By Dave Hart
Local Sports Journal
The Reeths-Puffer Rockets were eager to see how they measured up against Lowell, one of the top prep football programs in the state.
By the end of the game Friday night, the talented-but-young Rockets learned they have some work to do before competing with the very best.
The Rockets were actually their own worst enemies, failing to move the ball at crucial times in a 42-6 loss on their home field. They turned the ball over six times on downs, and also lost the ball on a fumble and interception.
“We made too many mistakes, especially in the first half.” said Reeths-Puffer coach Kyle Jewett. “Their (Lowell) defense is strong and we are inexperienced up front.”
The Red Arrows (4-0) took a 7-0 lead with 3:10 left in the first quarter on a 20-yard touchdown reception by Gabe Steed from quarterback Ryan Stevens.
Steed ended the night with four receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
Max Dean gave the Red Arrows a 14-0 with 5:03 left in the second quarter with a one-yard touchdown run up the gut. Dean had 17 carries for 84 yards and was responsible for three of the Red Arrow touchdowns.
Evan McCrary put the Rockets on the board with 2:25 left in the second quarter with an 11 yard touchdown run, cutting the deficit to 14-6. McCrary had 15 carries for 46 yards.
A 66-yard touchdown reception for Lowell was the turning point of the game. Stevens connected with Steed for the second time in the game with 19 seconds left in the second quarter, giving the Red Arrows a 21-6 halftime lead.
“We should have got to the quarterback sooner and we should have covered better.” said Jewett. “That play definitely changed things.”
The third quarter belonged to the Red Arrows as they struck for three touchdowns – two scores by Dean from four yards and one yard, respectively, and a two-yard touchdown burst by Josh Colegrove.
“We need to work harder in practice and slow down when we are on the field.” said Rockets quarterback Jalen Cooley.
Cooley was 3 for 14 passing with 45 yards. He struggling from the pocket as the Red Arrows defense warmed him all night long.
The loss for the Rockets drop them to 2-2 on the season after starting the season 2-0. They will host Zeeland East next Friday in their second O-K Black Conference game.
“We fully expect to compete (in OK Black).” said Jewett. “We are learning new things about our team every game. We are so young that we will be young even next year.”