By Hunter Hendley
Local Sports Journal
NORTH MUSKEGON – North Muskegon kept the game plan simple and it worked well Friday night in a 49-22 win against Hart.
North Muskegon head coach Mike Belmonte noted that the first-half execution was the result of preparation and practices.
“We kept things simple, tried to be physical, and just do our jobs,” Belmonte said. “Those are the three things we harped all week.”
The night started with a 3-yard TD run by NM’s Vernonell Smith and a 1-yard TD run by quarterback Erick Bleakley.
Next, Ben Gautraud returned an interception for a TD, while Logan Waller followed with another interception that set up his 92-yard TD off a screen pass for a 28-0 lead after one quarter.
In the second quarter, Bleakley tossed a 58-yard pass to Riley Fairfield, Anthony Oveido scored on a 16-yard run and Leguan Hooper had a TD run.
Hart didn’t give up though as Ty Davis returned a kickoff 69 yards to the North Muskegon 6-yard line, giving Brady Tate some light to bust into the end zone.
The Pirates found their rhythm in the second half. Coach Steve Hladi was pleased that the Pirates were able to turn the game around.
“The difference in the second half as opposed to the first half, was execution. Making tackles, finishing blocks,” Hladi said, “Any team in that situation, there are challenges to win the second half and we did that.”
The fourth quarter was highlighted by a 3 -yard touchdown run by Norberto Ramirez for the Pirates, as well as a 26-yard touchdown run by Tate on the final possession for Hart.
Bleakley completed both his passes for 150 yards with two touchdowns. Smith had six carries for 80 yards and defensive end Hunter Schotts had four tackles and one sack.
Tate carried the ball 19 times for 127 yards and two touchdowns, as well as recording seven tackles for the Pirates.