Grandville Bulldogs Overpower Trojans

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Saturday, September 7, 2019, 7:12 pm
Lucas Walters

The East Lansing football team was outclassed by the Grandville Bulldogs in their clash Friday night. Grandville, a Grand Rapids suburb with an enrollment roughly 50% higher than East Lansing, perfectly executed their game plan and trounced the Trojans 59-20.

Trojans head coach William Feraco indicated that there is some value simply in competing with bigger, tougher teams, and that such an event is a valuable learning experience for his team. Whatever value there may be does not change the result of the game.

“They were better than we were tonight, obviously. They overwhelmed us,” Feraco said about the performance. “You have to give them all the credit in the world for that.”

The Bulldogs pounced immediately. The Grandville opening drive cut through the Trojans defense efficiently and put eight points on the board thanks to a successful two-point conversion. Before three minutes had run off the clock, the Bulldogs set the tone for the game.

The Trojans responded with a powerful drive of their own, capped off by a touchdown run from T’senre Gray before kicker Emory Roberts’ extra point was blocked.

Despite initially looking like an evenly matched shoot-out, the Bulldog’s relentless offense and a series of miscues from the Trojans effectively finished the game before halftime. Grandville scored on four of their next five drives giving them 29 points at halftime. The Trojan’s only stop came on one of their two forced fumbles in the game.

Meanwhile, the Trojans failed to convert on three opportunities in the first half. First, East Lansing was stopped on 4th down just outside the Grandville 20. Later in the half, the Trojans fumbled through the endzone resulting in a turnover, and, at the end of the half, a catchable Hail-Mary pass from Sam Busch fell harmlessly to the turf.

As a result, in a game that could have been competitive instead resulted in a 23-point deficit for the Trojans at halftime.

The Trojans offense showed some promise in the second half, including a long touchdown run from Asher Gregory and a touchdown connection from Busch to Andrel Anthony.

However, the Trojans were never able to mount a true comeback because Grandville’s offense continued their first-half pace, adding four more touchdowns and two more two-point conversions, completing the 59-20 drubbing.

Grandville’s offense was highly unusual, in the sense that they essentially ran one play throughout the game and did not attempt a pass on any of their drives.

The play involved a seven-man offensive line and three running backs lined up parallel to the line. On any given play, the ball was handed off to one of three running backs or the quarterback kept the ball. The other three potential running backs (including the quarterback) would then fake having the ball.

This trickery, combined with the misdirection used in each handoff, made Grandville’s offense confusing for the viewer and the Trojan defense alike.

Grandville was also extremely aggressive in their special teams play calling, attempting or lining up for a two-point conversion after every touchdown and attempting three onside kicks throughout the game, although none of them were successful.

Feraco, despite being disappointed with the result, indicated that he saw some positives in his team’s performance, including the play of the running backs and wide receivers, specifically complimenting Busch for his play and wideout Kye Bristow for his blocking as a wide receiver.

The Trojans will seek redemption next week as they visit Grand Ledge to open their CAAC Blue schedule.

“I think we’ve got to put this behind us, and we’ve got to understand that we’ve got to prepare better, and that means prepare better,” Feraco said. “We’ve got to have some guys step up.”

Photo by Kepler Domurat Sousa.

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