By Jason Wesseldyk
WATERVLIET—Saugatuck football coach Bill Dunn expected Watervliet to provide a challenge to his team’s defensive unit when the SAC rivals squared off on the Panthers’ home field on Thursday, Aug. 30.
Watervliet did just that, finding the end zone at least one in each quarter.
But when Saugatuck needed it most, the defense came up big.
With the score deadlocked at 42-42 in the game’s waning minutes, Watervliet was driving for a potential game-winning score. But with 1:02 left to play, Colten Schaefer came up with an interception at midfield.
Two plays later, Indians quarterback Brad Dunn raced 24 yards for the touchdown with 37 seconds remaining to provide the winning margin in a 49-42 Saugatuck win.
“This was a great win on the road against an excellent program,” said Bill Dunn, whose team improved to 2-0. “I’m really proud of my guys for sticking together and making plays at critical times under pressure. They didn’t give up despite being down in the second half.
“They continued to play for a full 48 minutes. The defense came up with a huge interception and the offense converted the turnover into points.”
The game-winning TD capped a stellar showing for Brad Dunn.
Starting with a 14-yard touchdown run to open the scoring for Saugatuck less than four minutes into the game, Brad Dunn finished with a career-best 316 yards on 20 carries. He found the end zone five times, as he scored on runs of 48 yards in the second quarter and 51 and 70 yards in the third quarter to go along with his scoring runs in the first and fourth periods.
With his rushing total, Brad Dunn joined older brother Blake as a member of the 300-yard club. Blake Dunn holds the school record with 392 yards against Decatur in 2015.
As a team, the Indians ran for 489 yards on 42 carries to go along with 13 passing yards. That gave Saugatuck more than 500 total yards in both of its games this season.
Jacob Stewart was second on the team with 103 rushing yards on nine carries, including a pair of 46-yard scoring runs. The first of those scoring jaunts came in the first quarter, with the second in the second frame.
Nick Baumbach added 57 yards on nine carries.
“It was a back-and-fourth game throughout the night,” Bill Dunn said.
Griffin Milovanski connected on all seven of the extra-point kicks he attempted for Saugatuck.