It was great to see some thrilling high school football games last week.

Too many local games in recent years have been ugly blowouts, which is not a lot of fun for anyone but the winning team.LSJ Logo incert

Fans – and sports writers – live for nail-biters, and there were a refreshing number of those last weekend.Sport Clips 2016 football ad

The most exciting was probably at Hackley Stadium, where the powerful Muskegon Big Reds met their match and lost a 38-35 decision to Stevenson, a Chicago-area squad. The outcome was in doubt until the final seconds, when Muskegon missed a field goal that would have sent the game to overtime.

Another really fun game was at Mona Shores, where the Sailors defied the odds and gave defending state champion Zeeland West all it could handle. The Sailors actually completed a go-head touchdown pass as the clock wound down, but it was ruled out of bounds, and Zeeland West escaped with a victory.

Over at Orchard View, the upset-minded Cardinals built a nice lead over Reeths-Puffer, before the Rockets roared back for a victory.

Meanwhile, Hesperia was inside Godwin Heights’ 10-yard line late in the game, but couldn’t convert, and lost by two points.

Some teams won, others were disappointed, but it was all very exciting. As Muskegon Coach Shane Fairfield said after the Stevenson game, “This is good high school football.”

Hopefully we’ll see more of the same this week.

LAST WEEK’S LSJ PICKS – 11 correct, 3 wrong.

MUSKEGON (1-1) at Fruitport (1-1) – The Big Reds will be extra pumped after losing in the last minute to a very good Illinois squad on Saturday. That will create difficulties for the Trojans, who had a nice win over Spring Lake last week, but will receive a rude welcome to the O-K Black Conference.

Grand Haven (1-1) at GRANDVILLE (2-0) – Last week we erroneously reported that the Bucs were traveling to Traverse City West, but it was the other way around. Our apologies for that error. We wish we could make up for it by picking Grand Haven to win, but Grandville has pummeled its first two opponents – Holt (44-0) and Lansing Sexton (52-14).

RAVENNA (1-1) at Hart (0-2) – The Bulldogs came up short against Montague last week. That won’t happen against the Hart kids, who are still adjusting to varsity football.

HESPERIA (1-1) at Morley-Stanwood (1-1) – The talented Panthers are hopping mad after losing a squeaker to Godwin Heights last week. They will handle the Mohawks on Friday.

HOLTON (1-1) at Kent City (1-1) – This could be a dandy. Holton pounded River Valley 54-0 after an opening-week loss, while Kent City beat Comstock 50-12 after an opening-week loss. We’ll take the Red Devils by a point or two.

Whitehall (2-0) at MASON COUNTY CENTRAL (2-0) – The Vikings have passed their first two tests, outlasting Kelloggsville in a Week 1 squeaker, then pulling away from North Muskegon in the second half last week. But Whitehall is pretty young, and the Spartans have outscored their first two opponents by a combined score of 102-10.

MONA SHORES (1-1) at Rockford (0-2) – The Sailors have turned doubters into believers in their first two games. Just the fact that they gave Zeeland West a really good fight was impressive. Rockford will not get its first victory this week.

Shelby (0-2) at MONTAGUE (2-0) – How does that old saying go? Good programs don’t rebuild, they just reload. That seems to be the case for the Wildcats, who seemed pretty imposing in a nice win over Ravenna last week.

MUSKEGON CATHOLIC (2-0) at Orchard View (0-2) – The Cardinals put a scare into a pretty good Reeths-Puffer team last week, before losing in the end. But the Crusaders are pretty hard to scare.

Benton Harbor (2-0) at MUSKEGON HEIGHTS (1-1) – Benton Harbor is unbeaten, but hasn’t blown anyone out. Muskegon Heights, meanwhile, is grumpy after taking it on the chin against mighty Grand Rapids West Catholic last week. Heights by a nose hair, and it will be a really, really good game.

NORTH MUSKEGON (0-2) at Oakridge (1-1) – Any other year, this would have been an easy pick in favor of Oakridge. And the Eagles certainly clicked last week against Hart. But something tells us that the Norse, already desperate for a victory to keep playoff hopes healthy, will find a way to win … if they can stop Brady Luttrell from throwing another six TD passes.

Grand Rapids Union (0-1) at REETHS-PUFFER (1-1) – The Rockets have some potent weapons, but have yet to fire on all cylinders. Don’t be surprised to see the scoreboard light up a lot on Friday night at R-P.

Sparta (1-1) at SPRING LAKE (0-2) – The Lakers have lost two heartbreakers in a row. They have more than enough built-up frustration to finish the job this week.

REED CITY (2-0) at Fremont (0-2) – The Coyotes handed a pretty good North Muskegon team a tough loss in Week 1. Meanwhile the young Packers have yet to score a point. This one is not hard to figure out.