Sturgis slips past Niles 34-33Published 6:43am Saturday, September 7, 2013
The Niles football program was plagued by both growing pains and heartache on Friday night as the Sturgis Trojans rolled into town and stole a 34-33 shootout victory in the Vikings’ home opener.
Niles (0-2) had an array of opportunities to secure a victory in the closing moments of the game, twice having the ball deep in the Trojans’ red zone, but failing to come away with any points as a turnover-on-downs and a blocked field goal effectively quelled the Viking attack.
Niles coach Antwon Jones said his team needs to “find an understanding that football is an emotional game,” if the team wants to avoid falling to 0-3 next week.
“We’ve got to finish, we have got to learn to finish if we want to be a better program. We need to understand that if you play half-heartedly, you are not going to play to your fullest potential whatever that may be,” Jones said.
Offensively, the Vikings were led by quarterback Sean Craig, who threw for 301 yards on 24-of-35 passing with three touchdowns and added another TD on the ground. Craig’s primary receiver on the day was wideout Ra’Quon Glenn, who caught 12 passes for 169 yards and was on the receiving end of all three of Craig’s touchdown passes. Utility man Darek Bullock-Mills rushed for 109 yards and added 82 yards receiving in his efforts.
Western Michigan committed, Sturgis quarterback Chance Stewart, threw for 154 yards and three touchdowns. He also had a rushing touchdown and blocked the potential game winning field goal for the Vikings with just under four-minutes to play. Kalvyn Bowdish had seven receptions for 117 yards and three touchdowns for the Trojans. Matthew Phillips led the ground attack for Sturgis with 85 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown.
Viking freshman kicker, Jaycee Meyer, made a little history in becoming the first Lady Viking to ever score a point on the football field when she tacked on an extra point after Niles first touchdown of the day. She finished the day with 3-of-4 on extra point attempts.
The Vikings will try to bounce back and avoid sliding to 0-3 next week in Benton Harbor as they travel to take on the Tigers on Friday at 7pm.
Sturgis 14 14 6 0 – 34
Niles 7 14 12 0 – 33
S – Matthew Phillips 3 run (Oakley Stevens kick)
N – Sean Craig 28 pass to Ra’Quon Glenn (Jaycee Meyer kick)
S – Chance Stewart 25 pass to Kalvyn Bowdish (Stevens kick)
N – Craig 6pass to Glenn (Meyer kick)
S – Stewart 3 run (kick fails)
N – Craig 1 run (Meyer kick)
S – Stewart 22 pass to Bowdish (2-point conversion good)
N – Craig 53 pass to Glenn (kick fails)
S – Stewart 55 pass to Bowdish (kick fails)
N – Balazs Bruckner fumble recovery in the end zone (conversion failed)