Current Sports | WKAR | Chiefs Overcome Big Plays to Defeat the Rams, Keep Playoff Hopes Alive
HOLT - Okemos coach Jack Wallace emphatically raised his hands in the air as his quarterback,
Grant Klaver, kneeled down to finish the game. Once the final whistle blew, the traveling
student section rushed the field to celebrate the big win with their fellow classmates and
This wasn’t just another win.
The Okemos Chiefs defeated the Holt Rams 27-20 in a hard-fought rivalry game to
keep their shot at the postseason alive. It was Wallace’s first win against Holt during his 3-year
“It means a lot,” Wallace said. “It’s been a lot of hard work for three years and it’s really
rewarding now. These kids deserve everything and it’s fun to see them doing what they’re
The Chiefs used a steady rushing attack to control the game, totaling 288 yards on
42 carries. Kome Johnson and Chris Nelson led the ground game with 160 and 118 yards,
Holt started the game up 13-0 on two 40-plus yard touchdown runs, but Okemos never
panicked and scored on back to back to drives to tie the game up at 13. The tying score came
on a 30 yard pass from Klaver to Mark Luoma.
Though down for much of the first half, Okemos played poised and controlled, led by
their senior quarterback, Grant Klaver.
In last year’s game against Holt, Klaver threw three interceptions in the loss, but Friday
night he was efficient. He completed 8 of 13 passes with a touchdown and no turnovers.
“It’s just another year under my belt that I gained a whole lot of confidence,” Klaver
said. “And everybody around me gives me even more confidence.”
Down 20-13 at halftime, the Chiefs put up a touchdown to start the third quarter. The
drive lasted nearly six minutes and Klaver converted two fourth-downs along the way, including
a 12-yard out route to receiver Kyle Krumm.
From there the Chiefs’ defense shut down the Rams, not allowing another point.
The winning score came on a Rams’ quick pass that Krumm, playing cornerback, jarred
loose from the receiver. Christian Moore scooped up the fumble and ran 58 yards for the score.
“We’d been in situations like this last year and came up short,” Klaver said. “And this
year, we’re finding the inches.”
The Chiefs, now 4-3, will need to win their last two games to reach six wins, the number
required to ensure a playoff spot, so they can ill-afford to lose again.
“Every game is an elimination game,” Klaver said.
The good news is the combined record of Eastern and East Lansing, the teams they play,
is 2-12. The bad news is the Chiefs haven’t won at home this season.
They are 4-0 on the road, a testament to their toughness and work ethic, Wallace said.
But they will need to come through on their home turf if they want their season to continue.
“The student section should be fired up next week,” Wallace said. “And hopefully we’ll
get a big win.”
The Chiefs (4-3, 3-2) will take on the Lansing Eastern Quakers (1-6, 1-4) on Friday. Kickoff
is scheduled for 7:00 pm.