The undefeated Rockets started slow in the opening quarter against visiting Otsego of Bowling Green last Friday night, but they kicked their game into high gear in the second and third quarters, scoring 42 points to easily win their seventh game of the season, 49-21.
The Rockets rugged first string defense, which had only allowed one touchdown this season until Friday night, fell behind early, but didn’t panic. The explosive Oak Harbor offense rang up 21 points in both the second and the third quarters, with Michael LaLonde passing for 260 yards and four touchdowns.
Ethan Stokes caught a pair of Lalonde’s TD passes, and Jacqui Hayward caught one touchdown pass and ran for another.
Top rushing back Dalton Witter notched two touchdowns on the ground.
Now 4-0 in the Northern Buckeye Conference, Oak Harbor will tackle Ottawa County rival Genoa, now 6-1, followed by last year’s league champion Eastwood.
“Out kids love to run and hit, and they’re fun to coach,” said Oak Harbor Coach Mike May. “We’ve got a really nice mix of seniors and juniors this year, and a fine sophomore in Travis Boyer, who stepped in as a freshman last year at inside linebacker and has done very well.”
The Rockets advantage this year is depth, said May.
“In a typical year, we’ve had to have six or seven players going both ways, offense and defense. Now we need only two, and that keeps guys fresh over four quarters.. We’ve had a few injuries, and the depth has really helped with that.”
With Eastwood and Genoa coming right up, May has been preaching to his players to play one game at a time and not look ahead. Genoa has a deep history of their rivalry with Oak Harbor, May pointed out, and this year the Comets have had a lot of success.
May feels Hayward has been a special kid at wide receiver, who also is a top weapon in the backfield and taking snaps on running plays. Running backs Carson Ridener, Witter and Blake Nickel have been stalwarts of the ground game.
“Offensive Coach Scott Schulte has been great at spreading the ball around, because we want to be a physical running team, but one that also throw screens and deep passes succesfully,” said May. “There are a lot of top quality teams in Ottawa County, and we’re proud of where we are, but have to keep getting better every day to stay on top.”
Genoa turns early lead into 42-28 win
The Genoa Comets took an early lead over Maumee with a 19-7 first quarter, and ground out a 41-28 victory.
Genoa’s strong second quarter led to a 35-14 halftime lead. Maumee managed to cut the gap to 42-28, but could not get any closer as neither team could score in the fourth quarter.
Genoa, 6-1, will tackle Ottawa County rival Oak Harbor, who is 7-0 and 4-0 in the in the Northern Buckeye Conference.
Port Clinton rallies to snap losing streak, 24-21
The Redskins passing game managed to halt a four game losing streak, as quarterback Gabe Koskela fired up a second half rally to beat host Vermilion on Friday night, 24-21.
After Port Clinton scored only three points in the first half, Koskela did the damage both passing and running. He had a 47-yard touchdown run in the second half, and connected on a 43-yard touchdown pass to Josh Cornell late in the game.
Koskela had seven carries for for 65 yards and the TD, and connected on 11 of 15 passes for 122 yards.
Port Clinton is now 3-4 and is 1-1 in SBC Bay play.
Danbury wins first game of the season, 30-38
With just seconds left in the game at Sebring on Friday night, Danbury quarterback found Elijah Hatfield for a 13-yard touchdown pass that tied the score at 28-28. Rather than overtime, the Lakers went for the win and tried a two-point conversion.
Dean ran up the middle and scored on the two-point conversion, giving Danbury a 30-28 victory for Danbury, its first of the season.
Sebring made a spirited drive, but that fell short as Danbury’s Canon Crownover intercepted a pass in the end zone as time expired.
The Lakers are back in action this Friday, hosting St. Mary Central Catholic.