Turnovers plague Spring Lake in road loss to Coopersville

Josh VanDyke • Sep 30, 2017 at 12:23 AM

For three quarters of Friday night’s O-K Blue Conference clash between Spring Lake and Coopersville, it appeared the Lakers were poised for a possible road upset and their first win of the 2017 season.

Unfortunately, turnovers started to pile up on the red and gray, and the Broncos turned those eight miscues into quick points the other way, pulling away late for a 46-10 win.

Coopersville took command of the game early on, jumping out to an 18-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

Senior quarterback Riley Johnson scored from 10 yards out for the first score of the game. After Coopersville’s Vaughn Van Til intercepted a Caleb Montgomery pass, junior tailback Cayden Schneider converted the Broncos’ next drive with a 2-yard touchdown run on a reverse.

Kenny Bates would intercept another Lakers passing attempt on the ensuing Spring Lake possession. On the next play from scrimmage, Schneider raced 62 yards untouched for another Broncos’ score.

Both defenses would stand tall for most of the second quarter after that, with Zach Lisman intercepting a Riley Johnson pass late in the second quarter. That turnover seemed to spark the Lakers and breathe new life into the entire squad.

On the next possession, Montgomery connected with Noah Verlinde for a 56-yard touchdown pass to bring Spring Lake within striking distance with only an 11-point deficit on the scoreboard at halftime.

The second half opened with some trickery by the host Broncos, as they recovered a surprise onside kick attempt to open the third quarter. However, the Spring Lake defense forced the Broncos backwards and forced a punt.

On the next drive by Spring Lake, the Lakers used a power rushing attack to drive down to the Broncos’ 8-yard line. With the offense facing a first-and-goal situation, the Lakers opted for a passing play, which was picked off by the Broncos.

That turnover would take the air out of the Lakers’ sails and propel the Broncos to pull away for the win. Johnson would add a short touchdown run on the next drive to push the Coopersville lead to 25-7 with 1:54 left in the third quarter.

The Laker offense recovered some momentum on a big pass play from Montgomery to Verlinde that set up a 29-yard field goal by Eli Denslow to cut the Bronco lead to 25-10 at the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter was all Broncos, however, as the home squad scored 21 answered points to end the game with a running clock.

A little bad luck for the Lakers resulted in another Coopersville score, when Noah Verlinde stepped in front of a pass, only to have it ricochet into the hands of Schneider for a touchdown reception and a 32-10 Bronco lead.

With a large deficit and the fourth quarter underway, the Lakers were forced into passing mode, and the result was another interception. Bates reeled in a Montgomery pass attempt and set up the Bronco offense with another scoring opportunity.

Schneider would take care of the rest, hauling in a long pass from Johnson to get into the red zone, followed by a 14-yard touchdown reception a few plays later to score his fourth touchdown of the game for Coopersville.

The Bronco defense would turn the Lakers over again on the next drive, this time when Devin Smith jumped a seam pass from Montgomery. Bates would score from two yards out shortly after that and bring the game to its 46-10 final score.


Spring Lake (0-6) hosts Holland Christian (2-4) next week for their Homecoming game, while Coopersville (4-2) travels to Allendale (1-5).

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