On Friday, October 7, Gull Lake took on the Maroon Giants from Kalamazoo Central for the Blue Devils 2016 homecoming football game. A win could possibly put the Blue Devils back into playoff contention. The game brought together the entire Gull Lake community for the biggest home crowd showing yet this season.
The first quarter began with the Giants kicking off to the Blue Devils. Both teams ended their first drives with punts. Gull Lake’s second drive seemed to be over after a sack on the one yard line, but junior punter Ryan McMullen faked the punt and threw a pass to junior wide receiver Niner Stark.
“It [the pass] was pretty sweet. I didn’t know he would throw it to me but hey, tall guys have a connection,” Stark said.
The drive ended five plays later on yet another punt. The score remained locked 0-0 at the end of the first quarter.
On the second play of the second quarter, Stark intercepted the Giants pass and returned it eight yards, giving the ball back to the Blue Devils. After yet another Blue Devil punt, the Giants got the ball once again. The Blue Devil defense stood tall and the Giants were forced to punt, but the snap went over the punter’s head and put the Blue Devils in great field position at the 15 yard line. The following play, junior quarterback Hunter Snyder ran in the ball for a touchdown, and the first score of the game. Senior kicker Michael Tracy kicked the extra point and made the score 7-0, with 5:33 left before halftime.
As Gull Lake was trying to extend their lead, Snyder threw the ball deep to junior running back Thomas Vandermolen and the pass was intercepted by the Giants and returned to the one yard line. The Blue Devil’s defense held on until third down when Kalamazoo Central ran the ball in for a touchdown.
During the extra point, the holder couldn’t control the ball and attempted to run, senior outside linebacker Noah Weiss tackled him and the score remained at 7-6. The Blue Devils received the ball and tried getting into field goal range before halftime. Attempting to throw deep, Snyder’s pass was intercepted once again, and the ball went back into the hands of the Giants.
Coming out of halftime, Tracy kicked the ball into the endzone for a touchback, starting the Giant’s at their own 20 yard line. The Giant’s took the ball the whole 80 yards for a score, and they converted the extra point. 7-13. On the Giant’s next possession, Stark intercepted the Kalamazoo Central pass for the second time.
“We were close with them all game and the coaches kept us playing hard. It’s disappointing we didn’t pull off the win but we all played really hard in front of our home crowd,” junior safety Tyler Crippen said.
On Gull Lake’s possession, a fumbled handoff led to Kalamazoo Central recovery.
The first play of the fourth quarter began with Kalamazoo Central starting on the two yard line, and the Giant’s ran it in easily for the score. They converted the extra point and made the score 7-20. After back and forth drives, Kalamazoo Central had the ball and took a knee to end the game.
- I am the Sports Editor of The Reflection. I mainly write about football and basketball with a few miscellaneous articles here and there. I have won honorable mentions for my articles and this year I hope to win first place this year and win another Spartan Award for The Reflection.