Buchanan falls to Saugatuck in season opener

Published 4:32 pm Friday, August 25, 2023

SAUGATUCK — Quarterback Matt Hartgerink ran for a touchdown and threw for another as host Saugatuck spoiled the 2023 season opener for the Buchanan football team Friday afternoon.

In a game that was postponed due to weather Thursday night, Hartgerink scored on an 80-yard run in the opening quarter and tossed a 39-yard scoring strike to Carter Miller at the end of the third quarter to help lift the Trailblazers to a 25-13 non-conference victory.

Saugatuck (1-0) scored twice in the opening quarter and were never really threatened by the Bucks, who struggled offensively for much of the contest.

Already leading 6-0, Bradley Moorer scored on a 27-yard run to give the Trailblazers a 12-0 halftime advantage.

Buchanan (0-1) finally got on the board in the third quarter when Leland Payne scored on a 36-yard run to make it 12-2 after Mason Frontczak’s extra point kick.

Saugatuck sealed the victory on the final play of the third quarter when Hartgerink connected with Carter to give the Trailblazers an 18-7 lead heading into the final 12 minutes of play.

Saugatuck extended its lead late in the fourth quarter when a botched field goal attempt turned into a 20-yard touchdown pass from holder Norm Bos to Miller. Cam Lewis added the extra point and the Trailblazers led 25-7.

The Bucks tried to rally late with a 50-yard touchdown pass from Jake Franklin to Nico Brown down the Buchanan sideline. The 2-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the Bucks still down 12 points.

After forcing Saugatuck to give up the ball on downs near midfield, Buchanan’s final drive could not product any points and the Trailblazer took over on downs and ran out the clock.

Buchanan returns home Thursday night to host Coloma at Memorial Field.