Division 5 - Eagles Fly Fourth State Title To Muskegon County

Jeffrey Cottrell

Muskegon Oakridge 26 Ovid-Elsie 14

Muskegon Oakridge won the toss and deferred to the second half. Ovid got the ball and began their first drive from the 23. Chris Robinson came into the game needing 163 yards to tie the single season rushing record. They did get a first down, but couldn’t convert on third and short so they punted and downed the ball on the Oakridge 31. The rushing attack of the Eagles pushed and pulled their way past the 50, inside the 15, down to the one, and scored with Matt Eacker. Quarterback Jamie Potts also had place kicking duties for Oakridge. Ovid took over on their 34 and moved down the field on a 28 yard gain by Robinson. Dan Higbee caught a nice 15 yarder to give them a first and goal from the six. Robinson ran it in from there. There was a fair amount of fans on each side, but I would have to guess more from Ovid as it is much closer than Muskegon.

Oakridge went for it on fourth and one to begin the second quarter; Michael Shoop picked up five yards and a first down. Potts tossed the ball 30 yards and hit Luke Cole along the sideline which moved them inside the red zone. Potts used the quarterback sneak to get the final half yard needed for their second score. The drive chewed up 65 yards over the course of five minutes. The Marauders couldn’t get anything going when the ball came back to them and punted away to Oakridge. During a time out, TV cameras showed Muskegon Oakridge lineman Preston Knapp, who obviously had a mishap with the hair clippers. After the timeout, Potts was able to convert the third down and long by completing a pass to Luke Cole for 28 yards. Penalties put the Eagles in a bad position: third and 27. After not converting the play, they punted. Jason Goosen was able to hit Nick Madden for a 24 yard completion. He almost had a pass intercepted and did not complete another. With fourth and seven, they punted. Oakridge had two time outs, 86 seconds, and 72 yards to go. They were driving but Cameron Hurst intercepted the Potts pass and ran it down to the 34. Ovid-Elsie took a time out because there was only one second on the clock and one play they could run. Goosen’s pass was tipped and fell into the hands of David Russek caught it and ran in from the one yard line. PAT was good and O-E had a 14-13 lead at halftime.

Ovid kicked off to Muskegon as they began the second half and the ball went out of bounds. The Eagles took over on the 35 and quickly marched inside of Ovid territory. When faced with a third and 10, Potts over-threw Thomas Schoonbeck and they had to punt. When the ball rolled out of bounds, it was placed at the 10. Thinking that they may have forgotten about him, Chris Robinson made a spectacular run for 51 yards. Unfortunately, the Marauders faced a third and 12 after that and Goosen’s pass fell incomplete. The punt was downed at the two, but Shoop took it out to the 34 on the first play. Oakridge did not pick up more yardage and punted away. The Marauders took over on their 25. Robinson had a fantastic run, but a holding penalty brought it back. It proved to be too much to overcome as they punted away. A few runs had the Eagles on the Marauders side of the 50. The third quarter ended with Muskegon Oakridge first and ten at the OE 35.

Cole took the sweep around right end and put his team in scoring position on the second play of the fourth quarter. On the next play, Eacker scored from 16 yards out. The two point conversion was no good. Ovid got the kickoff and when faced with a third and three on the OE 34, could not convert. The Marauders were going to go for it on fourth down, but a delay of game penalty forced a punt which rolled dead at the 25. Ovid’s run defense looked tired by the seven minute mark of the fourth quarter and the Eagles kept punching them in the mouth. With five and a half minutes left, Oakridge had third and six on the 40 which they converted with a long run by Shoop. Another third down from the 12 turned into six points, courtesy of Michael Shoop. Cameron Hurst brought the kickoff from the goal line out to the 34. It was crunch time for Ovid-Elsie. There was barely over three minutes remaining and the Marauders were down by eight. First and second down passes fell incomplete. It soon was fourth and 10 from the 34 and coach Jerry Goosen needed to make the biggest decision of the season; which play should the Marauders run in their effort for a first down? With all the marbles in play, Jason Goosen’s pass fell incomplete and the ball went back to Oakridge. The Marauders made a valiant effort to stop them and get the ball back, but Oakridge gained enough yardage for multiple first downs and ran out the clock.

Jason Goosen finished five of 13 for 79 yards and a touchdown. While Robinson ran 14 times for 117 yards and a score, he fell 47 yards short of the single season rushing record but did put his name in the third position. David Russek had the most receiving yards with his 33 yard touchdown catch at the end of the second quarter.

On the Oakridge side, Jamie Potts completed three of his nine passes for 66 yards and ran eight times for 34 yards and a score. Michael Shoop led all rushers with 177 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. Matt Eacker had 104 and two touchdowns on his 18 carries. Luke Cole carried 10 times and gained 38 yards while catching two balls for 58 yards.

This win gave Muskegon County four state titles in four tries this weekend. Not bad for a county with 13 schools. For those who wanted to deny it (like me), the west side of the state is better at football than the east side. They have better facilities and better overall community involvement. Don’t get me wrong, the east side of the state has some great programs, but the reality at this point is that the “west coast” has better teams right now.

THANKS FOR READING SPARTAN NATION
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