Saugatuck suffers first home loss since 2014 season
Losing at home isn’t something the Saugatuck football team has had much experience with the past few seasons.
In fact, the Indians hadn’t been on the wrong end of the final score at a game played at Jarvis Memorial Stadium since the final game of the 2014 season when they dropped a 51-49 heartbreaker to Gobles.
Like all good things, however, that winning streak at home eventually had to come to an end. And it did just that on Friday, Sept. 15.
Hosting Schoolcraft—the ninth-ranked team in Division 6—Saugatuck fought back from an early 14-0 deficit to tie the score at 21-21 before a field goal in the game’s waning minutes gave the Eagles the 24-21 victory.
Saugatuck, ranked ninth in Division 7 entering the game, fell to 2-2. Schoolcraft improved to 3-1.
While the outcome wasn’t what Saugatuck coach Bill Dunn had been hoping for, he had nothing but praise for the way his players performed.
“It was a disappointing loss, but there is no disappointment in the great effort our kids gave to the very end with a chance to win in the fourth quarter,” Dunn said. “Schoolcraft is a great program and we gave them a fight to the end.”
Trailing 14-0 in the second quarter, Saugatuck used the arm of quarterback Jackson Shriver to get back in the game.
After hooking up with Brad Dunn on a 23-yard scoring pass to get the Indians on the board, Shriver found Jake Stewart for a 24-yard scoring pass. Evan Czarnecki was successful on both extra-point kicks, bringing the score even at 14-14.
Saugatuck fell behind 21-14 as Schoolcraft scored on the first possession of the second half, but again the Indians responded.
This time, Stewart forced his way into the end zone on a 1-yard run that, coupled with Czarnecki’s extra-point kick, made it a 21-21 game with 7:01 left to play.
On the ensuing Eagles’ possession, however, Schoolcraft took nearly six minutes off the clock before getting the go-ahead field goal.
Saugatuck had one last chance, but Schoolcraft came up with a turnover to seal the victory.
“I’m really proud of our team,” Bill Dunn said. “Having been down 14-0 early in the second quarter and fighting back to the tie the game at 14-14. And then being down 21-14 in the third quarter. The kids never gave up and continued to play hard for a full 48 minutes.”
Shriver finished 5-of-10 passing for 124 yards to go with 31 rushing yards on nine carries. Stewart had 65 rushing yards on 13 attempts, while Ryan Kunkel (52 yards) and Brad Dunn (48 yards) each had two catches.
Reece Schreckengust and Bryson Davis led the Indians’ defensive effort with 15 and 12 tackles, respectively. Connor and Keegan Carper each had nine tackles, with Connor Carper also contributing an interception.