by Craig Beilfuss

The Muskegon Heights Tigers came into Ludington on Friday evening looking to extend a perfect 4-0 start to the 2021 season.

But the Orioles defence had something to say about that.

Ludington took advantage of three, third-quarter interceptions, and turned them into 21 unanswered points en route to a convincing, 41-12 Oriole win.

Ludington entered the contest having lost their three previous games after a season opening win at Fremont.

Ludington struck first at the 6:20 mark of the game off a Stephen-Weinert seven-yard scamper. a Miles Wilson extra point, made the score 7-0 lead.

The Tigers quickly bounced back on the next drive, led by a 13-yard TD catch by Ashton Smith from quarterback Jakari Edwards.

The Orioles grabbed a 13-6 lead just 19 seconds left in the first half, when Weinert found the end zone for the second time, on an 11-yard run.

The third quarter was all Ludington defense, getting three picks that each led to scores.

Ludington quarterback Trey Forkinski led in all three third-quarter TD’s. Running in for two TD’s, from 25 and 1 yard out, the QB also connected with Nathan Gilchrist on a 55-yard pass.

Ludington built a commanding 44-6 lead after three quarters. Both teams added scores in the fourth quarter.

“I thought we had a good matchup tonight,” said Ludington head coach Charlie Gunsell. “We didn’t have much fun the past three weeks, but I was fired up tonight like the rest of the guys and that was fun.”

While he was disappointed in his teams’ play, Heights head coach Van Parker, still sees plenty to play for this season.

“Defensively, we didn’t tackle well, didn’t execute the defensive plan and we were very undisciplined,” said Parker. “It was a tough night.”

We need to just take one week at a time and we have to stay together and have a good week of practice. We will be playing a very good opponent next week,” said Parker about his Week-6 battles against Lakes-8 leading Muskegon Catholic Central (4-1, 1-0). 

Ludington racked up 382 total yards on offense, while Heights managed 237.

Ludington led in the rushing game with 306 yards compared to the Tigers’ 147.

Trey Forkinski lead the ground game for the Orioles with 181 yards on 26 carries and 2 TD’s. Stephen Weinert had 125 yards on 20 carries, while scoring 3 TD’s.

Leading the Ludington defense was Aidan Gilchrist, Gage Jones and Aric Storm, each recording five tackles.

For Muskegon Heights, Jakari Edwards gained 56 yards on the ground, on 11 carries while completing 7-of-29 passes for 90 yards.

Anthony Floyd led the Muskegon Heights defense with 11 tackles.

Ludington, 2-3 overall and 1-2 in Lakes 8 play, travels to Whitehall Friday, October 1.

The Tigers return home to host Muskegon Catholic in a key conference game.