BY YANEEK SMITH
OAK HARBOR — Oak Harbor dominated from start to finish to defeat Fostoria, 55-7, in the season opener. Jaqui Hayward helped the Rockets (1-0) score on the game’s first play, returning the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.
“The first play was huge, it kind of set the tone for the game,” said Oak Harbor coach Mike May. “I credit the kickoff team for their blocking, they did a really nice job.”
Hayden Buhro scored on a 10-yard run just over two minutes later, and Fulton Krupp, who kicked seven extra points, made the PAT to make it 14-0.
Hayward scored on an 11-yard run to push the lead to 21 points. Travis Bouyer returned a fumble 25 yards for a touchdown to make it 27-0 after one quarter. Hayden Burho scored two rushing touchdowns (42, 2) in the second quarter and the Rockets took a 48-0 lead into halftime.
“Hayden had some big plays at tailback,” said May. Hayward finished with nine carries for 115 yards and a touchdown and Buhro had nine carries for 92 yards and three scores. Jaxson Overmyer caught two passes for 40 yards.
Oak Harbor rushed for 283 yards and held the Redmen (0-1) to 189 yards of total offense.
“We played really good pass defense overall. We didn’t give up big plays,” said May. “We were able to force some turnovers that gave us some short fields.”
Hayward had most of the reps at quarterback, but Michael Lalonde saw action as well under center.
“We play Michael in situations, and we’re planning on playing both all year,” said May. “Jaqui will get the majority of the snaps. He’s played really well.”
Next up for the Rockets is Genoa, which lost, 35-14, to Archbold. The Comets were tied with the Blue Streaks at 14-14 midway through the third quarter before Archbold scored 21 unanswered points. Genoa quarterback Aiden Brunkhorst had 15 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown.