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Game Recap: Caledonia 24, Grandville 14
Caledonia 24, Grandville 14
Caledonia came out of the tunnel, through the smoke and pyrotechnics ready to take a step forward. In the short term, it’s a 3-0 start to what appears to be a promising season. In the long term, it’s a glimpse of what this program will look like under first-year head coach Derek Pennington. The Fighting Scots dominated the line of scrimmage, took away Grandville’s downfield passing opportunities, and were able to move the ball with consistency behind the strengths of junior quarterback Mason McKenzie. Through three weeks, Caledonia has played like one of the top 5 teams in the area, and a team that will contend in the OK Red.
Mason McKenzie Shines
Mason looked like one of the best quarterbacks in the area on Friday night, as he carved up the Grandville defense for 173 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. Once Caledonia took a 14-0 lead late in the second half, the Scots didn’t need to go to the passing game as often. Mason was as effective in passing situations, completing 5 of 7 attempts for 61 yards.
On several plays where Grandville had Mason bottled up in the backfield in what appeared to be a loss of yards, the junior quarterback slithered his way out of would-be tacklers and gained positive yardage, even taking it the distance on an impressive 50-yard touchdown run in the second half.
Caledonia’s Defensive Line Dominates
Grandville has one of the bigger offensive lines in the state, and they’ve used that size to effectively run their Winged-T attack against inferior opponents. That wasn’t the case on Friday night as Caledonia’s defensive lineman routinely won the battle in the trenches and cut Grandville’s drives short on all three of it’s first half possessions.
Benjamin Norris, Andrew DeVries, and Tyler Burd were in the Grandville backfield with consistency and seemed to be one-step ahead of what the Bulldog’s were trying to do on offense.
Caledonia’s Secondary Impresses
Grandville had three offensive possessions in the first half that all ended in punts. Much of the credit for stopping those drives goes to the defensive line, as mentioned before. Yet at least two of those drives would have continued for possible scores if not for the speed and effort shown by the Caledonia secondary. The Scots’ secondary flew to the ball and delivered physical hits and sure tackles any time Grandville’s playmakers found open space.
Junior defensive backs Justice Reed and Jimmie Floyd contested every pass that came their way. Senior Aiden Kowatch delivered some big hits and took away Grandville’s deep shots down field in crucial moments of the game. Sophomore Brock Townsend, who looks like one of the best athletes in the 2024 class, impacted the game on both sides of the ball and will be a key weapon for the Scots for the foreseeable future.