Local Sports Journal

Muskegon coach Shane Fairfield figured a long trip to Sylvania Southview (Ohio) would reveal a few traits about his football team.

Indeed, he learned a whole lot after the Big Reds rallied for a thrilling 40-37 victory Friday night at Perrysburg’s Steinecker Stadium.

“We got down away from home, faced severe adversity and played four quarters of football tonight,” Fairfield said on the return trip to Muskegon. “We always say as long as we have air in our body and time on the clock we will keep fighting and believing.

“The kids grew up a lot. It was a great game for us to move forward. The kids will enjoy this, but it’s now Rockford week.”

The dramatic win sets up another Friday showdown against OK Red Conference powerhouse Rockford. The Big Reds will enter that contest with plenty of momentum after impressive season-opening wins against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s (21-14) and Southview.

Muskegon prevailed in an offensive shootout against Southview (0-2).

And it was a nail-biting finish after Muskegon stopped Southview on fourth-and-one near the goal line late in the game.

John King gave the Big Reds some breathing room with a 9-yard run. That set up the winning play – Javontae Langston busting loose off right tackle for a 90-yard TD run to put the Big Reds up 40-37.

Southview started a potential winning drive with less than 2 minutes left, but Ronald Jenkins forced a fumble. Muskegon recovered and ran out the clock for the big victory.

Muskegon finished with 409 yards rushing and quarterback Jalen Smith completed 4-of-6 passes for 138 yards and a TD pass to Marcus Smith.

King carried 22 times for 152 yards and two TDs, while Langston added five carries for 108 yards and two TDs and Smith had 12 carries for 110 yards with two TDs

Southview, which scored on two kickoff returns, rushed for 79 yards. Quarterback Austin Valdez, who committed to Bowling Green, completed 11-of-22 passes for 202 yards and two TDs while surrendering an interception to Keondre Craig.

Muskegon trailed 28-14 after one quarter and 31-27 at halftime.

Fairfield also credited defensive coordinator Justin Ego for making some adjustments that helped the Big Reds against Southview’s spread attack with five wide receivers.