Defense wins championships, and Muskegon has the one of the finest in the state, led by future Wolverine Terrance Taylor. The Big Red rolled into Friday night's playoff contest versus Hudsonville with an undefeated record. Hudsonville had only dropped one game courtesy of Muskegon earlier in the year.
Several weeks ago Hudsonville lost 49-7 at Hackley Stadium in a game where the mercy rule was employed (i.e. a running clock). Needless to say, redemption was on their minds in a marquee rematch that drew college rivalry like interest. A sellout crowd of more than 6,500 packed Hackley Stadium. Fans stood 10 deep all around the fence of the field. Concrete steps were turned into additional seating. Spectators peeped through holes of the covered fence around the stadium. Others stood on top of vehicles. Even the fire department brought their fire engine for premium seating. The game actually turned out to be worth all of the fuss.
After trailing by a field goal in the second half, the star of the night for
Muskegon, Ronald Johnson, ran down the sideline for a 49-yard touchdown pass
that put Muskegon on top going into halftime. The second half was not kind to
Hudsonville. They couldn't stop the blitzing Big Red all night. Muskegon's defensive
line, led by Taylor, got great pressure and the weakside blitz continuously
effective. The Hudsonville quarterback got the wind knocked out of him several
With the score 19-10, Johnson pulled off another big play and got what seemed to be the dagger in the heart, but a piece of yellow laundry (holding) nullified the play and Muskegon was forced to punt. It didn't take long for Hudsonville to seize the opportunity, as they scored in the 4th quarter off a long pass to inch closer, 19-16. Fortunately for Muskegon, Ronald Johnson wasn't done yet.
Jason Ruud hit Johnson with a 70-yard pass to put the Big Red up 26-16. Hudsonville
made things interesting at the end by putting together a long drive that faltered
in the red zone before they kicked a field goal. That score brought them within
a touchdown with under a minute and a half left in the game. The game came down
to an onside kick. After the players were peeled off the pile, it was Big Red
football and the game had an official seal on it.
Muskegon was crowned the Region one champions of division two. They will now go on to play Rochester Adams. The winner of that contest will go to the state title game.
Michigan fans, remember the name Ronald Johnson (WR/DB). The sophomore is one of the best in the state in his class (along with Orchard Lake St. Mary's Dionte Allen). The young man is very good on both offense and defense.
Be on the lookout for a full scouting report on Terrance Taylor from Josh
Turel later in the week.