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Blitz Rewind: 2008 Muskegon Big Reds

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Posted at 9:51 PM, Sep 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-18 00:02:45-04
Remembering the 2008 Muskegon Big Reds season

Tonight during Blitz: Back in the Game, we're looking back at the 2008 Muskegon Big Reds football team and their state title run.

The team was underrated at the start of the season due to so few starters returning from 2007.

The Big Reds beat state powers Detroit King and Birmingham Brother Rice in the first two weeks of the season.

2008 Division 2 State Championship Game

They beat Hudsonville 29-26 in week six and won at Rockford 34-6 in week eight in front of a huge crowd. The Rams would go on to win the Division 1 state championship in 2008.

Muskegon won the OK Red title outright and finished the regular season at 9-0.

They knocked off Hudsonville a second time in the district final 12-6 on a rainy Saturday afternoon, which left Hackley Stadium's natural grass surface a muddy mess.

The Big Reds moved the regional playoff game against fellow unbeaten Lowell to Grand Haven and blew out the Red Arrows 49-14.

In the state semifinal game, Muskegon fell behind Davison 35-13, who had lost in the regular season to both Rockford and Lowell, and rallied after head coach Tony Annese called timeout and asked his team "to be the team I've coached all year!" Annese remembered. The Big Reds recovered two onside kicks and scored 19 points in the game's final five minutes to win 38-35 and advance to the Division 2 state championship game.

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"You've got to treat life like the Davison game," 2008 Muskegon quarterback Elan Banks said. "No matter what the situation is, even if you are on the floor, you can always get back up. It is never too late until the clock hits zero. Just never give up on life."

Muskegon finished it off with a 34-14 win over Warren De La Salle in the Division 2 state championship game.

It was their third state championship in five years.