GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Grand Rapids Christian got plenty of attention from the polls this week, halfway into the regular season. The Massey Ratings have them at No. 1 in the state.
The Eagles, however, aren't as concerned with rankings as they are with victories.
But it was losing that seems to have really gotten the team going -- and it's fairly rare for a team to gain confidence from a loss.
Grand Rapids Christian recently made a trip to Cincinnati for a game against nationally-ranked Moeller.
The Eagles jumped out to a 24-14 lead in the first half, but Moeller came to life in the third quarter. Big plays by Northwestern University-bound running back Keith Watkins helped Moeller come back to beat Grand Rapids Christian 42-34.
The loss stung, but it made the Eagles players believe in themselves.
"It kind of humbled us. And then again, made us get a little more cocky in the same sentence," said Grand Rapids senior Davaris Collier. "It showed we can compete against the best of them."
"It just allowed our kids to come back and say, 'Man, if we just do what we do, stay focused, keep working hard, we've got a chance to win every single football game," explained Head Coach Don Fellows.
And that's exactly what they've done since, with blowout victories over both Kenowa Hills and Hudsonville.
In both games, they had a running clock by halftime.
"Our team chemistry is through the roof," said senior Alex Korhorn. "Offensive line-wise, we've got great non-verbal communication. That's huge."
With the core of an offense returning from a team that went 10 and 1 last season and three Division 1 athletes -- Michigan State-bound receiver Drake Harris, Central Michigan-bound tight end Zach Crouch and offensive lineman Tommy Doles, who has an offer from Michigan -- the team was set to have an explosive offense headed into the season.
The question mark was the defense, which starts a freshman and four sophomores. But the young defense has stepped up.
"There's always learning to do, especially with the young kids," said Fellows. "Holding Kenowa Hills to a shutout. Realistically, we played our first team defense against Hudsonville, holding them to seven points. We're really excited about our defense, but there's still a lot of stuff to improve on."
Week 5 of Football Frenzy will include highlights of up to 21 games, with OK White in the spotlight:
- Caledonia at Grand Rapids Christian
- East Grand Rapids vs Forest Hills Central at Fifth Third Ballpark
- Lowell at Jenison
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