Surprising Grandville hopes to advance to finals

Coach Irv Sigler's Grandville squad is 9-3, after upsetting defending state runners-up East Kentwood 28-8 going into the regional finals with hopes of gaining a spot in the state semifinals against a 12-0 Eisenhower team.

They key to beating Eisenhower, Sigler said, "will be to maintain field position. They've got a good disciplined team that makes few mistakes."

It will be a test for Grandville, Sigler admitted, because Eisenhower has an effective running and passing attack. East Kentwood basically relied on its running game with a full house backfield.

"It's hard to say," Sigler said. "These are two completely different teams. Everyone in the playoffs right now is a good team and presents plenty of challenges. If you can stop Kentwood's running game, you'll win. Eisenhower is more balanced."

Grandville has a balanced attack with 1,895 yards and 2,436 passing yards this season.

Grandville is healthy compared to earlier this season. "That's made such a big difference for us," Sigler said.

Grandville has one of the top juniors in the state with 6-2, 290-pound defensive back/running back Andrew Hawken, who is presently one of the top players in the Grand Rapids area.

"He's been getting a lot of attention," Sigler said. "He's a super young man."

Hawken has 1,200 yards and 164 yards per carry and 17 touchdowns. He's also caught 34 passes for 426 yards and 12.5 yards per try.

"He's the complete package," Sigler said. "A lot of Big Ten teams are looking at him. He's such a big kid but can still run very well."

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