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Lowell 23, EGR 14 – Lowell breaks through in second half to end drought

Lowell had not won at East Grand Rapids since its 19-7 win in 2000.

The Red Arrows had not lost two games in a row since 1999 when it fell to East Grand Rapids 28-27 and then lost the following week to Zeeland (now Zeeland East) 27-14.

“Something had to give. We haven’t won here in a long time and its been a while since we had lost two in a row,” said Lowell football coach Noel Dean.

What did change Friday night was Lowell went into Memorial Field and persevered in a  23-14 thriller over the Pioneers, breaking an 11-year drought.

“What a great game. And what a great game for this senior group who until tonight have never won a game at the varsity level against East,” Dean explained.

Joshua Addington ran for 126 yards and a touchdown as Lowell defeated East Grand Rapids 23-14 Friday night.

The one constant that remained the same throughout Friday night’s game was the defensive effort from both clubs.

“Our defense was outstanding. And in that first half it outscored our offense,” Dean noted.

With the exception of two big touchdown passes of 63 (to DeAndfre Grady) and 58 yards (to Jahaan Brown), the Red Arrow defense bottled up the Pioneer attack throughout the game.

“Other than those two big offensive plays we had no rhythm on offense,” said East Grand Rapids coach Peter Stuursma.”Out defense gave a herculean effort lout there. It stood on it head tonight. “In the end though we had too many mistakes and our defense was out on the field too long. Dean (Gabe) is a 215 pound, three year starter and he’s going to wear you down and start breaking tackles late in games.”

Lowell, unable to sustain any offense in the first half, called on its line and a two-man running game in the second half to solve the Pioneer defense.

“I’m not sure what happened in that first half, but our offensive line guys pulled together, we made some adjustments and the kids played their tails off in the second half,” Dean said.

Quarterback Gabe Dean and running back Joshua Addington accounted for 35 offensive plays in the second half. Addington rushed for 90 of his game-high 126 yards while Dean ran for 59 of his 77 yards rushing.

All that said the game’s biggest play came on a fourth and 16 at the EGR 36 yard line. Dean rolled back and found a wide open Blake Lyman for a 35 yard gain, putting the ball at the one yard line. One play later Dean busted it in the end zone.

On its previous series, East’s defense stopped Lowell on a fourth and one from the Pioneer one, after Lowell had driven 59 yards in 13 plays.

“I’m sure it was a fun game to watch,” Stuursma said.  “It was a game between two schools who play hard and do the right things on the field,” Stuursma explained. “Our kids will stay together and get better.”

Pioneer running back David Drummond (#20) was held to 79 yards rushing by the Lowell defense. The Pioneer back picked up 50 of those yards in the final minute of play.

Lowell scored the game’s first touchdown when Dean blasted in from the one to start the second quarter. The Red Arrows were also first on the board  in the second half when Grant Breuker booted a 35 yard field goal, capping off a 44 yard drive to the EGR 18 yard line.

Addington had the honors  of tallying the game’s last score when he rumbled in from 28 yards out with 35 seconds left on the game clock.

Lowell finished the game with 203 yards on the ground and 43 through the air.

East ran for 84 and threw for 198.

Lowell, now 5-1,  will host Northview (4-2) on Friday.