By Melvin Lane
GRAND RAPIDS–Playing from behind has been kind of the norm for the Muskegon Big Reds this football season.
In their OK Green matchup against the Grand Rapids Union Red Hawks (3-3), it was no different as Muskegon (4-2) scored 29 unanswered points in the second half, enroute to a 43-21 road victory.
“Every week now we’ve been down or trailed and this is all new territory for us”, said Muskegon coach Shane Fairfield. “Maybe that’s what the football gods intend for us to battle through and really find out how much guts we have or how tough we are.”
A pair of touchdowns aided by Union’s quarterback Tommy Stevens and running back Najeh Thornton in each quarter in the first half gave the Red Hawks a 13-0 lead against Muskegon midway through the second quarter. In the second quarter, Union was driving to go up three scores, but Stevens had a ball deflected in the air that Muskegon senior Princeton Blackmon intercepted and returned for a touchdown.
Muskegon briefly took a 14-13 lead with 2:40 left in the first half with a Jakob Price 18-yard touchdown run. Union answered right before halftime with a Stevens 1-yard touchdown run and 2-point conversion.
The Big Reds came out of the half showcasing their big-play ability when junior Destin Piggee took a short pass from M’Khi Guy for 62 yards on the first play of their second half for a touchdown.
Piggee tacked on another receiving touchdown from Guy on their next possession.
Guy’s rushing touchdowns of 67 and 21 yards finished off the scoring for the game.
The defense of the Big Reds stood tall during the second half, making Stevens uncomfortable in the pocket. Union couldn’t consistently put a drive together for a second-half score.
Muskegon edged Union in total offense with 375 yards while Union had 352 total yards.
Guy led Muskegon with 117 yards rushing and two scores and 136 yards passing and two scores.
Piggee led Muskegon in receiving with 99 yards and two touchdowns.
Price had 68 yards on the ground and a touchdown.
Muskegon returns home next week to face the Wyoming Wolves Friday at 7pm.