GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grandville football team was on the verge of finally getting on the scoreboard late in Thursday night’s nonconference game against Warren De La Salle.
The Pilots’ defense wouldn’t allow that to happen as the Bulldogs failed to reach the end zone four times from inside the 5-yard line.
It was indicative of the way things went for the Bulldogs’ offense in a disappointing 31-0 loss to De La Salle.
“I’m going to give it to them,” Grandville coach Eric Stiegel said of the Pilots. “I think they got stunned last week by Lowell and had some things go wrong for them and they responded well tonight.
“We didn’t play our best game tonight and they played a very good game. They are a good team, and when that happens you get a lopsided score.”
The Bulldogs were shut out for the first time since 2013 as they struggled to run the ball against an aggressive defense.
“We withstood some things early, but we never really got it going on offense and I take responsibility for that as I run our offense,” Stiegel said. “We had a few things going and then we would stall out and have some negative plays, assignment errors and some bad play calls by me when we had some opportunities to get back in the game.
“Physically they played a great game and hopefully what that shows our kids is what we have to do to get better. I’m confident we will get better.”
Grandville was stopped on its first possession as Stiegel decided to go for it on fourth-and-one from their own 29.
The Pilots converted a field goal to go up 3-0.
“That’s what we’re going to do and we’d do it again,” Stiegel said. “They made a stop and we didn’t get that half yard. We have to find a way to get that yard and that fired them up.”
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Pilots coach Mike Giannone said the early defensive stand set the tone.
“When you can stop a team like that that thrives on the run and they’re powerful up front, I think that was a sign of the way the game was going to be played,” he said. “We had a really good week of practice and the kids played with a lot of confidence.”
Grandville trailed 17-0 at the half and an interception from quarterback Tommy Blitchok led to another Pilots’ score early in the fourth quarter.
It was a complete reversal from each team’s season openers. Grandville throttled Holt 53-13, while De La Salle was beaten by Lowell 36-6.
“I never want to be on this side of it, but we’re going to regroup and we’re going to find out what we have to do to get better and we’re going to make that happen,” Stiegel said.
The Bulldogs will look to recover next week when they travel to Grand Haven to open O-K Red play.
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