Photos by Jeff Burel | CatchMark
FRUITPORT – In a game filled with big plays, Fruitport’s football team proved to have many more of them and made enough stops on defense to finish off a 54-28 victory over Ludington in a Division 4 first-round playoff game Friday night at Doc Pierce Field.
The teams traded touchdowns twice in the first quarter, when ended with Fruitport holding a 16-14 edge. The Trojans broke it open in the second quarter, outscoring the Orioles 30-0 in the frame and cruising to the victory.
Fruitport (8-2), which shared the OK Blue Conference title with Grand Rapids West Catholic, has earned a district finals showdown with Whitehall (10-0). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. next Friday at Whitehall.
Ludington, a newcomer to the West Michigan Conference, finishes a solid season with a 7-3 record.
Here are notables and other details from the game:
- This was Fruitport’s first home playoff game and first postseason win in 16 years.
- Ludington led 7-0 three minutes into the game on Chase Hackert’s 22-yard touchdown pass to Aidan Gilchrist. The Orioles then led 14-8 with 4:55 left in the quarter on Hackert’s 5-yard run.
- Fruitport senior running back Paschal Jolman was a game-breaker. He busted a 93-yard touchdown run during the Trojans’ second-quarter outburst and finished the night with a game-high 227 yards and three TDs on 13 carries. That’s good for 17.5 yards per carry.
- Fruitport senior quarterback Collin Jolman added 61 yards and two TDs on five carries. He averaged 12.2 yards per carry. Jolman also completed 7 of 11 passes for 134 yards with two TDs and no interceptions.
- Fruitport’s Bobby Canfield turned both of his receptions into TDs, one for 8 yards and the other for 44 yards.
- Fruitport’s Daiton Campbell led his team defensively with 6.5 tackles, while Brock Dornbos made six stops.
- Ludington senior quarterback Chase Hackert completed 12 of 27 passes for 222 yards with two TDs and two interceptions.
- Ludington senior David Shillinger caught two passes for 87 yards. Seniors Levin Laman and Aidan Gilchrist each had a TD reception. Laman made four passes for 77 yards.
- Ludington senior Trey Forfinski rushed for 31 yards on 12 carries. He paced the Orioles defensively with 5.5 tackles.
- Ludington junior Gage Jones made four stops.
- Fruitport outgained Ludington in total offense, 461-285.
- Fruitport and Ludington are former conference opponents going back to their days in the Seaway Conference, Western Waterways and Lakes 8.
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