BELDING — Once the Belding Redskins offense got rolling, it never stopped.
The Redskins cruised to 63-42 victory at Rudness Field on Thursday night against Lake Odessa Lakewood. It was Belding’s second straight win against the Vikings.
“I think it was an exciting night for the kids. There was a great crowd and it was the opening of the field,” Belding coach Joe Schwander said. “I think they were disappointed in last week’s performance. The expectation was different than the outcome and I think they had a chip on their shoulder. They wanted to represent themselves better for their community.”
Early in the first quarter it did not look like it would be a Belding victory as Lakewood opened up a two touchdown advantage.
The ensuing kickoff was just the spark the Redskins needed. Belding senior Brendan Zuver took the kickoff 90 yards for a score and open the offensive floodgates.
“He is a very good athlete and never had won a home game,” Schwander said of the three-year varsity player. “For him it was pretty cool and he had a big game.”
Zuver finished the night with 103 yards rushing on just nine carries. He found the end zone three times, once on the ground, once through the air and the other on a kickoff return.
Schwander was happy to see his team bounce back after the early deficit.
“The guys were great. I think their enthusiasm is where it is supposed to be,” Schwander said. “In hindsight, you enjoy, as a coach, watching your team struggle. You like having some adversity and watching them battle back and capture the momentum.”
Belding quarterback Brady Badder helped to lead the offense with a spectacular night. He completed 12 of 15 passes for 246 yards and five touchdowns. Badder finished the night with 94 yards rushing, which included a 78-yard touchdown run.
That helped to open up a huge halftime lead and bring on the running clock in the second half. A running clock begins when a team trails by 35 points or more in the second half.
“When you get up like that it is tough to hold that edge. Play calling changes and so does substitutions,” Schwander said. “We didn’t finish the way I wanted to finish, but we had a 35 point lead going into the fourth quarter.”
Despite allowing 42 points, Schwander said his team played well defensively.
“We don’t feel good about the number, but defensively we played well,” he said.
Overall. Schwander was happy with the way his team played.
“We did a lot more good things against Lakewood,” he said. “We had a lot less mistakes, less penalties, less turnovers and watching the film this morning I think the kids are excited. They can see the improvement and see how much more they can improve on.”
The Redskins will travel to Coopersville (0-2, 0-0) for their first O-K Blue game of the year on Friday. This will be the fifth straight season the two teams are meeting. Both schools have won two games.