Grand Rapids Christians wins a game for the ages against Hudsonville 35-34

By: Kyle Mills (@generalmills101)

Hudsonville’s Bradley Walker strolled into the endzone after a 50-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown. The Eagles had just taken a two score lead to go up 34-21 with only 10:26 remaining in the final quarter. A missed extra point would prove costly though in the long run for Hudsonville.

Fast forward two plays later and a lot had changed. After a long kickoff return by GR Christian’s Lukas Thompson to the opponent 37 yard line and then a quick touchdown strike by QB Patrick Hall to senior TE Alex Bos, suddenly the momentum was in GRC’s favor. Grand Rapids Christian had pulled within 6 points, 34-28 with only 10 minutes to go.

The Eagles of Grand Rapids Christian had been behind almost the entire game, facing two touchdown deficits three times throughout. Then their defense made a stand.

Christian was able to stop Hudsonville thanks to penalties and mental mistakes which put Hudsonville QB Mason Opple behind the 8 ball with consecutive long down and distance situations.

With the ball on their own 10-yard line and only 8 minutes to go in the 4th quarter, Grand Rapids Christian decided to turn to its best player to lead them down the field.

"We always say in pre-game that we can never give up and to keep believing. If we do give up on those who believe in us, we cannot be successful as a team. So we just kept on fighting," said the stud Grand Rapids Christian RB McLaughlin.

RB Malik McLaughlin seemingly took over the game as he spun and juked his way down the field. QB Patrick Hall stayed calm in the pocket and found his weapons on offense to keep the ball moving down the field. Facing a 3rd down with over 25 yards to go, Hall hit McLaughlin on a quick pass which he was able to squirm and weave his way only several yards short. McLaughlin then easily converted the 4th down on the next play to keep the chains moving.

“I tried to keep a clear mind and I always never give up until the clock hits 0:00,” said McLaughlin after the game.

A few plays later McLaughlin dove into the endzone to tie the game at 34 all for his 2nd touchdown of the night. Unlike Hudsonville, Grand Rapids Christian kicker Griffin Bowes was able to convert all five of his extra points and give the home team their first lead of the game 35-34 with only 2 minutes remaining.

After a long 2 minutes which included multiple penalties, sacks, sideline warnings, clock disagreements and frantic deep throws, Grand Rapids Christian came out victorious.

Improving to 4-1 with their only loss coming against Muskegon, Grand Rapids Christian needed this win with games against Lowell and upset minded Caledonia and East Grand Rapids still on the schedule.

This loss marks the second straight game that Hudsonville has lost by 1 point based off of not having a steady kicker to rely on. Rockford and now Grand Rapids Christian have both stunned the Eagles by 1 point and things are not looking any easier for Hudsonville. Grand Haven and West Ottawa will look to upset the Eagles while East Kentwood will be an extremely tough test as they are still undefeated.

Grand Rapids Christian Notes:

  • Grand Rapids Christian QB Patrick Hall was up for the challenge all game long as he completed 16 of his 26 passes for 246 yards and 2 touchdowns.
  • TE Alex Bos was dominant against the smaller Hudsonville defensive line and really came alive on Christian’s final two drives in the second half, carrying defenders multiple times for extra yards. He also added a touchdown on a 37-yard reception.
  • Senior RB Malik McLaughlin was the star of the game without question. Accounting for 128 yards and 2 TDs on the ground on only 11 carries, McLaughlin also added 133 yards receiving on 7 receptions. Hudsonville had problems tackling him all game long and he also busted many more long runs but was just barely tripped up each time.
  • Former starting QB Lukas Thompson, who is now playing WR, added a rushing touchdown and several big kickoff returns to help Grand Rapids Christian pull off the win.
  • The GRC defense did not allow an offensive touchdown in the second half and really started putting pressure on Opple, causing penalties from the Hudsonville offensive line seemingly every possession.

Hudsonville Notes:

  • Junior WR Cooper Cecchini had 4 receptions for 102 yards, including a huge 71-yard reception to put Hudsonville inside the GRC 10 yard line.Star QB Mason Opple did everything he could to make sure that Hudsonville would come out on top and controlled the game in the first half for the most part. He finished with 51 yards on 18 attempts and 1 rushing TD. He also was efficient through the air, totaling 16 completions on 21 attempts for 232 passing yards and 2 TDs.
  • Kaden Kempker was the star of the game for Hudsonville and went off in the first half of the game. He finished with 7 receptions for 104 yards and 2 receiving TDs while also throwing for a 27-yard TD on a double reverse trick play that caught Grand Rapids Christian off guard.

You can contact me at: Kyle.Mills@cornerstone.edu

Follow me on Twitter at: @generalmills101