Too Much Heinzman (3TDs) Topples Tigers
Newaygo 20 Grant 6
An hour before kickoff they started pouring into the stadium, dressed in orange and black and ready to cheer their Tigers on to a victory and a playoff berth.
After all it was homecoming, the Tigers and Lions held identical 5-2 marks and the two losses each team wore on their records came against the same opponents Reed City and Chip Hills.
Evenly matched and playing at home. The Grant faithful were fired up for a big win against an old rival.
The hosts won the toss and elected to receive taking it out to the 30. Jared Evans broke through on the first play for a 12 yard gain. The next play he carried for another 6 then after a couple of stuffed runs Trent Throop hit Alex Longcore with a first down pass. 3 plays later Throop hit Freddy Hall on the run and he sprinted 45 yards as the Tigers drew first blood and led 6-0 when an errant snap led to a failed point after attempt.
The enthusiasm on the Grant side was short lived. Zachary Rodriguez nearly broke the kickoff for 6 but was tackled on the Grant 13. Three running plays by Cooper Heinzman got the Lions into the endzone and the PAT by Francisco Rios gave the Lions a 7-6 lead.
The team exchanged punts through the rest of the first and into the second before Newaygo put together a 4 1/2 minute touchdown drive featuring the hard driving running game of Heinzman who scored from 3 yards out and after Rios split the uprights it was 14-6 Newaygo.
The Tigers saw a scoring opportunity go awry in the closing minute of the half when a penalty gave them the ball on the Lion 20 but the Lion defense sacked Throop twice and a chop block penalty took them back 25 yard and out of contention for a score.
The second half saw both teams struggling to move the ball.
The third quarter went scoreless as the rain began to fall in earnest. A couple of fumbles and missed snaps cooled down drives for both teams.
The 4th saw Newaygo run qb Connor Swinehart, Rodriguez and Heinzman behind an inspired o-line leading to another short run for 6 by Heinzman making it 20-6 after a snafu on the exchange led to a failed PAT.
Grant received the kickoff and began to move the ball but on a 3rd and 1 another issue on the snap from center led to an 18 yard loss and secured the win for the Lions.
Newaygo won this one in the trenches as their offensive line gave the rushing game openings and the Lion defense made moving the ball tough for the Tigers.
Newaygo (5-2, 6-2) returns to the playoffs after a 2 year absence and snaps the two game losing streak against their longtime rivals. Their final regular season game will be at home against Manistee (2-6)
Grant (4-3, 5-3) will have to defeat the Ravenna Bulldogs (3-4, 3-5) to take part in postseason play.
Mike LaFontsee Heinzman and Kade Bhutan were all over the field on defense for Newaygo while James Montney,T.J. and Jarrett Railing, and Jagarr Jenerou led the Tiger D.
Tri County 20 Fremont 15
The Vikings prevailed in a battle of winless teams. Riley Krim and Caleb Kooman scored for the Packers but the streak reached 26 as the Viking offense held to just 12 points in their last three games put up 3 touchdowns.
Fremont (0-7, 0-8) will play host to McBain (6-2) in their season finale while the Vikings welcome in the undefeated Eagles of Kent City in a cross conference matchup
Muskegon Catholic Central 49 Hesperia 9
The Crusaders were just too much for the Panthers as Hesperia dropped to 0-8 on the season. The bad news is they go on the road for their final game. The good news is they face Shelby who are in the midst of a 30 game losing streak.
White Cloud 29 Three Oaks River Valley 0
The Cloud went way south and rode home with their second win of the season.Kevin Arnold completed 4 passes for 136 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Eric Plotts grabbed the 2 touchdown passes for a total of 77 yards while Darion Holland and Conner Maring each had one catch for 46yds and 13yds respectively.
Buck Seabrook rushed for 104 yards on 22 attempts and a touchdown. Alex Doke added the final touchdown on a 1 yard plunge and netted 76 yards on 15 attempts. Darion Holland added 21 yards on 3 attemps.
Chance Montemayor added a 40 yards field goal and was 2 for 2 of extra point kicks.
The defense caused 11 fumbles and recovered 3 for the Indians.
Chip Hills 49 Big Rapids 26
Midway through the 1st Dorian Martin ran one in for the Cardinals to tie the game at 7. By halftime the Warriors scored 5 more times and cruised to the CSAA finale for both teams.
Chip Hills (6-2) qualified for the playoffs giving the Gold 3 teams in (Reed City, Newaygo) and 1 with a shot at it next week (Grant)
Reed City 62 Central Montcalm 6
The Coyotes (7-0, 7-1)) dismantled the Green Hornets (2-5, 2-6) to secure the title in the CSAA Gold Division.
Kent City 35 Maple Valley 0
Eagles are on a roll and the train doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. They face Tri County next week with a shot at an undefeated regular season.
Morley Stanwood 21 Beal City 16
The Mohawks (4-1, 7-1) defeated the Aggies and will face undefeated Lake City in a home contest to close the regular season
Evart 48 Holton 41
The Red Devils (23, 3-5) lost a shootout with the host Wildcats
Lakeview 55 Ludington 27
The Wildcats (3-2, 5-3) can wrap up a playoff bid with a season finale win over Central Montcalm next week.