The Reeths-Puffer Rockets had lost six of the past seven matchups against Grand Haven in this local rivalry series. With a new coaching regime in town, there was hope along the Lakeshore that the 2022 version would be different. After four quarters, Reeths-Puffer starts off the Cody Kater era with a victory against Grand Haven, 32-20.
On the opening kick of the game, Grand Haven coughed up the football. Reeths-Puffer took advantage of the turnover and turned it into quick points. Brody Johnson hauled in a screen pass, covering 23 yards on his way to the end zone.
In the second quarter, another Bucs’ error led to Reeths-Puffer points. A lost fumble, recovered by the Rockets, led to a quarterback keeper of 12 yards by Bryce Ross. This gave the Rockets a 12-0 edge. To cap off the remarkably hot start, they unleashed a 47-yard touchdown pass to Tayte Vanderleest, extending their advantage to 19 points.
Xzavier Rodriguez found William Korenstra for the first Bucs points of the 2022 campaign. This gave Grand Haven a bit of momentum heading into halftime, though they were down 19-7.
Reeths-Puffer began the second half with a touchdown march. Ross used his legs for a 20-yard touchdown run. After a failed conversion, the score sat at 25-7 in favor of the Rockets. Xzavier Rodriguez would answer again for the Bucs, this time carrying the ball across the goal line. With one quarter to play, it was 25-13.
Ross’ third touchdown run of the game wrapped up the RP scoring attack. His two-yard plunge gave Puffer a nineteen-point advantage with just under five minutes to go. Xzavier Rodriguez’s three-yard touchdown run whittled down the final margin of defeat for the Bucs.
Xzavier Rodriguez finished 11/17 passing in this game, finishing with 156 yards and a touchdown. He was also the leading rusher for Grand Haven with 72 yards and two scores on 19 carries. William Korenstra paced the Bucs in defeat with four catches for 73 yards. Next week, Grand Haven will look to earn their first victory of the year against Traverse City West.
Reeths-Puffer starts 1-0 on the 2022 campaign. They were led by Brady Ross, who had 103 yards passing, 27 yards rushing and four total touchdowns. Brody Johnson added 96 rushing yards. Tayte Vanderleest posted another strong receiving performance with 106 yards. The Rockets will look to move to 2-0 for the first time since 2017 when they face St Johns next week.