By Ron Rop

MUSKEGON–The Whitehall Vikings have had Friday’s date circled on the calendar for more than a year.

That’s because in Week 2 of the 2021 season, the Oakridge Eagles traveled to Whitehall and left with a 32-19 victory on the Vikings’ home field.

That result left a bad taste in the mouths of the Vikings. On Friday night, the Vikings returned the favor on Jack Schugars Field in a dominating 42-8 victory over the Eagles.

“It’s been a long time since Week 2 last year when they came into our place and beat us,” said Whitehall quarterback Kyle Stratton. “That hurt … it hurt bad. We’ve been getting ready for this one for a long time.”

Whitehall scored three touchdowns in the second quarter and three more in the third to put the game away.

“I’ll tell you what, we never felt comfortable,” Sigmon said. “That’s just a credit to what these guys have built at Oakridge. We really felt like the game was over until the clock was 0:00 in the fourth quarter. We know how explosive they are too.”

Stratton accounted for four touchdowns, three on the ground and one through the air. Jackson Cook scored twice on short runs and Nate Bolley scored on a long pass from Stratton. Stratton rushed 15 times for 101 yards and completed 12-of-15 passes for 190 yards.

Oakridge’s lone touchdown came during the running clock in the fourth quarter. Matt Danicek scored from 6 yards out.

“I told Tony after the game, you guys are tough, physical and they’ve got a lot of depth and they just kept coming,” Eagle coach Cary Harger said. “They are fast, they keep their feet moving and they played with a lot of confidence tonight.”

The Eagles weren’t feeling too badly after one quarter as they held the high-powered Viking offense off the scoreboard.

That all changed on the first play of the second quarter when Cook scored from 4 yards out. Then the floodgates opened and the Vikings went on to score five unanswered touchdowns to turn the game into a one-sided affair.

Before halftime, Cook ran in again, this time from 2 yards out. Then Stratton ran in for 23-yard touchdown. That touchdown was set up by a 31-yard punt return by Bolley.

Stratton scored from 3 yard out to start the second-half scoring. Stratton then hit Bolley, who finished with four catches for 81 yards, on a 44-yard touchdown pass.  That scoring drive was set up by a fumble recovery by Jaiden Altgilbers.

Stratton then ran one in from 23 yards out to finish off the six straight Viking touchdowns.

“Our kids really battled through a lot this week,” said Sigmon of his team’s week of preparation. “Whether it was a slippery field as far as weather, there were a couple nicks as far as injuries. Our coaching staff does a fantastic job.”

With 3:55 remaining in the game, Oakridge scored to complete the evening’s scoring.

Trever Jones led the Eagles with 28 yards rushing on 13 carries. He also caught five passes for 56 yards. Danicek was 12-for-17 for 93 yards.

Defensively, the Vikings were led by Altgilbers with nine tackles. Graycen Shepherd and Trenton TenBrock had six each.

“Our defense has flown under the radar because our offense has been so prolific,” Sigmon said. “I think this is a complete team. When you’re a complete team, you have the ability to win a couple of different ways.”

Brody Jennings had 11 tackles to lead the Eagles. Bryson Stephenson had nine tackles while Brian Elizondo and Kyle Weaver had eight each.

Whitehall (6-0) hosts Ludington next Friday while Oakridge (5-1) travels to Orchard View.