TRAVERSE CITY — Things started pretty well for the Traverse City Wolves.
It all went downhill from there.
After taking a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter in their season opener Saturday against the Muskegon Mustangs, the Wolves watched the Mustangs rattle off 47 unanswered points in a 47-7 thrashing at Thirlby Field.
Zach Winston threw for four touchdown passes — three in the first half — as the Mustangs built a 37-7 lead by halftime and never looked back.
Winston’s scoring passes were from 20, 49, 59 and 33 yards. The 49- and 59-yarder came in the final nine minutes of the second quarter and effectively squashed the Wolves hopes to battle back.
The Wolves led for a good part of the first quarter thanks to a Tim Ohlert interception that he returned 63 yards for a touchdown. Pablo Bocardo Jr. booted the extra point to put the Wolves ahead 7-0.
Two minutes later the Mustangs got on the board as Winston connected on his first score of the night. The extra point was blocked, however, to keep Traverse City in the lead.
That lead remained short-lived, though, as Jose Diaz booted the first of two field goals — this one from 36 yards away — to give Muskegon a 9-7 edge. Diaz also connected on a 43-yard field goal that closed the scoring with five minutes to play in the game.
Eric James padded Muskegon’s lead to 16-7 on a 42-yard touchdown run with 2:45 remaining in the first quarter, and that sparked a three-touchdown burst in the span of nine minutes during the second quarter.
Muskegon outgained Traverse City 427-142 on the night.
Traverse City (0-1) hits the road on Saturday when it plays the Michigan Grizzlies, who lost 21-14 to the Grand Rapids Thunder on Saturday.