DETROIT -- After a hot start early in the game, Muskegon would battle adversity in the Division 3 state championship game at Ford Field, falling 30-7.
In the final minute of the opening quarter, Cam Martinez found the endzone on a three-yard touchdown run to give Muskegon the 7-0 lead. Unfortunately, that would be about the only success on the ground for the Big Reds.
In the second quarter, River Rouge would get on the board. Mareyohn Hrabowski would get into the endzone from a yard out just two plays after a 48-yard run to knot the score at seven.
On the ensuing drive, the Big Reds would eat up nearly six minutes of clock with a 10 play drive that only resulted in 16 yards, resulting in a punt.
River Rouge would take over at their own 49-yard line and it would take the Panthers just over one minute to score on a 40-yard touchdown run by Hrabowski. His second touchdown of the game would make it 14-7 at halftime.
The start of the second half wouldn't go much better for the Big Reds as the opening kickoff would be returned into Muskegon territory to the 35-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Hrabowski would find the endzone for the third time of the evening to make it 21-7 just 14 seconds into the third quarter. That remains the score heading into the fourth quarter.
"Not one of those kids didn`t want to make a tackle," Msukegon head coach Shane Fairfield said. "It`s just they executed plays, their kids played plays and this just wasn`t our night.
The Panthers would convert on a 31-yard field goal by Avery Burch to extend the lead to 24-7 early in the fourth quarter.
With just five minutes left in the game, Deandre Bulley took a handoff 33 yards to tack onto the lead and put the finishing touches on the 30-7 final score.
The typically electrifying Big Reds offense could only muster 180 yards, all of them on the ground as they finish the season as the Division 3 state runner-up for the second consecutive season.
"These young men have had a lot of pressure on them all season long," Faifield added. "We`ve had so much pressure being number one and everyone taking their shots and we just ran out tonight, the 14th just wasn`t out number.'
Cam Martinez finishes with 108 yards on 34 carries and a touchdown while Tommy Watts ran the ball 13 times for 60 yards.
"When you play really good teams you have to come to play," senior quarterback Cam MArtinez said. "We had a couple of lapses that we`ve never experienced before and that`s just the way the game happens. You`re not always going to win them but you had to play hard."