Game-winning field goal headlines Muskegon-area football roundup for Aug. 25


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2023 North Muskegon Football Team

Members of the 2023 North Muskegon football team poses for a photo during a Aug. 3, 2023 media day event at Grand Haven High School. (MLive photo/Josh VanDyke).

The North Muskegon football program has developed a reputation over the years of not being able to close out tight games down the stretch.

This year’s Norsemen squad put an end to that conversation Friday night with a thrilling 17-14 win over Division 7 powerhouse Pewamo-Westphalia.

The late-game heroics were sealed by junior kicker Owen Booth, who laced a 24-yard field goal attempt just inside the left upright with five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to secure the nail-biting victory for his squad.

“It was just a great high school football game and a great experience for our community and our kids,” said North Muskegon head coach Larry Witham. “We’ve kind of been prone to dropping the close ones over the last few years, so it was nice to get the monkey off our backs a little bit and get that W in a close game against a really good team like Pewamo (Westphalia).”

James Young was 16-for-27 passing for 195 yards and two touchdowns and rushed from 35 yards on 10 carries to power the North Muskegon offense, while Ben Meyers added 35 yards rushing and a 3-yard touchdown reception.

TJ Byard hauled in six receptions for 76 yards to lead the North Muskegon receiving corps, while Landon Christensen added four receptions for 53 yards and one touchdown, and Landen Grimm had a 23-yard reception.

“James showed a lot of poise tonight,” added Witham. “He made several nice checks at the line of scrimmage and moved around protections well pre-snap to get us in the best position to run a successful play. A lot of the time, we give him two plays to call at the line of scrimmage and he’s the one who dissects the defense and runs the best play.

“I was really happy with the balance we had on offense too. I’m not sure we would have been able to run the ball like that against Pewamo last year but our offensive line held their own and created some running lanes for our guys. When we can put together a balanced attack like that and not get one-dimensional, that’s when we are at our best and most dangerous as an offense.”

Meyers led the North Muskegon defense with 11 tackles, while AJ Larkin added 10 tackles and one interception, Tristan Thomas had eight tackles, Cullen Bartos and Talen Thompson each had six tackles, and Chuck Meyers had 1.5 tackles and one interception.

“This is such a different team,” added Witham. “These guys demand that our coaching staff pushes them to get better. They don’t want to be a soft team and just be content. They’ve been after it all summer trying to get better and it’s already paying dividends for us. I know these guys are excited about this win but I also know they are going to come to practice next week focused and locked in to play another talented, tradition-rich program in Muskegon Catholic.”


Reeths-Puffer 41, Grand Haven 13

Brody Johnson rushed for 164 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries to pace the Reeths-Puffer offense, while Antrel Jones was 13-for-18 passing for 301 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 32 yards on 12 carries.

Jaxson Whitaker hauled in two receptions for 102 yards, while Keon Coleman added two receptions for 97 yards and one touchdown and Travis Ambrose caught six passes for 67 yards.

Caiden Bolduc registered 11 tackles to lead the Rocket defense, while Elliot Schneider and Brooks Johnson each added five tackles and Ethan Muskovin snagged one interception.

Xzavier Rodriguez was 6-for-12 passing for 67 yards and one touchdown and rushed 15 times for 24 yards to lead the Grand Haven offense, while Dean Mattson rushed for 49 yards and one touchdown.

Will Korenstra hauled in three receptions for 68 yards, while Chase Robinson caught three passes for 13 yards and one touchdown.

Gus Abraham led the Buccaneer defense with four tackles, while Will Spoonas, Sam LaDronka,

Logan Minier and Connor VanBeek all added two tackles.


Rockford 27, Muskegon 7

M’Khi Guy rushed for 91 yards on 21 attempts and was 5-for-13 passing for three yards with one interception to lead the Big Reds offense, while Jakob Price rushed for 63 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries.

Darekeo Speech registered 8.5 tackles to anchor the Muskegon defense, while Adrian Rankin Jr., Chris Jones and Stanley Cunningham each added 3.5 stops.

Drake Irwin was 10-for-17 passing for 158 yards and one touchdown and rushed 12 times for 29 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Rockford offense, while Ryan Ahern rushed for 80 yards on 11 attempts, Cam Kruisenga hauled in a 70-yard touchdown reception and Brody Phillips added four receptions for 55 yards.

Zavier Carew recorded five tackles to lead the Rams’ defense, while Christian Harrema added 4.5 tackles and Louis Bosscher had four stops.


Kent City 14, Newaygo 13

Caden Hartzel rushed for 154 yards and one touchdown on 23 carries to lead Kent City, while Carson Gorton added 92 yards on 13 carries.

Jake Perry led the Kent City defense with 10 tackles, while Joe VanOffelen added seven tackles, including one for loss, Gabe Rusnell had four tackles and scooped up a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Zach Devoogd registered six tackles, while Andre Meade, Grayson Preston and Andrew Klotz each had four tackles.


Oakridge 27, Sparta 15

Trever Jones rushed for 140 yards and one touchdown and caught two passes for 76 yards to spark the Oakridge offense, while Brody Stephenson added 50 yards rushing and one touchdown on 15 carries. Evan Miller was 3-for-9 passing for 91 yards and rushed five times for 39 yards and one touchdown and B Cunningham rushed three times for 18 yards and one touchdown.


Hart 8, Fremont 6

Talen Reichert-Slater was 5-for-15 passing for 79 yards to lead the Fremont offense, while Connor Pettis added 53 yards rushing on eight carries, Owen Hertel had 49 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries and caught four passes for 57 yards, Asa Barnhard had 43 yards rushing on nine carries and Khai Noordyk had 40 yards rushing on eight carries.

Owen Hertel and Asa Barnhard each registered eight tackles to lead the Fremont defense, while Kyle Nagel and Connor Pettis each had six tackles.

Joseluis Andaverde rushed for 81 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries to lead the Hart offense, while Connor Edwards was 1-for-6 passing for 10 yards and rushed 12 times for 42 yards and Eman Hertzler rushed for 21 yards and added one reception for 10 yards.

Ty Schlukebir, Ty Thomas and Joaquin Flores each registered eight tackles to lead the Hart defense.


White Cloud 13, Shelby 12

AJ Melchor rushed for 105 yards on 12 attempts to lead the Shelby offense, while Lalo Garcia was 3-for-10 passing for 139 yards and one touchdown and added a rushing touchdown as well and Isaac Garcia caught two passes for 116 yards and one touchdown.

Isaiah Garcia also led the Shelby defense with 10 tackles, while AJ Melchor added eight stops and a fumble recovery and Phillip Hayes had five tackles and an interception.


Mona Shores 58, Manitowoc Lincoln (WI) 7

*No stats provided


Hesperia 22, Muskegon Heights 0

*No stats provided


Grant 40, Wyoming Kelloggsville 8

*No stats provided


Beal City 32, Ravenna 14

*No stats provided



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