By Ron Rop
Senior leader and quarterback Brady Luttrull completed 5 of 10 passes for 172 yards and also rushed for 21 yards. Senior running back Greg Garcia produced 120 yards on 13 carries, freshman Leroy Quinn gained 55 yards on eight carries and Blake Masterman ran six times for 35 yards.
Quinn also caught a 67-yard touchdown pass. Alex Shoop had two catches for 75 yards.
While there weren’t a whole lot of explosive plays, the Eagles’ offense kept the Norse defense guessing all night long.
“The more we can spread it around, the more we keep them guessing.” said Oakridge Coach Cary Harger. “They can’t focus on one individual.”
Harger credited his offensive line for keeping the ball moving down the field.
“We’ve got some veterans up front, we’ve got some new guys,” Harger said. “As big as they are, we want to wear people down and they were able to do that. They took a lot of pride in that.”
When all was said and done, the Eagles raised their record to 2-1 overall and 2-0 in the West Michigan Conference.
Each team was plagued with two turnovers in the opening half, although Oakridge was able to put together two touchdown drives for a 15-0 halftime lead.
Luttrull pushed into the end zone from 1-yard out, then connected on a 67-yard touchdown pass to Quinn, who was wide open down the middle of the field in the latter stages of the opening quarter.
Quinn started the third quarter with a 6-yard touchdown run to put the Eagles in firm control, 22-0.
North Muskegon got a spark from sophomore quarterback Jesse Cooke, who came on in relief of starter Mack Young, another sophomore.
Cooke completed 5 of 6 passes for 121 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Montgomery in the third quarter. Cooke had a two-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter to account for the game’s final score.
“Both of our quarterbacks are sophomores and our running back, Chandler Edwards, is a sophomore,” said North Muskegon Coach Larry Witham. “We’ve got some kids who are learning the system on both sides of the ball. They are still adapting. We do have good players and we do have a good football team.”
Riley Fairfield had four catches for 92 yards for North Muskegon while Vernonell Smith was the leader on the ground with 10 rushes for 65 yards.
Turnovers and key penalties were issues for both teams. North Muskegon lost three fumbles and Oakridge had two. Smith also picked off a pass by Luttrull.
“We were kind of our own worst enemy in a lot of ways” Witham said. “Every time we seemed to get something going, it was either a fumble or a penalty.”
Defensively, Marcus Stewart led Oakridge with 12 tackles. Masterman added nine.
Cameron Waller and Chandler Edwards each had 10 tackles for North Muskegon, which dropped to 0-3 overall and 0-2 in conference play.