By Mitchell Boatman
Only one team could accomplish its goal, which the Big Reds did with an exclamation point, exiting Fruitport with a 63-7 victory on Friday.
The Muskegon win comes after a heartbreaking 38-35 loss to Stevenson last week. Head coach Shane Fairfield was pleased to be back in the win column.
“A win is a win, whether it’s a big one or a small one,” he said. “We like wins.”
Muskegon came out throwing early and often. Quarterback Kalil Pimpleton found Da’vion McCall and Jacorey Sullivan for a pair of touchdowns to put the Big Reds up 14-0 in the first quarter.
Fruitport responded with a score of its own on a three-yard run by quarterback Connor Routt. That score kept the Trojans in the game for a while, but Muskegon didn’t let that last long.
The Big Reds’ number two quarterback, La’darius Jefferson, found Jaden McGough for a 30-yard touchdown pass less than 20 seconds later.
On Muskegon’s next drive Pimpleton connected with Clinton Jefferson for a 27-yard touchdown pass.
Muskegon added two more touchdowns before halftime, one on a 53-yard pass from Pimpleton to McGough and the other on Sullivan’s second scoring reception from Jefferson.
The 42-7 halftime lead fit right into the Muskegon game plan, and having two capable quarterbacks certainly helped.
“We came out wanting to throw the ball around and we did that well,” Fairfield said. “Jefferson is good enough to start, I really believe that. (Pimpleton) has been great (about sharing reps). He supports La’darius and is always cheering on the sideline.”
The Big Reds relied on the run a bit more in the second half, with all three scores came on the ground. Pimpleton ran in a six-yard touchdown, Jefferson found the end zone on a 25-yard run and Clinton Jefferson had a 50-yard score.
A big factor for the Muskegon defense was containing Fruitport running back Levi Six.
“You watch his tape and he’s breaking three or four tackles,” Fairfield said. “I don’t think the guys believed me (about how good Six is). I have tremendous respect for him.”
Six had a 41-yard run in the first half, but was bottled up otherwise, finishing with 66 yards on 14 carries.
Pimpleton finished 10 of 14 through the air for 165 yards and four touchdowns, plus a rushing score. Jefferson was 4-for-7 passing for 82 yards with three total touchdowns.
McGough had 89 receiving yards with two touchdowns, while Sullivan had 86 yards and two scores. Clinton Jefferson led the Big Reds with 64 rushing yards on two carries.
Routt was 8-for-16 for 48 yards through the air for Fruitport and added 23 yards and the Trojans’ lone touchdown on the ground.