Red Arrow senior wideout Benjamin Bigham caught eight passes (132 yards) and scored a touchdown in Lowell’s electrifying 35-34 double overtime win against Grand Rapids Christian Friday night at Lowell Memorial Field on Bob Perry Field.
And yet, around Saturday morning’s coffee table his name is being remembered for his tipped pass (not any catch) during Lowell’s late, game-tying drive in regulation against the Eagles.
“The defender was pressuring me down field and held me. I saw the ball and was able to nick it with my hand,” Bigham recalled afterward.
The result was the deflected pass went into the waiting arms of sophomore Gabe Steed who powered his way to the Grand Rapids Christian 15 before being taken down. Two plays later on second and seven from the 12, senior running back Kanon Dean powered it into the end zone on a 12-yard run tying the contest at 21-21.
“We made some adjustments in the fourth quarter and that running play worked ,” Lowell football coach Noel Dean said.
Steed would not have suited up for the contest pitting the number one team in Division III against Lowell (number 2 in Division II) except the Eagles did not field JV and freshmen teams.
“Grand Rapids Christian doesn’t have a (junior varsity team), so we called him up for this game. He was one of many parts that helped us win tonight. We don’t win this without him,” Dean said. ‘I’m also really proud of Ben (Bigham) he had a great game and has had a really great senior year.”
Steed also caught the game winning 10-yard touchdown pass in the second overtime.
Trailing 21-14 with less than four minutes to play a Kyler Shurlow pass was tipped by Bigham (intended receiver) and pulled out of the air by Steed for a 54-yard reception.
The game, however, was decided in the second overtime when Christian coach Don Fellows chose to go for two and the win after Eagle quarterbackTyler Sigler busted into the end zone on a quarterback keeper.
“I had enough at that time,” Fellows said. “At the end there, you have three yards to beat one of the best programs in the state on their home field, and we came just a yard short. Our kids feel bad about losing, but this was a pretty special game against one of the state’s best football teams.”
Christian took the lead in the first overtime on a touchdown pass from Sigler to Dominic Paiz. Lowell tied the contest at 28-28 moments later when Shurlow connected with Bigham on a 10-yard touchdown pass-and-catch.
Lowell regained the lead on its next possession when Dean again ran it in, this time from the four yard line.
Lowell scored first in this battle for O-K White supremacy when Shurlow found Bigham on a 37-yard pass down the Lowell sideline in the opening minutes of the second quarter.
It remained 7-0 until right before halftime when Sigler, on fourth and 20, found Dwayne Barfield on a 32-yard scoring strike, tying the game at 7-7.
The Eagles took their first lead (14-7) of the night at the start of the third quarter when Sigler tossed a 62-yard touchdown pass to Sam Kuiper.
Dean tied the game early in the fourth quarter when he scored his first of three touchdowns on a three-yard scoring run.
Grand Rapids Christian responded quickly. Sigler found Barfield on a 51-yard touchdown strike, giving the Eagles a 21-14 advantage. Sigler finished the game with 184 yards passing (11-of-23) and three touchdowns. The Eagles ran for 95 yards.
Lowell’s Shurlow finished the game with 318 yards and a touchdown pass.With the win, Lowell claims sole possession of in first place of the OK White Conference with a 4-0 league mark and 8-0 overall record.The Eagles, the two-time defending OK White champion and reigning Division 3 state champs, fall to 3-1 in the league and 6-2 overall.