The rain pretty much held off for Whitehall’s football game Friday night at North Muskegon.
There was no stopping the Vikings’ defensive reign over the Norsemen, however. That was the major difference in Whitehall’s 33-0 West Michigan Conference victory at Fred Jacks Memorial Field.
Whitehall improves to 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the WMC, staying within striking distance of league-leader Montague (4-1, 4-0) three weeks from their Oct. 15 showdown in Whitehall.
The Vikings shut down the Norse (2-3, 2-2) running game to the tune of minus-18 yards, resulting in a third-straight shutout for the red-and-white. Overall, North Muskegon managed just 70 yards against Whitehall, which blanked Ravenna 42-0 two weeks ago and Shelby 68-0 last week.
“Our defense played fantastic tonight,” Whitehall coach Tony Sigmon said. “I’m really excited about the way they’re playing.”
The Vikings were not perfect. They were flagged 13 times for 120 yards.
The defense and special teams made up for it, though.
Whitehall kicker Jack McDowell got the ball rolling with a 26-yard field goal late in the first quarter to give the Vikings a 3-0 lead. A few minutes into the second quarter, he tacked on a 28-yard field goal.
“I was very happy to see our special teams step-up, in regard to kicking placement and the way our team covered,” Sigmon said.
Whitehall settled for a 13-0 halftime lead, as North Muskegon’s defense was up to the task as well.
North Muskegon coach Larry Witham was proud of the effort on that side of the ball.
“The score didn’t represent how well our defense played tonight,” Witham said.
Whitehall scored three second-half touchdowns to pull away.
Alec Pruett posted his fifth-straight 100-yard game for the Vikings with 159 rushing yards on 21 carries, including a TD. Nate Bolley scored two TDs and finished with 81 yards on seven carries. Kyle Stratton completed 6 of 16 passes for 65 yards and he ran for a score.
Defensively, Jackson Cook led the way for Whitehall with eight tackles. Max Brown made five stops for the Vikings.
For North Muskegon, Bo Nedeau notched eight tackles, while Sam Gallo had 6 1/2, Kyle Huff six and Denny Belmonte 5 1/2.
The battle up front was a difference-maker in the game, according to Witham.
“We have some nice skill kids, but we are giving up some pounds against some of the upper-echelon teams in the league,” Witham said. “We head back to work on Monday to try and right the ship next week.”
It doesn’t get any easier for North Muskegon. The Norsemen host Oakridge next week.
Meanwhile, Whitehall returns home after two-straight road games and welcomes Ludington on homecoming night at 7 p.m. next Friday.
“If we clean some things up on our offense, we will get to a place where we are doing really well,” Sigmon said.
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