EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The second time was a charm for Zeeland West coach John Shillito and his Dux.
Their game against East Grand Rapids was tied in the third quarter Thursday night when storms rolled in, forcing officials to postpone the matchup.
Shillito said it’s the first time in his coaching career his team has had to come back on Friday after a Thursday game “and I’ve been doing this a long time,” he added.
But when the Dux returned to East Grand Rapids’ field early Friday afternoon, the dynamic was different.
“I thought our kids responded great. I, you know, I actually think we showed up a little flat last night, and nothing — but I give all the credit to East Grand Rapids. The played a tremendous three quarters last night and very good quarter and a half today, but again our kids showed up this afternoon. I’m really proud of them,” said Shillito.
The Dux took the lead early in the fourth quarter with a touchdown, bringing the score to 20-14. East Grand Rapids answered with a touchdown drive and extra point, putting the Pioneers on top. But Zeeland West sealed the deal with a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, followed by an interception.
With 2:12 left on the clock, the Dux held onto their lead against the powerhouse Pioneers, finishing 28 to 21 in their season opener.
“That was a great football game. It really was. And that was an outstanding football team. They’ve got 27 seniors, they’re a veteran, veteran group so we’re proud of these guys for doing, taking care of this one,” Shillito added.