Lack Of Depth Proves Downfall In Lion Opener
Vikings Prevail 38-12
By Alexis Mercer
With 3 sophomore starters going both ways and only two senior starters, Lion Head Coach Andy Busch was happy with the competitiveness his team put out on Friday afternoon against Hopkins.
“They knew where they were going, they knew their xs and os. We got pushed around physically in the second half because we just don’t...
...have a deep enough lineup yet. But I’m proud of their effort.”
The first half of the game being played at Davenport University started with Newaygo driving the ball 70 yards to score. Brandon Verburg caught the 5 yard pass from quarterback Dalton Jones to score. The extra point attempt failed and the Vikings responded with a touchdown and two point conversion to go up 8-6
Linemen Matthew Moore and Nick Simington led the Lions line, holding strong on defense, limiting many of the Vikings run attempts to 3 or 4 yards.
In another impressive drive by the Lions just before halftime, Jones broke free of the defense for a 40 yard run on 3rd down. The Lions lined up on the 5 yard line with 1:00 left on the clock for 4th and goal, but they couldn’t convert and Newaygo went into the locker room down by 2.
The second half proved to be all Hopkins.
"We moved the ball well in the second half," said Coach Busch. " But our kids were worn out from having to play every down both ways and on special teams, too.”
Hopkins used their deeper lineup to their advantage, taking every chance late in the game to wear the Lions down. When the final buzzer sounded, the Hopkins Vikings were victorious with a score of 38-12.
Despite the loss, the Lions had a lot of positive plays to build on going forward.
The team will be hitting the road again Thursday when they travel to Reed City to face the Coyotes in what has become a heated rivalry since the Lions joined the CSAA in 2012. That year a spirited group of Lions led by first-year Coach Busch avenged an early season rout when they knocked off the undefeated and heavily favored Coyotes on their way to an appearance in the regional finals.
Reed City opened the seasonwith a 32-9 win over Norh Muskegon.