Big Reds survive sloppy first half and clinch playoff berth with a 35-7 victory over Kenowa Hills

Local Sports Journal

The undefeated Muskegon Big Reds survived five first half turnovers and a tied score at halftime to defeat Kenowa Hills 35-7 Friday in O-K Black Conference football action.

The Big Reds, who advanced to the Division 2 state championship game the past two seasons, officially qualified for the playoffs again with the victory. They are now 6-0 overall and 3-0 in conference play.

“We’re excited about getting that sixth win and making the playoffs,” said Muskegon Coach Shane Fairfield. “It takes some of the pressure off.

“Now we’re going to concentrate on winning the conference and getting home field advantage in the playoffs. We’re excited for our seniors. Now they have at least one extra week of football guaranteed.”

Quarterback Shawn Pfenning led the way for Muskegon by rushing for 71 yards and two touchdowns and completing 7 of 11 passes for 88 yards and three touchdowns.

Running back Caleb Washington added 100 yards on 19 carries for the Big Reds.

Muskegon opened the scoring in the first quarter with a five-yard scoring toss from Pfenning to Joeviair Kennedy. Kenowa Hills answered in the second quarter with an 8-yard touchdown burst by Ryan Doyle.

The game was tied 7-7 at halftime.

The Big Reds pulled away with four second half touchdowns.

Pfenning hit Tarrion Hill-Mackay with a nine-yard scoring pass, giving Muskegon a 14-7 lead in the third quarter.

Pfenning scored on a six-yard quarterback keeper in the fourth quarter, extending the lead to 21-7. He added another touchdown later in the quarter with a two-yard burst.

The final score came when Pfenning found Jacorey Sullivan for a seven-yard touchdown completion.

Taran Smith paced the Big Red defense with 12 tackles.

The Big Reds had a 410-197 advantage in total offense and 25-9 in first downs.

Kenowa Hills quarterback Jordan Marentette completed six passes for 104 yards.

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