Grand Ledge and Sexton took the field with 7:16 still remaining in the first quarter Friday after a one-hour weather delay due to lightning.
From there, it took just 12 seconds for the Comets to strike, as Connor Anderson blocked a Big Reds punt in the end zone and teammate Redmond Riggs pounced on the ball. Bradlee Taylor booted his first of five extra points for a 7-0 lead and Grand Ledge never looked back.
For the third straight year, Grand Ledge players honored American heroes as each wore the name of a fallen United States military service member.
“The kids take this very seriously, they’re very humbled by the name that they each wear on their jersey,” coach Matt Bird said.
The Comets added their second touchdown on the second play of the second quarter after John Dobie gathered up a Sexton fumble at the Big Reds 12-yard line. Three plays later, tailback Joe Reverman scored his first of two touchdowns on a 3-yard run.
Following a Big Reds punt, the Comets took just five plays to go 45 yards for a score, capped by another 3-yard run by Reverman to go up 21-0 with 4:58 to play in the half.
Senior quarterback Ben Cornell connected with receiver Connor Anderson with an 11-yard pass with just 11 seconds remaining in the first half. The play closed an 11 play 45-yard drive that ate up the final four minutes of the half.
Cornell closed the Comets’ scoring late in the third quarter on a 19-yard-run, ending a seven-play, 58-yard drive. Cornell took over the reins at quarterback after junior quarterback Jalen Brady was held out with a slight shoulder injury.
Cornell finished the night with 19 carries for 90 yards and one touchdown.
“The kids really responded to Ben at quarterback,” Bird said. “He’s a senior and shows great leadership and the kids really rallied behind him. He’s a tremendous athlete.”
Sexton closed the scoring when tailback A’Vonte Bell smashed over from 1 yard out for the score with 2:30 to play in the game. Fullback John Norton fan for the two-point conversion.
The Grand Ledge defense stymied the Big Reds offense, as Sexton was held to just 96 yards rushing and just five first downs for the night.
Ben Bedard paced the Comets defense with nine tackles while D’Vonte Dear added five.
Sexton also played a solid defensive game, as they held the Comets to 219 yards rushing on 45 carries and just 45 through the air. AJ Hobbs tallied seven tackles while Girard Lewis and LaDon Nixon each had five.
Grand Ledge moves to 2-1 with the win, while the Big Reds fall to 0-3.