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Blitz Rewind: 2007 East Grand Rapids

EGR wins state title in 5 overtimes
Posted at 11:00 PM, Nov 26, 2020
Blitz Rewind: 2007 East Grand Rapids

East Grand Rapids and Orchard Lake St. Mary's played the longest football state championship game in Michigan High School Athletic Association history on November 24th, 2007 with the Pioneers winning 46-39 in five overtimes.

"Being down there with a bunch of young men that just wanted to go play the great game of football and win a state championship, that is what it's about," former East Grand Rapids head coach Peter Stuursma said.

EGR trailed early, but the defense made a goal line stand and though the offense struggled in the first half, Joe Glendening broke off a 68-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7 at the half.

"There was a calm and a quiet confidence," Glendening said. " Of course looking back the special piece of playing such a long game against such a good team like Orchard Lake, it certainly has its place in history but at the time I was thinking there is no way we were going lose this game."

The game went to overtime tied at 14.

Each team made a field goal in the first OT and both scored touchdowns in overtimes two and three.

"You watch the game and you don't know who is going to win still," Chris Blair, tight end and defensive tackle on the 2007 EGR team said. "Even though we lived it, we lived it, we won, we have the ring to prove it."

In the fourth OT, OLSM scored and touchdown and converted a fake point after attempt for a two point conversion and a 39-31 lead. The Pioneers answered with a TD and two pointer to force a fifth overtime.

After EGR scored in the fifth extra frame to take a 46-39 lead, the Pioneers stopped an Eaglets fourth down pass attempt in the end zone for the thrilling win.

"Young people I know play in bowl games and they play for national championships," Stuursma added. "I'm not so sure that what our kids experienced was any less than a Super Bowl, it was their Super Bowl."

The 2007 state championship was the eighth in football for East Grand Rapids, the fourth with Stuursma as head coach and the second of what would end up being five in a row (2006-2010).