Soaring Eagles Keep on Winning

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Nick Ortleib got the chance of a lifetime to suit up and run the ball into the endzone for the Eagles. Photo by Stephanie Blentlinger, Lingering Memories Photography.

By Mark Blentlinger

It was a rainy Friday night in Coloma when the Eagles soared in to take on the Comets. Even though the Comets led the Eagles on the offensive play count, 65-39, and were close on total yards with 251 to the Eagles 277 the Eagles won by a large margin, 41-12.

The first quarter belonged solely to the Eagles. At the end of the first, the Eagles were up 27-0, with one score by Parker Lawerence and three by Kobe Clark. The second quarter finally saw the Comets get on the scoreboard with an 8-yard touchdown from Kenyon Boyd. On the ensuing kickoff, Kobe Clark took it 60 yards downfield to add seven more to the score.

Alex Thole led the Eagle offense, throwing eight passes for 127 yards and one touchdown. Kobe Clark had eight rushes for 100 yards and four touchdowns. Lawerence pulled in five catches for 98 yards and one touchdown. The Eagle defense was led by Trevor DeGroote with five tackles and four assists, while Bryce VanderWiere, Mark Fox and Asa Pavey all recorded tackles for loss.

Big Win Over Watervliet

Next up to try and give the Eagles their first loss of the season were the Panthers of Watervliet. They, like all the others so far this season, found the explosive offense of the Eagles too much to handle. The defense also let the Panthers know, “not in our house!” The Eagle defense allowed the Panthers a total of 67 yards on offense. Stephen Schultz led the Eagles with five tackles, two for loss and one sack. Trevor DeGroote, Aiden Hursey, Bryce VanderWiere, Asa Pavey and Josh Stokes all had tackles for loss. Jimmy Downs and Lawerence not only caught passes from their own quarterback, they stole passes from the hands of Panther receivers, with one interception each. The Eagle offense racked up 377 total yards. Alex Thole went 16/18 for 225 yards and three touchdowns and Kobe Clark had nine carries for 101 yards, with five touchdowns. Three Eagle receivers also had touchdowns; Lawerence, Jimmy Downs and Harmon DeVries.

Nick Ortlieb Gets His Big Chance

The game that night was so much bigger than football and winning or losing. The Eagle’s team manager, senior Nick Ortlieb, has a cognitive impairment, but is a staple on the sideline of every Eagle football game. He can be seen walking up and down congratulating his teammates while fist bumping as many as he can. However, for this game, Nick was dressed in full Eagle football gear. At the end of the second quarter, right before halftime, the Eagles and the Panthers lined up on the 40-yard line with Nick sporting his number 66 jersey in the backfield. He took the hand off from quarterback Alex Thole and ran a halfback sweep around the right side of the line, streaking the 40 yards into the endzone, with his arms spread wide like an Eagle. His teammates and even a Panther or two swarmed around him, while the crowd roared as if it were the greatest touchdown ever scored.

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