Big Reds start out slow, then plow past visiting Byron Center 49-14

By Andrew Johnson
LocalSportsJournal.com

MUSKEGON – It may have started out slow, but once the Muskegon Big Reds offense found its groove Friday night, there was no holding it back.LSJ Logo incert

The Big Reds put together seven impressive scoring drives en route to an easy 49-14 victory over previously unbeaten ByronSport Clips 2016 football ad Center Friday in non-conference action at Hackley Stadium.

Four of the Muskegon scoring drives took under two minutes. Overall the Big Reds piled up 573 yards of total offense, compared to 171 for the visitors.

Muskegon improved to 3-1 on the season. Byron Center has the same record.

“I think you can attribute it to the kids and their effort,” said Muskegon Coach Shane Fairfield about his team’s quick-strike offense. “Every stadium stair they run and tire flip they do is for these moments, and those kids just accept it. They love to work and it shows at any given second when any of these kids can score.”

Senior quarterback Kalil Pimpleton once again provided the main spark for the Big Reds. He rushed for 179 yards on 15 carries and scored four touchdowns on the ground.

Clinton Jefferson (6) receives a pass and moves into Byron Center's red zone. Photo/Kevin Sielaff

Clinton Jefferson (6) receives a pass and moves into Byron Center’s red zone. Photo/Kevin Sielaff

“The credit goes to my offensive line,” Pimpleton said. “They were doing their job and that’s why I could do what I did tonight.”

The scoring started with 1:12 remaining in the first quarter when Pimpleton scored on a three-yard run to give Muskegon a 7-0 lead on its third possession of the game.

Byron Center countered on its next drive with a 62-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Zac Saltzgaber to Shane Tagg to tie the score at 7-7.

The tie didn’t last long.

The Big Reds’ backup quarterback, La’darius Jefferson, scored on an 18-yard scamper on the ensuing possession to put Muskegon up 14-7.

Muskegon closed out the first half with two more touchdowns. The first came on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Jefferson to Da’vion McCall, while the second was a 43-yard scoring burst by Pimpleton.

The Big Reds kept their feet on the gas in the second half.

Paul Riley (56) comes in with a diving tackle for a QB sack. Photo/Kevin Sielaff

Paul Riley (56) comes in with a diving tackle for a QB sack. Photo/Kevin Sielaff

They scored just 1:40 into the third quarter when Pimpleton found the end zone on an 18-yard run.

Pimpleton capped off his explosive evening with a 47-yard TD run on Muskegon’s next possession, giving the hosts a 42-7 lead with 4:47 left in the third quarter.

The final Big Red touchdown came on a two-yard run by Lonnie Clark Jr. with 9:45 left in the game.

Byron Center backup quarterback JT Kurnat had an eight-yard TD run late in the game.

Jefferson completed 5 of 10 passes for the Big Reds with one touchdown, and also had six rushes for 81 yards and a score.

Defensively, Andrew Ward paced Muskegon with six tackles while Ali’Vonta Wallace added five. Jacory Sullivan had an interception with a 43-yard return.

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