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Determined offensive play, defensive swagger pace Lowell to win over No.1 Muskegon, 31-20

Dylan Brower brought the swagger and Lowell, ranked third,  was as good as it was determined in posting an impressive 31-20 win over Muskegon, the number one ranked football team in Division 2.

“Muskegon is one of the biggest games on our schedule. They are a  really good football team . This one meant a lot and we wanted it (a victory),” Brower explained afterwards. The senior running back/linebacker ran for 69 yards and was a key piece in the Red Arrows’ defensive effort in containing an explosive Big Reds offense.

“It’s nice to have Dylan back. He was out last year with a broken leg. Dylan brings a defensive swagger to our running game,” said Lowell football coach Noel Dean.

That swagger is one of power and deceptive speed (faster than he appears). “You could say that,” Brower said with a concurring grin.

Brower and his defensive mates held Muskegon to 88 yards rushing. More importantly, the Red Arrow defense took the burners out of the Muskegon jet sweep. The Big Reds explosive backs were never able to turn the corner and go vertical for any distance against Lowell.

Lowell’s play on offense was determined and nearly flawless in execution. Senior quarterback Kyler Shurlow ran for 105 yards, threw for 125 and and scored three touchdowns.

“We have something special here. He made reads and his decision making was good,” Dean said. “This senior class is also special  – 15 of them are in the top 50 of their class. It’s an intelligent group and one I’ve been around since they were in  elementary school.  I’ve been around them from Tonka Toys to playing varsity football. I’ve enjoyed it and I’ve enjoyed the character they’ve displayed and the way they go about things.”

The loss marked the fourth consecutive week ( Grand Rapids Christian, Grand Haven, Rockford) and now Lowell that the Big Reds have faced strong football programs.

“They’ve had a lot of big moments in big games with this schedule,” said Muskegon coach Shane Fairfield. “Now they will get the breather they need.”

Lowell took the opening kickoff and marched 70 yards as Kanon Dean capped the drive with a 20-yard touchdown run, giving the Red Arrows a 6-0 lead following a missed extra point.

Muskegon answered moments later when DeShaun Thrower found Justin Foster over the middle for 48 yards and a touchdown.

Trailing 7-6, Lowell took four  minutes off the clock as Shurlow led the Red Arrows 75 yards. He completed the drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Josh Branagan.

After a Big Reds fumble at their own 29 on their next possession, Lowell took eight plays with Shurlow busting into the end zone from the one yard out, extending Lowell’s lead to 20-7.

John Hall pulled Muskegon to with six (20-14) with a 15-yard touchdown run to open the second half.

Lowell stemmed the tide as it answer with a 65-yard touchdown drive. Shurlow scored from the three yard line making it 28-14 with a two-point conversion pass to Grant Peterson.

The Red Arrows added a 33 yard field goal by Austin Bieri in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 17 at 31-14.

Muskegon’s final score of the night came from its defense when William Hunt picked up a fumble and raced into the end zone from 29 yards out.

“This is just one game. We’re one game closer to hosting a playoff game,” Dean concluded.