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East Kentwood keeps it rolling in the OK Red with wild win over Grandville, 37-30

By: Steve Vedder, September 22, 2018, 12:05 am

KENTWOOD — Despite some uneasy moments, East Kentwood quarterback Kyle Dent knew the offense would get its chance sooner or later.

All his teammates had to do was trust the process, said Dent, who eventually led East Kentwood to a wild 37-30 win over Grandville before a homecoming crowd of 8,000 Friday at Falcon Stadium.

Despite trailing 16-0 and not even running their first play until there were less than 10 seconds to go in the first quarter, the Falcons overcame a pair of deficits while letting an eight-point lead slip away in the last seven minutes to arguably become the early frontrunner in trying to win its first OK Red title since 2014.

The problem, said Dent, was simply trying to get the offense on the field.

"We’re down 16-0 but you just have to have trust in what we had to do," said Dent, who threw for a pair of touchdowns while running for two others. "Grandville is a team that likes to take care of the ball so we knew we’d just have to work harder."

Dent’s 4-yard run with 7:18 left in the game gave the Falcons a 30-22 lead before the Bulldogs’ Shane Baker scored his fourth touchdown of the game on a 1-yard dive with five minutes to go. A two-point conversion run by Landon Poll tied the game.

But East Kentwood (3-0, 4-1) won the game on Kionte Blakely’s 18-yard run with 1:55 left. Grandville, which had beaten the Falcons the last three years, falls to 1-1 and 2-3.

Grandville used a pair of 5-yard runs by Baker to take a 16-0 lead, the second score coming after recovering on onside kick. That meant East Kentwood didn’t run its first play until 9.1 seconds were left in the first quarter.

"That’s typical of (running) the Wing-T," Falcons coach Tony Kimbrough said of Grandville’s offense-of-choice that produced nearly 300 total yards."They controlled the clock, but it feels good to beat them. They’ve had our number the last three years.

"We didn’t have a great week of practice because it’s hard to emulate their offense. I thought we held them in check, but they still scored 30 points."

The two teams combined for nearly 500 total yards.

With Grandville controlling the ball, a Falcons’ offense which had rolled to 212 points in its first four games was banished to the sideline. But Dent scored on a 3-yard run and then hit Stephan Bracey with a 9-yard touchdown pass to pull within 16-14 at the half.

The Falcons took their first lead on a 21-yard field goal by Christian Tanner midway through the third quarter before Baker gave the Bulldogs a 22-17 lead with a 21-yard touchdown run.

Dent fired a 61-yard touchdown pass to Bracey and ran four yards for another score for a 30-22 lead before Baker’s fourth scored tied the game.

Grandville coach Eric Stiegel said much of the game plan revolved around keeping East Kentwood’s offense off the field. With 240 points through five games, East Kentwood could make a run at the school-record of 667 points in playing 14 games in 2002.

Meanwhile, Grandville had rallied for 110 points in its last two games after the starting the season with a pair of tough non-conference losses to powers Clarkston and DeLaSalle.

"We played pretty well, the kids played hard," Stiegel said. "Kentwood is a very talented football team. We just ran out of time.

"(Michigan-bound Mazi) Smith is the best player I’ve ever played against. (Logan) Brown is a very good offensive tackle (headed to Wisconsin) and their quarterback can make plays. We figured they’d make some big plays because they do that against everyone."