Olivet opened its 2012 football season with a 41-8 win over arch rival Maple Valley at Western Michigan University’s Waldo Stadium on Saturday.
The Kalamazoo Valley Association has scheduled the season openers for its 10 teams in a five-game, single-day event at WMU for the past three seasons.
The Eagles dominated from the outset, holding the Lions three-and-out on their first two possessions, while scoring touchdowns on the first two of their own.
“We just didn’t get off the ball for some reason,” Maple Valley coach Brian Lincoln said. “The whole first quarter we weren’t ready to play, dug ourselves a hole and didn’t execute on both sides of the ball.”
Nick Coolidge scored on a 13-yard run, and then improvised a 2-point conversion after a bad snap on the attempted kick, passing it to Shane Loney to make the score 8-0 with 6:21 left in the first.
Olivet scored again with a 57-yard pass from Trent Strang to Joseph Barr to stretch the lead to 14-0 going into the second.
Maple Valley fumbled the ball away at their own 41-yard line early in the second quarter, and Olivet took full advantage. The Eagles scored six plays later on a 4-yard plunge by Coolidge with 3:48 left in the half to take a 21-0 lead.
The Eagles didn’t slow down in the second half, scoring on a 5-yard run by Cash Flower and a 28-yard option keeper by Strang to make the score 35-0 .
The Lions scored their only touchdown, and stopped the running clock, on their next possession, on a 14-play, 64-yard drive, capped off by a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Beau Johnson with 9:23 left in the game.
Flower dashed in from 43 yards out for Olivet with 3:48 left in the game to make the final score 41-8.
“We were very consistent, we controlled the ball and kept scoring and played great defense,” Olivet coach Dean Peters said.
“They (Maple Valley) always make us nervous, so it was a good first game.”