Division 4 - The AJ Westendorp Show

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Holland Christian 35 Detroit Country Day 20

There doesn’t seem to be nearly as many people supporting Detroit Country Day as there are for Holland Christian. It also helps that three of the four games today involved teams from Muskegon County and Holland is right by there. It made for a nice day of football for people from the west side of the state, especially when Muskegon County won three games today. This is Holland Christian's first state championship. Pretty good for a team that has only been playing varsity football for six seasons.

The opening kickoff by the Holland Christian Maroons went for a touchback. Bennie Fowler took the opening handoff and ran 34 yards and was face masked which gave them another 15. Receiver Allen Harris caught a touchdown on the next pass from quarterback Josh Harris on a 31 yard reception. The point after was blocked and the Maroons took over from their own 22 after the kickoff. Quarterback AJ Westendorp started the maneuvering of this no-huddle spread offense and beautifully orchestrated a 13 play, 75 yard drive, but was stuffed at the two yard line on fourth down. Country Day running back O’Neil Swanson took the ball on the next play and gained 31 yards. After that, they couldn’t move the ball and were forced to punt. Westendorp completed a nifty 21 yard pass to Willie Sneed IV which got them to the other side of 50. Then he ran 13 yards followed by a 12 yard pass to Matt Hochhalter which put them at the DCD 25. Westendorp finished the drive by hitting Nic Kiekover for a 25 yard touchdown. Country Day was forced to punt and the Maroons took over. On third and two, AJ ran for 13 yards and pushed them closer to the end zone. Westendorp completed a touchdown pass from nine yards out to Matt Hochhalter. At the end of the first quarter, Westendorp was 15 of 17 for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Faced wit ha third and ten at the Country Day 20, Josh Harris hit Fowler for a 24 yard gain into Maroon territory. Then JHarris completed to Jason Ray for 33 more yards to the Holland 12. DCD was facing a fourth and one on the Holland three. The Yellowjackets went for it and Swanson found his way into the end zone. Coach Dan MacLean made a gutsy call to go for two this early did not pay off as the ball was high and off the fingers of AHarris. HC was forced to punt back to DCD and the Yellowjackets pushed their way down the field using misdirection and some good passing. On fourth and one from the 11, JHarris completed to Fowler but Mark Timmerman made a fantastic open field tackle and didn’t allow him to get the yards needed. Westendorp gathered his troops and began their long march from the Maroon 15. Holland Christian had fourth and two chain links and fumbled the ball away on their attempted QB sneak, giving the ball to DCD on the Maroon 34 with two minutes before the break. O’Neil Swanson took it in from six yards out to give his Yellowjackets the lead. Their two point pass was completed to Joe MacLean. With 89 yards and one minute to go, Westendorp had a long way to go. As they were driving, Eric Slenk had the ball stripped on a reception and Country Day recovered. They attempted a 47 yard field goal as time expired, but it was off the crossbar.

Country Day kicked off to Holland Christian and it was returned to the 25. On the first play, Westendorp hit Matt Mulder for a 42 yard gain. Westendorp ended up completing a pass to himself after it was tipped, but it was for a negative 11 yards. Unfortunately for the Maroons, they were stopped on fourth down at the Yellowjacket 13. Detroit faked a punt which was close, but a foot short. AJ Westendorp hit Jordan Mast for the 22 yard touchdown pass on first down. With 7:46 left in the third quarter, Holland Christian was leading 21-20. Country Day had another fourth down and short but this time Fowler picked it up. Country Day did punt on fourth down but it was blocked by Timmerman and recovered at the 14 by Colin Britton. Two plays later, Westendorp tied the finals record with his 23rd completion on a touchdown to Sneed IV. Sneed then intercepted a pass at the HC 39 on the ensuing possession by Country Day. Westendorp found Sneed for a 14 yard gain and broke the completion record while closing in on the passing yard record a few plays later. Jeff Vroon scored from three yards out to end the drive. At this point, Holland Christian’s defense tightened up and slowed the offensive attack of Detroit Country Day. Another possession put up more passing yards (but the field goal failed) for Westendorp, pushing him over the passing yard record and upping his completion record. Facing yet another fourth down, Country Day was able to convert it on a quarterback keeper. Finally, facing a fourth and six at the Maroon 14, the pass was complete but a foot short. Holland Christian took over with 3:07 left in the game and a 15 point lead. AJ Westendorp and crew ran out the clock and won the game.

This game could have been called the AJ Westendorp show. He set the record for total yards with 426. Passing the ball, he completed 26 of 33 for 318 and four touchdowns. The 19 times he ran the ball, he gained 118 yards. On the season, he tied the record set a few weeks ago by Nick Ens with 40 touchdowns. Willie Sneed IV caught nine footballs for 81 yards and a touchdown in addition to his big interception.

Detroit Country Day played a good game. Josh Harris completed 14 of his 26 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown. Bennie Fowler gained 76 yards on 11 carries and also caught five footballs for 84 yards. O’Neil Swanson carried 20 times for 75 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, it wasn’t their day.