The Muskegon Big Reds remained in the conversation for an OK Green title in 2022 with a 43-21 win over the Union Red Hawks on Friday night. The Big Reds scored 29 unanswered points, while keeping Union off the scoreboard in the second half.

Early on, it was Union that had all the momentum. After moving the ball well on their opening possession, Red Hawks’ quarterback Tommy Stevens capped off the drive with a 20-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-one. The Red Hawk defense then made a stand on fourth down after Muskegon got the ball into Union territory and on the ensuing possession, the Red Hawks would score again on a Najeh Thornton touchdown run to give the Red Hawks a 13-0 midway through the second quarter.

However, things would take a turn for the worse for the Red Hawks. After forcing a Muskegon punt, Union took over and drove the ball to midfield. Threatening to open a three-score advantage, Stevens dropped back to pass and was looking for running back Elijah Taylor on a wheel route, however, the ball was swatted at the line of scrimmage and landed in the hands of Muskegon’s Princeton Blackmon, who cruised into the end zone for a pick-six to get the Big Reds back in it.

With momentum shifting, the Big Reds forced a punt on defense and then went on a quick, two-play drive that ended in a Jakob Price touchdown to give the Big Reds the lead, 14-13.

Union would have an answer. Helped by a couple of Big Red penalties, the Red Hawks marched inside the ten-yard line. Then, with only 30 seconds remaining in the half, Stevens barreled his way into the end-zone and would complete the drive with a two-point conversion to give the Red Hawks a surprising 21-14 lead at the break.

Then the third quarter happened.

On the opening kickoff to the second half, the Big Reds couldn’t field the ball cleanly, but it went through the hands of a Red Hawk before going out of bounds, so the Big Reds retained possession. On the very next play, the first offensive play of the half, Muskegon quarterback M’khi Guy threw a screen out wide to running back Destin Piggee, who then ran past the Red Hawk defense for a 62-yard touchdown.

After a Union punt, Muskegon would bring the ball back inside the red zone. Guy found Piggee again, this time from 15 yards out, and then an unorthodox two-point conversion off of a bad snap gave the Big Reds a 29-21 lead. The Big Reds didn’t stop there. After some back-and-forth play, Guy kept the ball on a read option and took it 67 yards to the house to effectively end the night.

Guy would score one more touchdown late in the fourth quarter, but the damage was already done. The junior quarterback complete 7-of-10 passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns through the air and added 11 carries for 122 yards and another two scores.

For Union, Stevens finished with an impressive stat line, especially through the air. The senior completed 14-of-17 attempts for 139 yards while rushing 21 times for 51 yards and two touchdowns. Christopher Murphy-Ware had a big night as well, hauling in six catches for 90 yards.

Muskegon boosts their record to 4-2 with the victory and will return home next week where they will face the Wyoming Wolves. Union loses their third in a row, falling to 3-3 on the season and will have a week off next week as they will take a forfeit win from Holland.