Reed City starts season with convincing win over North Muskegon

REED CITY — Reed City’s football team extended its regular-season win streak to 10 games on Friday with a 32-9 victory over North Muskegon to open the 2016 campaign.

Despite returning just two starters on offense and three on defense from last year’s 10-1 team, the Coyotes continued to produce on both sides of the ball.

Senior quarterback Derrick Rasor threw just two passes in the first half, but made them count. His first attempt was an 11-yard touchdown pass to senior Trent Sturgell on fourth-and-goal to give the Coyotes an 8-0 lead after a two-point conversion. At the 7:34 mark of the second quarter, the duo again connected for a 54-yard score and a 16-3 lead following a two-point conversion.

“It was a blast,” Rasor said of the touchdowns. “I was just so hyped after that. It was a fun night.”

Reed City’s defense took over from there, bailing out the offense twice after two turnovers and forcing two fumbles itself in the first half to uphold the 13-point cushion.

“Defense was huge,” Reed coach Monty Price said. “I thought our defense played very strong, held them to little yardage. Even the second stringers came in and did a pretty good job containing them, so I’m pretty happy with that.” 

The Coyotes added two rushing touchdowns in the third quarter to begin pulling away. Sophomore Phillip Jones broke off a 28-yard touchdown run up the middle at the 8:50 mark, and sophomore quarterback Jackson Price scampered into the end zone from 13 yards out with 24 seconds to go for a 32-3 lead.

Jones finished with 35 yards on six carries, while senior Logan Straub rushed for 84 yards on 15 carries as part of a three-man running back rotation.

“We have three of them plus our QB who we like to run, so we kind of just take what defense is giving us,” Price said of the offense. “We try and find out where we are going to attack the defense. We have a lot of kids who are capable of doing great things for us, and (Friday) we were very balanced. That is always important.”

The young Coyotes still have plenty of room to grow, Price said.

“We made some inexperience mistakes,” he said. “We have to keep the ball off the turf. I thought we had a little trouble hanging onto the football, but we will go back to the drawing board and try and fix those little things.

“But I’m proud of our young kids and how we kept our composure. We came back out in the second half and played very good football. We’re going to get back to practice and see if we can maximize the potential out of these kids.”

Reed City begins Central State Activities Association Gold Division play Friday at home against Newaygo.

“We’ve had a great rivalry with them since they joined the CSAA,” Price said. “We’re going to expect nothing but their best. They are a very well coached program with tough kids.”