By Randy Gregory, Michigan Sports Radio


After an impressive 27-7 road win over a perennial power in the Muskegon Big Reds, one could say the Rockford football team is jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire. This time around the Rams will again make the trek to the lakeshore to take on Muskegon Mona Shores. The Sailors are also 1-0 on the young season after traveling across Lake Michigan to take on Manitowoc Lincoln High School. Mona Shores jumped out to a 37-0 lead after the first quarter that they increased to 51-7 at the half. A single Sailor touchdown was all of the scoring in the second half and the game ended with a final score of 58-7.



Jonathan Pittman was 16-19 passing for 203 yards while the Sailors ran for an additional 259 yards in the dominating win. Jaeger Johnson led the receiving corps with six catches for 114 yards and the Sailor defense held Lincoln to -33 yards rushing.



Matt Koziak returns for his 13th season at the helm of his alma mater for Mona Shores. Koziak has led them to state titles in 2019 and 2020. They also fell in the championship tilt in 2014 and 2018. Koziak has run up a record of 101 and 35 so far while turning a normally mediocre squad into an annual contender come playoff time. Before taking the Mona Shores job he coached at Muskegon for a single season and went 7-4. The Rams and Sailors met last year in one of the most entertaining games of the year. Mona Shores built a 27-7 lead after three quarters before Rockford posted the final 24 points of the contest to claim a thrilling 31-27 win at home. The Sailors averaged 41 points per game last year while allowing only 18.2.



Rockford leads the all-time series between the teams with a record of 18-7. But since Koziak assumed the helm this one has nearly always come down to the wire. The last Mona Shores win came in 2018 by the score of 33-14. There were a few years in the interim when the teams did not play. Rockford is led by fourth-year head coach Brent Cummings who is 30-3 thus far in his young career.



The Mona Shores roster numbers only 34 players but they return multiple starters. Pittman is a second-year starter as a junior and passed for over 1500 yards last year and 18 touchdowns. He also stands at 6 feet 2 inches and weighs in at a sturdy 215 pounds. The talented group of receivers is led by Johnson, Hayden Terpstra, O’Mari Hall-Brown, and Amari Richardson. They are joined by tight ends Andrew Baker and Trent Rosenthal. The offensive line features a trio of 300-pounders led by Luke Emmons, Eric Gould, Jaden Brown and Jeremiah Love.



No fewer than seven players will see two-way duty for Mona Shores. Baker and Rosenthal man the middle linebacker positions. Terpstra, Hall-Brown and Richardson are part of the secondary