Muskegon Big Reds turn “Battle of the Big House” into a 51-14 rout over stunned Ann Arbor Pioneer

By Steve Gunn and Dave Hart
LocalSportsJournal.com

ANN ARBOR – If Saturday’s “Battle at the Big House” was any indication, the Muskegon Big Reds are in for a very fun season.LSJ Logo incert

The Big Reds faced off against Ann Arbor Pioneer at Michigan Stadium on Saturday in a matchup of the two winningest high school football programs in the history of the state.

Both teams also came into the game highly ranked in preseason state polls.Sport Clips 2016 football ad

But the Big Reds were better. A whole lot better.

The Muskegon kids took advantage of early Pioneer mistakes, scored often, and rolled home with an amazingly easy 51-14 season-opening victory.

The rout was so bad, in fact, that most of the second half was played with a running clock, to end the misery as quickly as possible.

That was good for everyone involved, since morning storms in Ann Arbor postponed the first of the three games at the stadium, and forced the Muskegon game, the last of the evening, to start about 90 minutes late.

“All we can do is control what we do and hope we get some bounces our way,” said Muskegon Coach Shane Fairfield. “For us to jump on them that way, we’re happy with that. They have some talented players. We didn’t know we were going to throw a 51 up on them in Week 1. You never know.”

La'darius Jefferson rushes up field for Muskegon. Photo/Brian Tanis

La’darius Jefferson rushes up field for Muskegon. Photo/Brian Tanis

Muskegon’s senior quarterback Kalil Pimpleton, who had a great game running, throwing and receiving, said he was surprised that the outcome was so one-sided.

“Ann Arbor Pioneer is a great team, they are nobody to mess with,” Pimpleton said. “They have great players and it is wonderful to play against them. I thought the game was going to be a shootout back and forth though.”

Pimpleton and senior wideout Jacory Sullivan said it was exciting to open their season at Michigan Stadium in such a marquee matchup.

“Towards the end of the game one of the staff members told me that this was the first ever high school game ever played under the lights at the Big House,” Pimpleton said. “That is just an honor to be a part of that.

 “I tried to make it feel like we were at home because we also have the big M on the field so I felt like I was at home the whole game,” said Sullivan.

Kalil Pimpleton breaks into the end zone for Muskegon. Photo/Brian Tanis

Kalil Pimpleton breaks into the end zone for Muskegon. Photo/Brian Tanis

The carnage started in the first quarter, when Pioneer fumbled a Big Red punt at its own 16, and Muskegon recovered. Big Red QB Pimpleton scored from 16 yards out on the first play from scrimmage, giving his team a 7-0 lead.

Muskegon got the ball back later in the first quarter after a very short Pioneer punt, and Demetrio Lopez ended the drive with a 24-yard field goal, making the score 10-0.

Muskegon backup quarterback La’darius Jefferson, who would start for just about any other team, electrified the fans with a 49-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.

Pimpleton returned to quarterback later in the quarter and threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Sullivan, making the score 24-0.

It got worse from there.

The Big Reds recovered a fumble in the Pioneer end zone with 6:47 left in the first half and pulled ahead 31-0.

About three minutes later, Jefferson pitched the ball to Pimpleton, who tossed a 44-yard scoring strike to Sullivan, making the score 37-0.

Andrew Ward leads the Big Reds out of the tunnel at the Big House. Photo/Brian Tanis

Andrew Ward leads the Big Reds out of the tunnel at the Big House. Photo/Brian Tanis

Muskegon finished its first-half work with 50 seconds left when Pimpleton broke loose through the middle for a 27-yard touchdown run.

The Pioneers finally got on the scoreboard with 9:51 left in the game on a 27-yard touchdown reception by Brian Muckstadt. They added a touchdown exactly two minutes later when Justin Collier scooped up a Muskegon fumble and scored from 15 yards out.

Muskegon struck one final time with 6:50 remaining in the game when Jefferson hit Pimpleton with a 43-yard touchdown strike.

Pimpleton finished with 124 yards rushing (two touchdowns) on nine carries, 62 yards passing (two touchdowns), along with four catches for 66 yards and one TD.

“Obviously we have some guys who are game-changers,” Fairfield said. “We didn’t even get into our fullbackstonight. We’re pretty lucky to be in the positon (talent-wise) that we’re in right now. We just have to stay healthy and continue to grow. We know the biggest growth of the season comes between Week 1 and 2. Next week we’re going to be challenged.”

 

 

8 Comments

  1. Pingback: @OnMuskegon Big Reds turn “Battle of the Big House” into a 51-14 rout over stunned Ann Arbor Pioneerhttp://localsportsjournal.com/2016/08/muskegon-big-reds-turn-battle-of-the-big-house-into-a-51-14-rout-over-stunned-ann-arbor-pioneer/ | JuugTRAPfiness

  2. Pingback: @OnMuskegon Big Reds turn “Battle of the Big House” into a 51-14 rout over stunned Ann Arbor Pioneer http://localsportsjournal.com/2016/08/muskegon-big-reds-turn-battle-of-the-big-house-into-a-51-14-rout-over-stunned-ann-arbor-pioneer/ | JuugTRAPfines

  3. Pingback: Muskegon Big Reds turn “Battle of the Big House” into a 51-14 rout over stunned Ann Arbor Pioneer – Footbaugh

  4. Pingback: Muskegon Big Reds turn “Battle of the Big House” into a 51-14 rout over stunned Ann Arbor Pioneer | MusKeepAgun

  5. Pingback: Muskegon Big Reds Look To Be The Most Impressive Team @ The Battle Of The Big House As They Route A2 Pioneer 51-14  – Up-Top on Top | Midwest We The Best

  6. Pingback: Muskegon Big Reds Win MVP (Most Valuable Players) Award After Routing Pioneer 51-14 @ The Battle Of The Big House | Michiganvseverybody

  7. Pingback: @OnMuskegon Big Reds turn “Battle of the Big House” into a 51-14 rout over stunned Ann Arbor Pioneer http://localsportsjournal.com/2016/08/muskegon-big-reds-turn-battle-of-the-big-house-into-a-51-14-rout-over-stunned-ann-arbor-pioneer/ | JuugTRAPfines

  8. Emma Vines

    August 28, 2016 at 10:13 pm

    Once a Big Red always a Big Red. Fantastic opportunity the Big House and
    Winners. Proud Muskegon Community.

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