Local Sports Journal

HUDSONVILLE — A frustrating football season continued for Grand Haven’s Buccaneers Friday, Oct. 11, as the host Hudsonville Eagles came away with a 28-17 victory in an O-K Conference Red Division game.

Grand Haven grabbed a 7-0 first-quarter lead, but Hudsonville always found an answer in junior quarterback Mason Opple.

Opple rushed for two second-quarter touchdowns and then caught a pass off a reverse running play from Mark Dieterle to score another on a fourth-quarter play covering 19 yards. An 18-yard run by Kyle Toth capped the scoring for Hudsonville with 3:24 left.

Grand Haven, now 0-3 in O-K Red games and 1-6 overall, took the early lead by driving 64 yards in 18 plays. Quarterback Karl Johnson scored the touchdown on a 1-yard run on third-down and then Ryan Maguire kicked the extra point for Grand Haven’s 7-0 lead with 2:06 left in the first quarter.

Hudsonville, now 2-1 in league games and 4-3 overall, frustrated Grand Haven as the Eagles came away with four long scoring drives.

In the first half, Opple ran for the first touchdown to cap an 80-yard, 18-play drive on an option play with 5:40 left in the second quarter. The drive started after Grand Haven’s opening score and used more than eight minutes of the game clock.

Grand Haven punted the ball away after four plays, and Hudsonville drove 81 yards in only seven plays with Opple scoring again on a 1-yard run with 1:28 left in the half.

Chase Pego recovered a fumble on a Buccaneer punt to continue a Grand Haven drive in the third quarter. Pego’s recovery gave Grand Haven a first-down at the Hudsonville 19-yard-line, but the Buccaneers had to settle for a 34-yard field goal by Maguire with 6:12 left.

An ensuing drive by Hudsonville turned into a scoring drive thanks to Opple. On a fourth-down and two yards to go play at the Grand Haven 45, the Eagles fumbled the ball, but a Hudsonville lineman picked it up, handed it to Opple and Opple rolled 26 yards to the Grand Haven 19 to continue the drive.

On a third-down play from the 19, Opple caught a pass off a reverse running play and Opple ran into the end zone for the touchdown. An extra-point kick after Opple’s second and third touchdowns boosted the Hudsonville lead to 22-10. The third touchdown ended an 80-yard, 13-play drive.

Grand Haven drove 64 yards for its last score. The Buccaneers moved┬áto the Hudsonville 19 on its next drive and scored on a fourth-down pass when Johnson threw to Jacob Kostner for the touchdown. Maguire’s extra point cut the lead to 22-17 in favor of the Eagles with 9:01 left.

However, Hudsonville’s offense took over again. The Eagles moved 80 yards in 10 plays and scored on an 18-yard run by Toth with 3:24 left. The extra-point kick failed, but Hudsonville had its final 28-17 margin of victory.

Grand Haven mounted one more drive, but it ended with about 50 seconds left when Maguire missed a 36-yard field goal try on fourth down.

The Buccaneers resume O-K Red on Friday, Oct. 18, by playing at Rockford.