Short-handed Saugatuck suffers loss to Watervliet
By Jason Wesseldyk
Saugatuck started its game against Watervliet on Friday, Sept. 6, with 13 healthy positional players. It ended the game with 12, as running back Nick Stanberry suffered a leg injury during the third quarter.
Despite that, the Indians remained in the game throughout as the teams were locked in a 14-14 deadlock entering the fourth quarter.
In the end, though, Saugatuck came up just short as Watervliet prevailed 22-14.
“I’m so proud of the digs and the effort they gave in a tough loss,” Saugatuck coach Bill Dunn said. “It was a hard-fought game.”
Saugatuck appeared poised to snap the 14-14 deadlock in the fourth quarter as the Indians put together 15-play drive, 88-yard drive that put them inside the Watervliet one-yard line.
But a fumble was recovered by Watervliet and returned 97 yards to provide the Panthers with the winning margin.
“It’s tough to lose a game in that fashion when you are so close to winning the game,” Dunn said. “We had many great plays to get to that point, but we need to take care of the ball and make a play to close out the game.”
Saugatuck trailed 8-0 in the second quarter when Benny Diaz cut the deficit to 8-6 with a 3-yard scoring run.
The score stood at 14-6 in Watervliet’s favor in the third quarter when Saugatuck quarterback Keiran Boerema found the end zone on a 7-yard run. Boerema then hooked up with Tom Beckman for the 2-point conversion pass to even the score at 14-14, setting up the fourth-quarter dramatics.