The Dutch, now 1-1 on the season, won the first game of a two-year series with the Lakers. They fell behind 14-0 in the second quarter before rallying and stealing the victory in the Ray and Sue Smith Stadium on the campus of Hope College.
The game was replayed after a Friday postponement due to weather conditions.
“I was going into it thinking the game was going to be a battle,” said Spring Lake coach Jerry Rabideau, whose team is the defending Lakes Conference champion. “I thought it was one of the most physical games we’ve played in a long time, and we have to move forward from here.”
Spring Lake, now 1-1, built an early lead with the help of big plays. The Lakers’ recovered a fumbled punt by a Holland returner at midfield and scored in one play on a 50-yard run by quarterback Mark Williamson.
Less than four minutes later, the Lakers ran a fake-punt at the Holland 44-yard-line on fourth down and two yards to go. Upback Nate Batts broke loose for a 44-yard scoring run on the play.
Kaden Kendall, a member of the Spring Lake soccer team, kicked both extra points, and the Lakers led 14-0 with 5:59 left until halftime.
A fourth-down penalty for targeting the Holland quarterback on a pass play wiped out a pass interception by Spring Lake at the Laker 2-yard-line with 3:40 left.
With new life, Holland drove the remaining 21 yards in six plays with Elroy Payne getting the touchdown on a 2-yard run. Brandon Davis ran for the two-point conversion and Holland trailed 14-8 at halftime.
The Dutch took the lead for good on their first drive of the third quarter. Holland drove 73 yards in 13 plays with Davis again getting the touchdown on a 15-yard run. An extra point kick by David Zavala put the Dutch ahead 15-14.
Holland then stopped Spring Lake on defense and proceeded to score in one play on offense. Quarterback Wade Buckman passed to a wide-open Chase Wieghmink-Hafler, who ran 59 yards to the end zone to finish the scoring play. Another Zavala extra point pushed Holland’s lead to 22-14 with 5:57 left in the third quarter.
Leg cramps forced Spring Lake to juggle its lineup at key backfield positions in the second half. But the Lakers pulled to within 22-20 when Batts scored on a 1-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter. A pass for the two-point conversion fell incomplete in the end zone, and the Dutch kept the lead.
Holland added an insurance touchdown on its next drive, with some controversy involved.
The Dutch used Payne on an inside run for a fourth down play at their own 29. Game officials ruled the effort good for a first down. Spring Lake asked for a measurement, and officials found the ball came up a couple inches short.
Holland challenged and the officials reconsidered and apparently decided the chains had been incorrectly marked after a touchback on the kickoff, meaning the Dutch had gained a first down correctly.
Four plays later Davis went around the left side for 51 yards and a touchdown with 9:15 left. A Zavala extra point kick sailed wide, and Holland had its final margin of victory.
Spring Lake had two possessions in the remaining time, but the Lakers could not advance deeper than the Holland 34-yard-line.
Jakob Frederick rushed for 120 yards for Spring Lake.