Goorman’s Gridiron Picks: Wins and losses are what matter, but some local players turned in big stats last week

By Jason Goorman
LocalSportsJournal.com

Obviously football is a team sport, but did you notice some of the impressive individual performances from local players last week?LSJ Logo incert

Hesperia’s Kade Witte was the latest to turn heads with his 302 yards of rushing against Kent City.

Imagine getting that kind of performance from a former quarterback who was not even sure he wanted to switch to running back this year!Sport clips 2015 football sponsor logo

Then there was Montague running back Cameron Brayman, who continued his breakout season by gaining 312 yards and two touchdowns against Shelby. Wildcat quarterback Jacob Buchberger also turned in another great game with 232 yards of total offense.

Muskegon’s new quarterback, Kalil Pimpleton, had his best game to date, throwing for 116 yards and four touchdowns and rushing for another 121 yards as the Big Reds won the 800th game in school history.

Oakridge quarterback Brady Luttrull lit up the stat book with 416 yards passing, including four touchdowns, against North Muskegon. Jaegar Beattie caught six of those passses for 152 yards and two touchdowns.

Big stats don’t matter as much in a loss, but it would be wrong to overlook Vernonell Smith of North Muskegon, who had 225 yards rushing and three touchdowns against Oakridge.

Mona Shores quarterback Tyler Trovinger continued his hot play, throwing three touchdown passes to Darece Roberson, one week after setting a school record with six TD passes in one game.

There were probably some more big stats last week that I’m forgetting, but like I said, football is first and foremost a team game, and it’s time to pick some teams to win on Friday.

Last week I demonstrated that I’m still capable of that, going 9-3, which was a big improvement from the first two weeks of the season.

MONA SHORES (3-0) at Caledonia (2-1) – Last year Mona Shores beat Caledonia 40-7 in Week 3. Then the two teams met in the playoffs and everyone said, “It won’t be that easy for the Sailors this time,” but it really was that easy (42-14). Caledonia is a very good team, but Shores has the upper hand in this rivalry.

MUSKEGON (2-1) at East Grand Rapids (3-0) – Ever wonder why the Big Reds always go so far in the playoffs? It’s because they sharpen their skills against great teams, week after week, during the regular season. East Grand Rapids, which beat Caledonia last week, is apparently a great team. But Muskegon has been playing better every week, and will claim an exciting win on the road. Just wait and see.

Ravenna (1-2) at NORTH MUSKEGON (1-2) – The Bulldogs and Norse may be the two best 1-2 teams in the area, but they are both at the point where more than one loss will spell doom for their playoff chances. Ravenna’s good, but I have a hunch the Norse will get a huge win.

Spring Lake (1-2) at ORCHARD VIEW (0-3) – We all know the Cardinals are better than your average winless team. They will break into the victory column on Friday.

WHITEHALL (3-0) at Traverse City Central (3-0)  – The Trojans of Traverse City are on a roll, having outscored their first three opponents 130-74. This will definitely be a test for the Vikings, but it will be good for them, one way or the other. The Vikes fell behind by two touchdowns last week and won, so they obviously don’t panic. I can picture them coming home with their perfect record intact for the Montague showdown.

MONTAGUE (3-0) at Mason County Central (2-1) – The Spartans played one White Lake area team last Friday (Whitehall) and look what happened. It doesn’t get any easier against Montague. Wildcats in a walk.

Shelby (0-3) at OAKRIDGE (3-0) – Shelby Coach Lorenzo Rodriguez is a class act. His team has fallen on some very tough times, yet he dutifully reports his scores and stats to the media after every home game (and sometimes road games), regardless of the outcome. That’s a true professional. Unfortunately Coach Rodriguez will have to wait at least another week for victory No. 1.

GRAND HAVEN (2-1) at Hudsonville (2-1) – The Bucs gained some big momentum with their last-second win at Reeths-Puffer last week. Something tells me Grand Haven will go on a bit of a roll.

Reeths-Puffer  (2-1) at LOWELL (2-1) – I’d like to believe the Rockets could pull this one out, but Lowell has won the last three meetings by scores of 42-6, 42-7 and 56-0.

FRUITPORT (1-2) at Fremont (0-3) – The Trojans finally got their act together against Spring Lake last week, and will collect Lakes 8 victory No. 2 against the overmatched Packers.

HESPERIA (3-0) at Morley-Stanwood (2-1) – The high-scoring Panthers will stay hot headed into next week’s neighborhood showdown with Holton.

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS (1-1) at Saginaw Nouvel (2-1) – The Tigers are only playing their third game, due to the Week 2 cancellation with Muskegon Catholic. But that’s apparently also true for Nouvel, which reportedly won a game by forfeit. Muskegon Heights has been through a lot and deserves a win. I say it will happen.

Kent City (0-3) at HOLTON (1-2) – Which Holton team will show up – the one that beat River Valley 57-0 or the one that lost to Lakeview 41-6? I say the better Red Devils will win on their home field against the struggling Eagles.

MUSKEGON CATHOLIC (1-1) at Ludington (1-2) – Ludington put up a lot of points against Fremont last week, but Muskegon Catholic is not Fremont. The Crusaders will continue to rebound following a Week 1 loss and a Week 2 cancellation.

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