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Falcons Sports

Ek vs. Muskegon (MLive Article)

Posted Saturday, October 03, 2009 by Mlive, Steve Vedder
Original text of this article can be found at:

East Kentwood rallies to surprise Muskegon

, October 02, 2009 11:54 p.m.

KENTWOOD -- It did not necessarily thrust East Kentwood into title contention, but it still was a landmark win.

Falcons coach Greg Hudkins said Friday's 22-19 come-from-behind win against Muskegon eventually will be viewed as helping the program turn a corner.

The Big Reds had beaten East Kentwood four consecutive times since entering the O-K Red in 2005, averaging 44 points per game. But East Kentwood's defense limited Muskegon to a total of eight first downs and one touchdown in the final three quarters Friday.

"I'm sure we'll look back on it when we get to where we want to go and think this helped us turn a corner," Hudkins said.

"We didn't play that well, and we played OK vs. Hudsonville (a 28-0 loss Sept. 18), and maybe the kids started to doubt themselves. Maybe there was some doubt in our minds how good we were or not."

The Falcons (4-2, 2-2) took the lead for good on a 28-yard romp by senior quarterback Jon Henry with 11:09 left in the fourth quarter. The score was the fourth lead change of the game.

The score came after East Kentwood, now two wins from the playoffs, lost the ball on downs at the Muskegon 5-yard line midway through the third quarter and failed to score on two other occasions deep in Big Reds territory.

"We had opportunities to put the game away and didn't," Hudkins said. "But whether you're good or not, you want to get better. We're making strides."

The Falcons wound up with twice as many first downs (17-8) and 280 total yards to 260 for Muskegon (4-2, 2-2).

The Big Reds collected nearly half of that yardage on an 80-yard touchdown run by Greg Wickliff in the second quarter and a 37-yard scoring run by Juwan Lewis that made the score 13-7 with 7:56 left in the first quarter.

East Kentwood came back on a 4-yard pass from Henry to Deonte Hurst with 2:34 left in the first quarter for a 15-13 lead, but Muskegon took its last lead (19-15) on a 5-yard run by Kevonta Keyes with 2:23 left in the third quarter.

Big Reds coach Matt Koziak said it wasn't glaring mistakes but little things that hurt his team. Muskegon did not fumble the ball and had just one interception.

"We, as coaches, harp on them to try and get better, and the (rainy) conditions had nothing to do with this," Koziak said. "The kids fought to the end -- effort was never an issue. But we've got to be better."

Koziak said offense has not been a problem. Muskegon is averaging 249 yards per game on the ground and outscored Grandville and Hudsonville by a combined 61-9 the past two games.

"We put some points on the board against Grandville and had some plays against Hudsonville," he said. "But we didn't (make plays) tonight."

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