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Grand Haven defense falters in lopsided road loss to Grandville

Josh VanDyke • Sep 14, 2018 at 11:38 PM

The Grand Haven offense bounced back from a scoreless performance last week with 21 first-half points on the road against a talented Grandville team Friday night.

The only problem was that the Buccaneer defense couldn't get Grandville's offense off the field in a 73-21 rout in O-K Red Conference play.

The Bulldogs racked up 448 total yards of offense, 410 rushing, on only 39 plays to light up the scoreboard during their Homecoming festivities at Grandville High School.

GAMETRACK

Grandville's Noah Atwell broke free for a 24-yard touchdown run on the opening drive of the game to give the Bulldogs an early 8-0 lead.

Grand Haven would respond with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Collin Takas to Bryce Taylor to cut the lead to 8-7 early in the first quarter.

It only took one play for Grandville to answer back, as Cam Terry found a crease and sprinted 76 yards for a touchdown run to make it 16-7. The Buccaneers would fumble the ensuing kickoff return and Grandville would take advantage with an 8-yard touchdown run by Atwell to go up 24-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Grand Haven would answer right back, however, as Takas took a designed quarterback sweep six yards for a score on fourth-and-goal to bring the score to 24-14.

Grandville wasted no time driving down the field for another score, as Landon Poll sprinted to the endzone from 22 yards out for another Bulldogs' score to make it 32-14.

A promising Grand Haven drive followed, but it quickly took a turn for the worse, as Grandville's Keith Bush scooped up a Grand Haven fumble and sprinted 57 yards the other way for a defensive score to extend Grandville's lead to 38-14.

Alex Kapala took over at quarterback for Grand Haven after Takas appeared to have injured his non-throwing shoulder, and the backup quarterback led a scoring drive late in the first half, capped off by a 25-yard touchdown pass to Owen Krizan to cut the deficit to 38-21.

Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, the Bulldog offense maneuvered down the field in less than a minute, as Poll found Atwell for a 38-yard touchdown pass with 18 seconds left in the half to give Grandville a commanding 46-21 lead at the break.

The second half would be all Bulldogs, as Grandville scored on a 15-yard touchdown run by Shane Baker after a botched punt by Grand Haven to extend the lead to 52-21.

A 5-yard touchdown run by Jaydon VanDeusen, followed by 32- and 10-yard touchdown runs by Caden Fisher in the fourth quarter ended a long night for the Buccaneer defense.

"We made a few mistakes that gave them short fields to work with," said Grand Haven head coach Joe Nelson during a postgame interview with WGHN. "We pretty much gave them four scores due to our mistakes. If we would have taken care of the ball, we would have had a lead at halftime, and then it's a completely different ball game."

Krizan led the Buccaneer offense with 97 yards rushing on 16 carries and 69 yards receiving and one touchdown on two receptions as a receiver, while Connor Worthington rushed for 36 yards on 12 carries.

Kapala finished 2-for-4 passing for 69 yards and a touchdown, while Takas was 1-of-2 passing for 15 yards and a touchdown pass to Taylor.

"We had some bright spots, despite the result," added Nelson. "Alex (Kapala) made some plays when he was in there, and Owen (Krizan) ran hard when he got the ball. It's just tough when you fall behind and have to play catch-up like that."

Joe Costello led the Buccaneer defense with eight tackles, while Austin Broemer added six and Krizan had five.

UP NEXT

Grand Haven (2-2, 0-2 O-K Red) hosts Rockford (1-3, 0-1 O-K Red) on Sept. 21 for their Bucs Pride Game.

"We have to pick ourselves up, learn from this and get to playing big-time football," added Nelson. "Rockford is a big rivalry game for us and there will be a lot of emotions going on next week. We need to use that to our advantage and turn this around. We aren't happy with the last two results."

Junior varsity: Grandville defeated Grand Haven, 48-16. Tanner Williams led the Buccaneers with 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Freshmen: Grandville defeated Grand Haven, 42-19. Ryan Francis and Hayden Hower led the Buccaneer rushing attack, while Nick Stump, Ashton Lepo and Owen Worthington led the defensive effort.

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