head coach Mike Farley finishes with just his second losing in his six-year tenure as head coach.

“Unfortunately, we ended up 3-6, but I honestly don’t believe we’re a 3-6 football team,” he said. “If we could have had a couple breaks here and there go our way, it could have been a different story.”

But the Bucs’ story didn’t have many happy endings this fall. With inexperience dominating the roster, the Bucs had little room for error. They surely couldn’t allow the favored Rams to thrive on some early trickery, either.

Rockford caught the opening kickoff and quickly had four players huddle in a star formation, which created confusion on the Bucs’ kick defense unit. By the time Grand Haven figured out who had the ball, it was too late, as Rockford’s Devin Jager broke free at midfield and raced 99 yards for a school-record touchdown return.

“That’s a great way to start,” said Rockford coach Ralph Munger, whose squad is 7-2 overall. “We’ve been doing that (trick play) throughout my entire coaching career and during my entire 21 years here.”

Grand Haven’s run defense was up to the challenge early, and they also got a boost on a blocked field goal by senior Matt Mulcahy midway through the first quarter.

But the Bucs’ defense was on the field too often due to Grand Haven’s offensive struggles. The Bucs managed just one yard on 18 carries throughout the first half, as well as 46 total yards of offense. The advantage in first downs at the half was decisively in Rockford’s favor at 13-3.

Rockford blew the contest open with three second-quarter touchdowns. Its first was aided by Munger switching things up and going to a hurry-up offense, which caught the Bucs off guard. The long Rams’ 60-yard, 11-play drive featured all run plays, and was capped by a 5-yard sweep from running back Connor Grady.

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

Comments

ghjhs

I went to all the games, one thing that was very clear Lowell,Mona shores,West Ottawa and Rockford were just outstanding, last night watching Rockford play was a reall eyeopener they were just plain great..something has went wrong with the Bucs teem,I don't blame the kids,all the teems have kids it's how they are trained and the plays, we fell way short. and it's a lot more than a couple of breaks that went wrong.

ryandy73

I went to nearly every game this year, and supported the team just like I do every year. I believe this year's team failed to gain an identity. Other than being a very giving team. I would comment that this team played to their skill level. However, they were plagued by bad penalties, turnovers, constant miscommunication between players and coaches and mediocre talent. Nothing seemed to change throughout the season with the poor communication and unpreparedness. If your team is making the same mistakes consistantly in game 9 that you were making in game 1, most of that blame falls on the coaches. However, GH should still be a playoff team this year given their relatively weak schedule, only 2 of the 6 teams in their conference made the playoffs. Three of their four non conference opponents are playoff teams (two from Travis City). It's not that they had a losing season, it's how they lost their games. Five or six things I observed that were consistant throughout the year were: GH's talent level this year was definitely down at several key positions, coupled with some poor fundamentals.The GH coaching staff's inability to adjust in game to take away their opponents strengths. Third, GH coaching staff not being able to deceive their opponents on the offensive side of the ball, and the team's inability to make the big stop on defense. Poor communication inbetween plays between coaches and players. And Finally, GH coaching staff's inability to recognize their opponent's weaknesses and exploit them, which was obvious in almost every game. I believe GH will be a better team with more experience next year. However, I have yet to see GH's current coaches take a team with lesser talent to the playoffs, and with that GH's coaches have NOT failed to underachieve with superior talent. The Art of War should be manditory reading for GH's coaching staff this offseason. You have to win with less and dominate with more if you want to become great.

ryandy73

I went to nearly every game this year, and supported the team just like I do every year. I believe this year's team failed to gain an identity. Other than being a very giving team. I would comment that this team played to their skill level. However, they were plagued by bad penalties, turnovers, constant miscommunication between players and coaches and mediocre talent. Nothing seemed to change throughout the season with the poor communication and unpreparedness. If your team is making the same mistakes consistantly in game 9 that you were making in game 1, most of that blame falls on the coaches. However, GH should still be a playoff team this year given their relatively weak schedule, only 2 of the 6 teams in their conference made the playoffs. Three of their four non conference opponents are playoff teams (two from Travis City). It's not that they had a losing season, it's how they lost their games. Five or six things I observed that were consistant throughout the year were: GH's talent level this year was definitely down at several key positions, coupled with some poor fundamentals.The GH coaching staff's inability to adjust in game to take away their opponents strengths. Third, GH coaching staff not being able to deceive their opponents on the offensive side of the ball, and the team's inability to make the big stop on defense. Poor communication inbetween plays between coaches and players. And Finally, GH coaching staff's inability to recognize their opponent's weaknesses and exploit them, which was obvious in almost every game. I believe GH will be a better team with more experience next year. However, I have yet to see GH's current coaches take a team with lesser talent to the playoffs, and with that GH's coaches have NOT failed to underachieve with superior talent. The Art of War should be manditory reading for GH's coaching staff this offseason. You have to win with less and dominate with more if you want to become great.

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