Newaygo trips up neighboring Grant in Division 5 pre-district football matchup

Local Sports Journal

The Newaygo Lions earned a trip to the Division 5 football finals on Friday night with a 20-7 victory over neighboring Grant.

The victory sends the Lions into next week’s game against undefeated Reed City, which defeated Manistee 48-14 in its predistrict game.

“Newaygo played solid,” Grant coach Jim Stickney said. “They didn’t make mistakes and they didn’t do anything to cost them the game.”

The Lions (8-2) took a 14-0 lead in the first half on a 5-yard run by Zach Knight and a 22-yard interception return by Max Harrington.

The interception return came on a batted ball on a screen pass.

Grant was able to get on the board before the half ended on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Brennen Bomay to River Nelcher.

“That was big emotion for us in the lockeroom,” Stickney said.

There was just one score in the second half and that came on a 6-yard run by Heath Harrington in the fourth quarter.

The setback came after Grant had to win its final three games just to qualify for a postseason berth.

“The kids weren’t picked to win too many games this year, but they came through in stellar fashion,” Stickney said.  “I will tell you we got the most out of them and they got the most out of themselves.”

Conor Bradley led Newaygo with 12 tackles. Heath Harrington had nine.


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