The Grand Haven football team kept its slim playoff hopes alive with a convincing 49-14 O-K Red Conference victory over Holland West Ottawa on Friday.

The Bucs used a “ground and pound” strategy to snare the win, with 415 of their 436 total years coming on the ground.

The Bucs are now 4-4 on the season, and will finish the regular season against winless Grand Rapids Union last week. While it takes six wins to guarantee a playoff spot, some teams sneak in with five.

Grand Haven opened the scoring in the first quarter when Owen Krizan broke away for a 60-yard touchdown run.

The second quarter was another run-heavy affair. Austin Broemer scored on a two-yard rush, then Connor Worthington went from his own 12-yard line to the opponent’s end zone for an 88-yard TD.

West Ottawa answered with a touchdown run for 57 yards to make it 21-6, but the spread was restored when Grand Haven’s Grant Ellis scored on a 34-yarcd run, making it 28-7 at halftime.

Worthington made another big play in the third quarter, this time on defense, when he returned a fumble 29 yards for a touchdown to make it 35-7. The Bucs kept the pace up with two more rushing touchdowns in the third quarter, coming from Krizan  (40-yard run) and Broemer (two-yard run).

West Ottawa grabbed a consolation score in the fourth quarter.

Three different Bucs totaled over 100 yards on the ground.  Krizan led with 10 carries for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Ellis had nine rushes for 109 yards and one touchdown, while Worthington had 101 yards and a touchdown on only six carries.

Broemer also was a major contributor with 42 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns.

The Bucs defense played a key role in the victory by forcing six turnovers – three interceptions and three fumble recoveries.  Braydon Franz, Will McWatters, and Adam Strom picked off passes while Worthington had two fumble recoveries and Broemer had one.

West Ottawa fall to 0-7 overall and 0-4 in the conference.