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Lowell secures playoff berth with 20-12 win over GR Christian

Qualifying for the MHSAA football playoffs doesn’t get old. Lowell, with its 20-12 win over Division 3 power and OK White Conference foe Grand Rapids Christian, secured its spot in the post season for a 16th straight season.

“Some schools may take it for granted, but making the playoffs is  still special,” said Lowell football coach Noel Dean.

The Red Arrows got  two defensive scores from its tenacious defense and still needed a stop in the final  three  minutes of play to secure its sixth win of the year and its second league victory.

“It’s nice to have East Grand Rapids and Grand Rapids Christian in our rear view mirror,” Dean noted.”However, we still have some big games ahead of us.”

Lowell travels to Jenison on Friday before ending the season with road games against Forest Hills Central and Caledonia.

The Fighting Scots are 4-2, 1-1 after a 44-6 win against Jenison. FHC is 1-5, 1-1 following a 10-0 loss to EGR Friday night.

The Red Arrows scored first at Bob Perry Field when Ryan Stephens found a wide-open Josh Branagan on a 23-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter.

Lowell extended its lead to 14-0 later in the quarter when junior Gabe Steed intercepted a Christian pass and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown.

The Eagles answered right before half on a 19-yard scoring strike from Lucas Thompson to Alex Bos. The extra point was missed, sending to the two clubs into half with Lowell leading 14-6.

The Eagles pulled to within two at 14-12 on a 24-yard pass in third quarter from Thompson to Bos. The two-point conversion failed.

It remained a two-point game until Lowell sacked Thompson in the Eagle end zone, forcing a fumble with Red Arrow Austin Hoekstra falling on it for a touchdown. The extra point was missed, giving Lowell a 20-12 lead.

“The touchdown sort of hurt hurt us. it gave Christian one final chance,” Dean explained. “Our defense, though, scored 13 points. I’m proud of its effort.”

As was Red Arrow middle linebacker Max Dean. “Our defense came up big. It played tough.” Dean was not only pivotal in helping Lowell carry out its defensive scheme, but also led Lowell in rushing.

“It’s not a time for tired, this was a big game and a big win as it qualified us for the playoffs.”

The game was marred by an injury to Eagle starting quarterback Patrick Hall. “My heart sunk for Hall,” Dean said.