Rockets topple Otsego again, 40-20; to host Highland in playoffs

Nov 1, 2023 | Featured, Sports | 0 comments

Back in action following an knee injury earlier in the season, running back Carson Ridener (5) ran for a 29-yard touchdown and added a 6-yard touchdown scamper against visiting Otsego. (Photo by Julie Overmyer)

Oak Harbor’s consistent football play has kept them among the leaders in the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s standings all season. It was very evident in their first playoff game last Friday, as the Rockets posted a 49-20 win over visiting Otsego in a Division V Region 18 opening playoff match.

It was a typical Rockets win this season, pushing their unblemished record to 11-0, and almost exactly matched their dominant 49-21 victory over Otsego on Friday, Oct. 6.

Jaqui Hayward (7) was a scoring machine on the ground for the Rockets in the first half last Friday night, ringing up touchdown runs of 32, 16 and 82 yards to help build an insurmountable 35-8 halftime lead. (Photo by Julie Overmyer)

With the playoff field in Region 18 now cut in half to eight teams, No. 4 seed Oak Harbor will host No. 12 seed Highland (6-5) this Friday, who nipped Liberty-Benton last Friday night, 21-17, on a late game touchdown pass. The other three games will match Huron at Liberty Center; Eastwood at Edison; and Clearview at Norwayne.

The only other Ottawa County team in the mix, Genoa was beaten 28-21 by Huron on Friday.

There is still a long way to go for the playoff teams. The top dogs won’t battle in the Buckeye State Championships until Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

A workhorse for Oak Harbor this season, Dalton Witter (21) ran for 124 yards on 19 carries against Otsego. (Photo by Julie Overmyer)

Junior linebacker and running back Carson Ridener, who had a knee injury earlier in the season, made a welcome return and Oak Harbor Coach Mike May watched the talented two-way player make an impact on both sides of the ball. In addition to first half touchdown runs of 29 and 6 yards, Ridener — one of the Rockets top tacklers on defense — also grabbed an interception and rambled for a 50-yard touchdown.

Quarterback Mike LaLonde completed 10 of 18 passes 107 yards, letting the running game easily handle the scoring on Friday night. Oak Harbor’s ground game gobbled up 411 yards on 40 carries.

Genoa stymied in fourth quarter, loses to Huron, 28-21

For the second time this season, the Huron Tigers were in a defensive dogfight in the second half of a game against the visiting Genoa Comets. While earlier in the season Genoa managed to come back from a 20-0 first-half deficit to pull out a one-point victory, 21-20, last Friday it was Huron’s turn.

With the score tied at 21-21 at the end of the first half, and both defenses dominating the action in their first OHSAA playoff game, Huron finally broke the ice. Senior quarterback Cody Scroggins scored on a 3-yard run, the only score of the second half, for the victory.

The Tigers will now go on the road to face #1 seed Liberty Center this Friday.

Friday Night Results

  • Oak Harbor 40, Otsego 20
  • Huron 28, Genoa 21
  • Edison 48, Spencerville 0
  • Perkins 44, Vermilion 6
  • Buckeye 31, Sandusky 29
  • Ottawa Hills, Margaretta 7
  • Napoleon 41, Bellevue 24
  • St. Paul 56, Toronto 20
  • Black River 24, Western Reserve 6
  • Rocky River 14, Clyde 7

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