News

Grand Ledge beats Okemos for seventh consecutive time in CAC Blue action

Football   | Darren Weiss

State Champs! Sports Network

Okemos - Coming into tonight's game Grand Ledge had beaten Okemos six straight times dating back to 2008. Tonight was no different as the Comets defeated the Chieftains, 20-7, in a Capital Area Conference Blue Division game at Okemos.
 
Grand Ledge senior quarterback JT Houghton led a great first half for the Comets (2-2, 1-1), on the ground and in the air.  The Comets led the entire game, and shutout Okemos in the first half, taking a 17-0 lead into the locker room. 
 
Houghton finished with 137 passing yards (9 for 17 passing) with two TD's and added an impressive 27-yard scamper that set up another touchdown.
 
Grand Ledge coach Matt Bird said that much of Houghton's success came from giving the defense different looks.
 
"We just tried to vary our formations as much as possible," he said. "They do a lot with their overhang, and they're such great athletes. Christian Moore and Chris Nelson are very, very disciplined. That team (Okemos) can play. JT was just able to create some things."
 
It appeared to be a turn of events mid-way through the third quarter, after the Chieftains recovered a costly fumble by Ba Blamo. 
 
Wasting no time Klaver opened the second half with a 37-yard trick play down to the Comets 10-yard line. Okemos eventually scored on fourth and goal, with a nifty 19-yard touchdown strike from Kalver to Kyle Krumm for Okemos' only touchdown.
 
It wasn't enough for the Chieftains as the Comets were anchored by junior defensive end Cooper Alspaugh. Alspaugh had a terrific game with two sacks and three tackles for loss, and he was constantly in the Chieftains backfield disrupting Klaver.
 
Alspaugh said he quickly noticed something about Okemos' center, which allowed him to be a frequent member of the Chieftains' backfield.
 
"Their center snaps with two hands, and was a little slow getting his hands back up," he said.
 
The surprising statistic that stood out in this game was the three turnovers on downs that the Chieftains had in the Comets red zone.
 
"I think our overall execution on offense wasn't real good for a lot of different reasons," Okemos coach Jack Wallace said. "We'll look at the film and get better for next week. But I told my team that nothing is as bad as it seems. In reality, we lost a football game and the sun will come up tomorrow. We just have to play better."
  
Grand Ledge controlled the clock for most of the fourth quarter, keeping the ball on the ground and converting through the air on key third down plays.
 
The score could have closer as Okemos couldn't convert on a number of chances. The Chieftains were able to move the ball on first and second down running the ball with ease. But Grand Ledge defense was dominant all night on third down as it recorded with six sacks.