Reeths-Puffer football team wraps up regular season with a disappointing 58-3 loss to Zeeland East

By Mitchell Boatman
LocalSportsJournal.com

MUSKEGON TWP. — The Reeths-Puffer football team ended the regular season on a sour note on Friday, losing 58-3 at home against O-K Green conference Zeeland East.

The Rockets struggled to move the ball offensively, slow down the Chix defensively, and finished the regular season with a 2-4 record.

Reeths-Puffer’s Jeremy Ardshahi gets blocking from No. 42 Parker Lindstrom. Photo/Joe Lane

Despite the tough loss, the Rockets will have to turn their attention to a playoff game next week.

“I don’t know what it will mean for the playoffs,” Rocket coach Matt Bird said following the game. “With everything that’s going on, we’ll try to prepare and continue to build. We’re going to build our program and we’ll see where it goes.”

A frustrated Bird declined to comment on his team’s performance following the game.

“(Zeeland East) is a hell of a football team,” he said. “They did a great job.”

.Zeeland East got on the board first with Adam Cassel scoring on a two-yard run on the first possession of the game.

On Reeths-Puffer’s first possession, the Rockets lined up to punt on fourth-and-20 from their own 10, and the snap sailed over the punter’s head and out of the end zone for a safety, making it 9-0 with 7:32 left in the first.

The Rocket defense came up with a big play on the next possession when Caden Brainard intercepted a pass from Zeeland East quarterback Ethan Houghtaling and returned it about 70 yards to the Chix’ 9-yard line.

Reeths-Puffer took advantage when Ayden Willacker knocked in a 24-yard field goal to make it 9-3 with 3:30 to play in the first quarter.

But then Zeeland East took control.

No. 9 Sam Bauer and No. 30 Payton Dobben fight through Zeeland East blocking. Photo/Joe Lane

The Chix scored three touchdowns in the second quarter — a 20-yard rush by Houghtaling, an 11-yard pass from Houghtaling to CeBe Hunderman, and an eight-yard rush by Cassel — and led 31-3 at halftime.

Zeeland East added three more scores in the third quarter. Houghtaling threw a 12-yard pass to Derek Pennington, Cassel ran in a seven-yard score and Sam Cochran broke loose from 53 yards out.

The Chix led 51-3 at the end of the third. They added a touchdown in the fourth, a one-yard run from Brady White.

When factoring in fumbles and penalty yardage, Reeths-Puffer finished the night with 32 yards of offense.

Landon Mechem led the Rockets with 48 yards rushing.

Hunderman led Zeeland East with 107 yards on the ground, Cochran added 79 and Cassel had 69. Houghtaling ran for 65 yards and passed for 56. 

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