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Rockford downs Mona Shores: Battering Ram steals show in Ralph Munger’s return

MLive - GrandRapids/Muskegon/Kalamazoo logo MLive - GrandRapids/Muskegon/Kalamazoo 9/21/2019 By Scott DeCamp, mlive.com

Rockford head coach Ralph Munger congratulates senior running back Jaiden Friesen after he scored a touchdown Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, at Sailor Stadium in Norton Shores, Mich. Rockford defeated Mona Shores, 34-21. (Kayla Renie 5/8 MLive.com)

NORTON SHORES, MI – The big storylines entering Friday night’s game at Sailor Stadium were the showdown between highly-ranked Rockford and Mona Shores and the return to the sideline for longtime Rams coach Ralph Munger.

Jaiden Friesen upstaged both of those things. He was the story.

Munger was probably fine with that.

Friesen, a 5-foot-11, 240-pound battering ram, scored all five of Rockford’s touchdowns and pounded his way to 211 rushing yards in the Rams’ 34-21 victory.

MUSKEGON-AREA SCORES: Get Friday's area scores and next week's schedule

PHOTO GALLERY: Don't miss Kayla Renie's beautiful images from Friday's game

STATEWIDE SCORES: Get scores from across the state Friday

Note: Check back soon for more details from this game.

Rockford senior running back Jaiden Friesen (8) runs the ball against the Mona Shores defense Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, at Sailor Stadium in Norton Shores, Mich. (Kayla Renie 5/8 MLive.com)

“It’s awesome. It really hasn’t sunk in yet,” Friesen said immediately after the game. “I was kind of just playing it one play at a time, but definitely really happy the way I played and the rest of the guys.”

Friesen scored on TD runs of 4, 51, 7, 1 and 38 yards. The 51-yard scoring run came with 2 seconds left in the second quarter and stole the momentum for Rockford, which went into the locker room tied with Mona Shores at 14.

The 38-yard TD run was on his 31st and final carry of the night, with 25 seconds remaining, to effectively put the game away.

Rockford, was ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press’ Division 1 poll this week, improves to 4-0 overall. Mona Shores, which was rated No. 1 in Division 2, is now 3-1.

(MLive.com video by Scott DeCamp)

Ralph Munger’s first game back on the sideline

The veteran coach, who is in his 28th season at the Rockford helm, made his return to the sideline Friday for the first time this season. Last month, he underwent quadruple-bypass surgery.

The 67-year-old Munger was restricted by doctors as far as his involvement in the Rams’ first three games this season. But at Mona Shores, he patrolled the sideline again.

Munger is still the “captain of the ship,” as longtime assistant coach Randy VanderVeen said after the game. But Munger deferred to his assistant coaches for a lot of calls during the game. After the game, he declined an interview request with assembled media and instead deflected attention to his assistant coaches and his players.

Watch the video above to see clips of Munger's return and to hear what VanderVeen and Friesen had to say about it.

Rockford players watch from the sideline as the sun sets at Sailor Stadium Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, in Norton Shores, Mich. (Kayla Renie 5/8 MLive.com)

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

R: Jaiden Friesen 4 run (Teagen Lenderink kick), 4:35

MS: Brady Rose 31 run (Keegan DeKuiper kick), 2:04

Second Quarter

MS: Tre Hatcher 19 run (DeKuiper kick), 14-7

R: Friesen 51 run (Lenderink kick), :02

Third Quarter

R: Friesen 7 run (kick blocked), 1:25

Fourth Quarter

R: Friesen 1 run (Lenderink kick), 8:52

MS: Rose 5 run (DeKuiper kick), 1:22

R: Friesen 38 run (Lenderink kick), :25

Mona Shores quarterback Caden Broersma fakes the ball to running back Tre Hatcher, center, during a play near the goal line Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, at Sailor Stadium in Norton Shores, Mich. (Kayla Renie 5/8 MLive.com)

Team Stats

Total offense: Rockford 297; Mona Shores 241

Team rushing: Rockford 38-234; Mona Shores 28-155

First downs: Rockford 16; Mona Shores 14

Penalties: Rockford 5-35; Mona Shores 6-30

Fumbles: Rockford 2 (0 lost); Mona Shores 3 (1 lost)

Rockford head coach Ralph Munger watches from the sideline during the Rams' game against Mona Shores Friday, Sept. 20, 2019, at Sailor Stadium in Norton Shores, Mich. (Kayla Renie 5/8 MLive.com)

Individual Stat Leaders

Rushing

Rockford: Jaiden Friesen 38-211, 5 TDs

Mona Shores: Tre Hatcher 10-71, 1 TD; Brady Rose 5-67, 2 TDs

Passing

Rockford: Chris Corey 1-6, 13 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

Mona Shores: Caden Broersma 6-12, 47 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT

Receiving

Rockford: Brock Holwerda 1-13

Mona Shores: Keondre Pierce 3-50

Defense

Rockford: Cole Gleason 6 tackles; Ben Tadych 5 tackles; Ian Brofft 1 fumble recovery; Nick McCauley 1 interception

Mona Shores: Cam Sobish 12 tackles; Gary Humprey 9 tackles; Kolbe Trovinger 8 tackles; Tre Word 7 tackles; Brady Rose 5 tackles; Karsen Marihugh 5 tackles; Keondre Pierce 5 tackles

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©2019 MLive.com, Walker, Mich.

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