By Ron Rop
But in the next breath, Smith warned that his team faced the gauntlet with such league foes as Grand Rapids West Catholic, Hudsonville Unity Christian, Holland Christian and others.
Well, on Friday night, the Trojans completed the mission with a 52-21 victory over the Holland Christian Maroons. The game marked Senior Night for the host Trojans.
The Trojans (7-2, 6-1) share the league title with GR West Catholic, a team they beat on their home turf several weeks ago.
“Our guys believe in what we are doing,” Smith said. “We’ve talked about building for this for the last 5 or 6 years. I’m really proud of our program and really proud of these guys … they earned it.”
Twins Colin and Pascal Jolman led the way offensively for the Trojans. Collin, the quarterback, rushed nine times for 107 yards and two touchdowns. He also completed 4-of-7 passes for 127 yards and two more touchdowns.
“Going out there and making big plays, especially on Senior Night, is fun,” Collin Jolman said. “It’s our last game on this field, but actually, I hope we get another one for the playoffs. It’s just special.”
Pascal Jolman also rushed nine times, but he produced 212 yards. His three rushing touchdowns included runs of 70 and 90 yards. He also caught a touchdown pass. Cody Nash, another dangerous offensive weapon, had two catches for 87 yards and that included a 52-yard touchdown reception.
Fruitport led 8-0 after one quarter and 24-6 at the half. A 21-0 scoring advantage in the third quarter put the game away. But that didn’t mean Smith was letting his guard down against the Maroons, who threw a lot of different looks at the Trojans.
Defensively, Nash led the way with six tackles.
“They do a lot of different things,” Smith said. “They try to do a lot of different things formationally, they do some screens and some tricky stuff. Our hats off to them. They did a good job, but once our defense settled down – they were so amped up early on and missing some tackles – but once they locked in and started playing our football, we could feel it.”
In the second half, both teams showed some explosiveness offensively, but the Trojans had built up the insurmountable lead.
Now the waiting game begins as the Trojans await their fate for the upcoming playoffs. While they are securely locked into a playoff berth, the question is who they will play and will they host a first-round game. Those questions will be answered Sunday night with the MHSAA Selection Show.
“I’ve been in the playoffs before with other teams and you get all these ideas that you’re going one way and you go the other way,” Smith said. “We’re going to sit down on Sunday and see where we end up.”