Yellow Jackets to meet Lowell in final game at Black Field

By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 12:52 pm on Friday, October 14, 2011

Greenville quarterback Curtis Heppe hands off to Kyle Trowbridge during practice on Wednesday afternoon. Greenville hosts Lowell on Friday.

GREENVILLE —  Friday night will be the final varsity football game ever at Black Field.
The field has been home for decades and accounts for many memories in the lives of Greenville residents past and present. The Yellow Jackets will to create even more memories when the Division 2 No. 3 ranked Lowell Red Arrows visit Black Field on Friday.
The Red Arrows will, likely, be more concerned with securing another victory than leaving memories for the Jacket faithful. Lowell will be looking to avenge last year’s 35-21 loss at home to the Yellow Jackets.
The Greenville win last year gave them home field advantage for the first two playoff games. It sent Lowell packing. But it was Lowell that made the trip to the Division 2 state finals for the fourth time in nine years.
This Red Arrows’ team (6-1, 2-1) is as good, if not better than last year’s team.
“I would say they are comparable. They have what was voted the best player in the state, in Gabe Dean, and he’s back as a senior,” Greenville coach Dave Moore said. “They do great things that are based around the quarterback. How can you not be better?”
The problem with Lowell is Dean isn’t the only talent on that team. Attention, obviously, will focus on Dean, but needs to be aware of other weapons as well.
“It’s so hard. You concentrate so much on him it’s tough to be able to cover all their other options,” Moore said. “And they have a lot of options. They can throw it, they have a fullback that can run and they are tough.”
Lowell is coming off back-to-back victories against East Grand Rapids (23-14) and Northview (45-15) last week. The Yellow Jacket are coming off a tough 49-0 loss at Grand Rapids Christian. The Eagles are rated No. 2 in Division 3.
“Give them all the credit. They are a tremendous team,” Moore said. “They have great athletes. Their coach told me they have five Division 1 athletes. They are loaded and having a great year.”
Lowell has had a long line of outstanding quarterbacks including now Michigan State University receiver Keith Nichols. Dean, though, may be the toughest.
“He is a 215-pound wrestler and I’m sure he’s bigger than that right now,” Moore said. “He is a tough kid and as good as they come.”
To win, Yellow Jackets (4-3, 2-1) will have to stop Dean. They will also have to score against a team that has given up just 101 points in seven games.
“He’s the guy (Dean), but you have to do it in a way you don’t give up everyone else,” Moore said. “We have to be able to run the ball. Last game was the first time we haven’t been to run the ball very well. Even against East Grand Rapids we ran the ball. We have to get back to that.”
An advantage for Greenville is playing at home. Moore expects his team to excited playing in the final game at Black Field.
“They know the historical significance of it,” he said. “They will be ready to go.”

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