Last year it took three overtimes and over 100 points to decide a victor when Zeeland West lost their regular season meeting to Zeeland East. This year’s event required only one OT and 92 points for Zeeland East to prevail 50-42. But the biggest disappointment was going to a football game and having a track meet break out. Like he did against Detroit Country Day in Week One, West’s Danny Bauder broke lose for three long sprint wins. Nor was he the only football player toting the baton, errr, football long distances at great speed. For Zeeland East, junior Corey Westra added three long sprint first-place finishes. A reasonable estimation is that these six touchdowns combined required easily less than a minute. The shortest of these sprints was 60 yards and the longest over 80.
But lest you think this was a battle of the speedsters, the majority of the game consisted of good, old fashioned hard nosed football. Both teams had great moments and controlled drives. Zeeland West relied on its wing T offense to grind out clock eating drives relying on their four backs and a time tested play selection formula. For Zeeland East, Spencer Viening carried over a dozen times and proved a lot for West to handle. It took multiple Dux to stop Viening and on the winning touchdown run in overtime, even the huge Jordan VanDort and another Duc could not wrap up Viening. After hitting Viening three yards deep in the backfield on third and goal, he spun out to charge off left tackle eight yards for the winning touchdown.
Regardless of the score, there were defensive stand outs and series. Viening had 15+ tackles and several of these kept a West runner from breaking lose. His sophomore brother Caleb Viening played well at times as a defensive back and prevented West’s Bauder from breaking yet another long TD run in the second half.
As usual for Zeeland West, the offensive guards and tackles had very solid games and against the slightly bigger lineman of East. VanDort, the very big tight end for West was successfully handled by East’s secondary and primarily, Spencer Viening who was a standout offensively and defensively. For Zeeland East, offensive center and defensive tackle Jacob Compagner played a fantastic game. He’s a 6-3, 210 senior.
The Zeeland East kicker, Avery Echols, kicked a 28 yard field goal that was likely good from 48 yards. In a calm sea, he booted all of the kick offs into the end zone, most (including “do overs” on two kickoffs ) landed at the back line of the end zone. This young man can kick and as a senior, should be on somebody’s recruit list.
Its unfortunate that alot of the other players on these successful teams get overshadowed by the guys with all of the stats. For every Tackle that Viening had, TJ Langeland (LB-ZW) seemed to match. For every long run by Bauder, there was 4 or 5 times that Austin Bellis, Jadin Hunderman or Travis Jacobs (LBs-ZE) stuffed the ZW runner at the line. Seth Nyberg (S-ZE) followed last week’s performance against Holland Christian (3 Interceptions, 7 Tackles, Defensive player of the Week for MLive/GR Press) with a similar performance (1 Fumble Recovery, 1 Forced Fumble, 9? tackles). Marcus Lambert and Nick Jasch (ZW) also had long runs for TDs. Good Call on Jacob Compagner – He played great on both sides of the ball, as did Zach Poppema (ZW). There should have been 20 small college scouts at this game – They are missing the boat on the talent level and depth of these two teams.