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FOOTBALL FINALS WRAP-UP – Zeeland West takes title in D3, GR West Catholic crowned in D5

By: Scott Burnstein, December 2, 2013, 8:00 am

Ford Field saw both Zeeland West and Grand Rapid West Catholic claim state championships on Saturday in Division 3 and Division 5 respectively:

Division 3

Zeeland West 34, DeWitt 27

Despite only existing for less than a decade, the Zeeland West football program has built a championship tradition that many schools that have been around considerably longer would die for.

On Saturday, West held off a second-half DeWitt rally to capture its second state title in three years and serve their opponents up its first loss of the season.

West opened its doors in the fall of 2004.

Rushing for over 400 yards on Saturday, West wasted little time striking at the heart of the DeWitt defense, scoring on the second play from scrimmage courtesy of an 80-yard touchdown trot from running back Danny Bauder.

West (13-1) jumped on top 28-7 at halftime and controlled play throughout, especially in the trenches.

Sophomore quarterback Casey Brinks was smart and efficient under center, scoring two touchdowns, the first on a 7-yard pass to slotback Cole Hession late in the first half and the other on a 25-yard run in the third quarter.

Staging a late flurry, DeWitt pulled within a touchdown with less than five minutes to go on a 75-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Johnson to Josh Borta.

Brinks and the West offense put the game to bed though shortly thereafter, milking the clock the rest of the way to clinch the crown.

Bauder and Hession both went over the 100-yard mark on the ground, with Bauder rushing for 145 yards and Hession 125 yards.

Grant Postma added a pair of rushing touchdowns in the first half that propelled West to an early 21-0 lead.

Jordan VanDort (tight end-offensive line), West’s No. 1 player, is committed to Western Michigan.

Johnson, one of the best quarterbacks in the state, headed the DeWitt attack throwing for 290 yards and three touchdowns, two of them going to Borta (185 yards receiving).

DeWitt finished the 2013 campaign 13-1.

Division 5

Grand Rapids West Catholic 27, Menominee 14

The trick led to a treat for West Catholic Saturday and it wasn’t even Halloween.

West Catholic utilized a trick play, faking a field goal late in the third quarter that saw kicker Travis Hoving toss a 30-yard touchdown to Bryce Witham to break a 7-7 deadlock and spur the Falcons onto the title.

Seizing the momentum it garnered from the score on the fake field goal, West Catholic’s defense forced a three-and-out and when Falcons got the ball back, quarterback Travis Russell raced 25 yards for a touchdown to deliver a dagger to the Menominee effort.

Menominee couldn’t contain Russell, as the multi-talented field general totaled more than 300 yards off offense from the line of scrimmage, 175 through the air and 135 on the ground.

The journey to the state championship for West Catholic is made even more impressive than normal when you take into account the Falcons got into the playoffs via an at-large bid and were only 5-4 to conclude the regular season.

To pace Menominee in the stat sheet Saturday, tailback James Brown rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown and quarterback Justin Brillinski threw for 160 and ran for another 70 and a score.