Boys Varsity Football
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- Oct 8, 2021
- EAGLES : 24
BYRON CENTER HIGH SCHOOL: 10
The GR Christian football team traveled to Byron Center to face a tough Bulldog team that was previously undefeated, and came away with a hard-fought win in a game marked with rain in the first half and an extra long halftime due to lightning delay. The Eagle offense came out swinging and struck first, while the defense was stingy and opportunistic throughout the entire game.
GRC started the game by using long throws from quarterback Alek Wickstrom to Ace Thomas and Tyler Porte to march down the field and score on a 14-play opening drive capped by a short Buddy Hogan touchdown run. The Eagles successfully executed a fake PAT kick to score the two point conversion and take an early 8-0 lead. The rest of the first half was marked by ball control as rain fell consistently; the boys in Blue and Black took a 8-7 lead into the locker room at half.
After a scoreless 3rd quarter, the two teams went back and forth in the final period as Byron Center converted a field goal early in the 4th quarter to take their first lead of the game, 8-10. Not to be discouraged, Wickstrom and Hogan responded on the very next drive for the Eagles with a beautiful screen pass that went for 69 yards and a touchdown - giving the visiting team a lead it would not relinquish. The defense turned up the heat and took over the game as Junior TeQuan Culbreath extinguished the next Bulldog drive by delivering a furious QB sack in the Byron Center end zone for a safety. Later in the 4th quarter Thomas struck again, this time on defense, by intercepting a pass and returning it deep into Bulldog territory. The offense used the good field position to score on the next play with Hogan's third touchdown of the evening, a short run behind great blocking from the offensive line. The final score of 24-10 was truly the result of a full team effort!
The defense was led by the blazing play of linebacker TeQuan Culbreath, who registered 11 tackles, a sack, and 2.5 tackles for loss. Buddy Hogan, Tyree Gamble, Jaylin Garcia, and Tyler Porte all registered sacks as well and Amir Nixon, Ace Thomas, and Alec Koval each contributed an interception for the dominant Block C Defense.
Incredible play by senior running back Buddy Hogan was the catalyst for much of GR Christian's success on offense. Hogan finished the night with 109 yards and 2 touchdowns rushing, while adding 69 yards and another touchdown receiving. Ace Thomas was incredibly dynamic, carrying the ball 9 times for 53 yards and also added 3 catches. Amir Nixon led the Eagles in receiving with 4 receptions for 55 yards. Wickstrom was solid under center, throwing for 203 yards on 12 of 22 passing with 1 touchdown and 1 interception - certainly an impressive performance given the challenge of the rain in the first half! Junior center Luke Selfe also deserves big time kudos for his consistency providing great snaps and thunderous blocks in the midst of sloppy conditions.
The Eagles hit the road again this week as they travel to face talented conference opponent Forest Hills Northern on Friday at 7:00 PM. Go Eagles!