New Montague quarterback Dylan Stever passes Wildcats past Orchard View 51-14

By Andrew Johnson
LocalSportsJournal.com

ALLENDALE – It will be a long time before Montague football fans forget All-State quarterback Jacob Buchberger.

But his replacement, Dylan Stever, is already helping to ease the pain of his graduation.Sport Clips 2016 football adlsj-fb-logo

Stever, a senior who backed up Buchberger last season, opened his career as a starter with an explanation point on Saturday, throwing for 246 yards and an amazing six touchdown passes in the Wildcats’ 51-14 thrashing of Orchard View at Lubbers Stadium at Grand Valley State University.

Stever, who completed 10 of 22 throws in the game, said he quickly found his comfort zone after the game started – which was obvious to everyone in attendance.

“It felt pretty great, I haven’t played quarterback since my sophomore year,” Stever said. “At first I had some nerves but they went away once I started to complete a couple.”

It only took one possession for Stever to find his groove. He found a streaking Bryce Stark for a 45-yard touchdown pass to give Montague a 6-0 lead only 2:54 into the game.

Orchard View tied the game at 6-6 with 4:01 remaining in the first quarter on an Isaias Reyes 13-yard rushing touchdown, but the Wildcat offense quickly overwhelmed the Cardinals.

Bryce Stark (33) receives a hand-off and pushes the ball up field. Photo/Kevin Sielaff

Bryce Stark (33) receives a hand-off and pushes the ball up field. Photo/Kevin Sielaff

Only 1:06 later, Montague took a 12-6 lead with a six-yard touchdown run from Stark.

Stever took over the rest of first half with three more passing touchdowns – two to Jack Jancek, covering 65 and five yards, respectively, and one to Josh Weesies covering eight yards.

By the time the dust settled Montague had a 31-7 halftime lead.

Orchard View’s Anthony Martin took a handoff on the first play from scrimmage in the second half and broke loose for a 72-yard touchdown, making the score 31-14.

But the Wildcats quickly responded with a 44-yard touchdown pass from Stever to Kenyon Johnston, and a nine-yard touchdown run from Sebastian Archer, to increase their lead to 45-14 in the third
quarter.

Stever finished his day with a 15-yard passing touchdown to Johnston in the fourth quarter.

Montague was led on the ground by Stark, who piled up 111 yards on 14 carries, while Orchard View was led by Martin with 75 yards on three carries. Jancek led all Wildcat receivers with four catches for 101 yards.

Seabastian Archer (4) drives up the field after receiving a hand-off. Photo/Kevin Sielaff

Seabastian Archer (4) drives up the field after receiving a hand-off. Photo/Kevin Sielaff

Montague’s Ross Grattofiori registered 11 tackles while T.J. Boykins and Byron Mosher each had six for
Orchard View.

Overall Montague head coach Pat Collins said he was pleased with how his team looked on Saturday.

“I thought we made some big plays but gave up a couple too,” Collins said. “They played with some edge and toughness, which is a good sign for our team. Stever has a great gift of a great arm and our
offensive line gave him time to make some big throws.”

Orchard View head coach Joe Tanis gave credit to Montague, but believes his team didn’t do itself any favors.

“That was a tough one but we’re playing a great team that continues to reload,” said Tanis. “Week ones can be funny sometimes and we played ugly.”

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