While everyone knew Mona Shores was great, most didn’t expect the Sailors to come into Hackley Stadium and walk away with a victory. That’s exactly what they did though, as they beat crosstown-rival Muskegon 21-14 to hand the Big Reds their first regular season loss since Week 2 of 2016.
The Sailors truly flipped the script, as they suffered a 53-0 beatdown by Muskegon in Week 8 of last season. They haven’t lost a game since as they won the Division 2 state championship last season and are now riding an 8 game winning streak.
Mona Shores led early on a 48 yard touchdown as senior quarterback Brady Rose hooked up with junior wide receiver Demetri Roberson in the first quarter. The Sailors extended their lead on a 19 yard pass from Rose to Elijah Farnum to go up 14-0 into halftime.
The Big Reds didn’t give up, as they scored two quick touchdowns, one on a 20 yard rush by quarterback Amari Crowley and the second on a 50 yard rush by Jacarri Thomas-Kitchen to tie the game up at 14.
With just over 4 minutes left in the game, Rose stepped up. He led the Sailors down the field and capped off the drive with a 18 yard touchdown rush to take a 21-14 lead that Mona Shores would never lose.
Muskegon had a chance to tie the game up late as Crowley led a furious drive, but was intercepted by Rose to seal the game for Mona Shores.
“Our kids showed incredible resilience…those last 4 minutes were just two teams that didn’t want to lose and kids that are incredible competitors and coaches that are incredible competitors.” Mona Shores coach Matt Koziak said
On the other sideline, Muskegon coach Shane Fairfield gave the Sailors credit, but felt a lot of their wounds were self-inflicted. “From self-inflicted penalties to the turnovers, they had the ball down 4 or 5 times they fumbled and we were in very good position, they just recovered fumbles and we didn’t…they beat us, they’re a good team but we didn’t help ourselves at all.”
Fairfield also said he remains optimistic, saying “We’re better after this, we need something to wake us up and if this doesn’t punch you in the gut and make you focus a little bit more and work a little harder than there’s something wrong with you.”
The win for the Sailors snaps a five game losing streak to the Big Reds that dated back to the 2015 season and advances them to 2-0 on the season. Muskegon falls to 1-1 and will face Reeths-Puffer at home next week.