JV Vikings come back from 14-0 deficit, win 20-14 vs. Bucks in opener
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The junior varsity football team, during its 2017 season opener on Wednesday night at Roscommon, battled back from a 14-0 deficit, scoring 20 unanswered points to win by a final score of 20-14 vs. the Bucks.
Roscommon, in its second possession of the contest, drove 48 yards on nine plays, finishing the series with a one-yard touchdown run on 4th and goal. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
With 3:28 left in the first period, the Bucks had a 6-0 advantage.
Grayling started at its 29-yard line after the kickoff. Max Halstead rushed for nine yards on 2nd and 10. Keigan Garnett ran for seven yards on 3rd and 1. Two runs by Halstead picked up another first down. Later, on 3rd and 7, Bradley Trosper rushed for 11 yards. The drive ended with an incomplete pass on 4th and 15.
Roscommon drove from its 35-yard line to Grayling’s 38-yard line. On 1st and 15, after an ineligible man downfield penalty, Trosper intercepted a Roscommon pass attempt.
After the return, the Vikings started at their 49-yard line. The drive went backwards and Grayling punted on 4th and 33. Roscommon fumbled the ball on the kick, and Drew Kanary recovered the ball for the Vikings.
On the next play, the Bucks intercepted a Grayling pass attempt.
Roscommon started at the 50-yard line. On the fourth play of the drive, the Bucks scored on an 11-yard TD run. Roscommon ran the ball across the goal line for the two-point conversion.
With 1:56 remaining in the second quarter, the Bucks led 14-0.
Ethan Dannenberg returned the Roscommon kickoff for a touchdown. Grayling tried for two points on the conversion and did not get into the end zone. With 1:45 left in the first half, the Bucks had a 14-6 lead.
Roscommon, on 1st and 15, fumbled the snap and Darrin Hawes recovered the loose ball for the Vikings.
Grayling ran one play, ending the half. Roscommon, at halftime, still led 14-6.
The first two possessions of the third quarter – one for each team – ended with punts.
The Vikings drove 66 yards on seven plays, scoring on an 18-yard touchdown run by Halstead. The series also included a 26-yard run by Halstead and a 13-yard pass from quarterback Hunter Ventline to Dannenberg. Ventline threw to Trosper for the two-point conversion.
With 5:27 left in the third quarter, the score was tied at 14-14.
Roscommon returned the kickoff to Grayling’s 25-yard line. On 4th and 4, the Bucks went for it and Grayling ended the series on downs with a quarterback sack by Justin Jamison.
The Vikings drove 63 yards on 12 plays, scoring on a 10-yard TD run by Halstead. The drive also featured an 11-yard run by Halstead and a 10-yard run Trosper. The pass attempt on the two-point conversion attempt fell incomplete.
With 10:25 remaining in the fourth quarter, Grayling led 20-14.
Roscommon drove from its 44-yard to Grayling’s 10-yard line. On 4th and 4 – the 11th play of the possession – Logan Trumble intercepted a Roscommon pass attempt and returned it approximately 70 yards.
Grayling started 14 yards from the goal line, but the series ended with an incomplete pass on 4th and 13.
Roscommon started at its 17-yard line. On the fourth play of the series – 4th and 2 – the Bucks went for it and Grayling stopped the play short of the first down marker.
The Vikings took over 23 yards from the goal line. On 4th and 18 – the fourth play of the possession – Ventline completed a pass to Jamison near the sideline. Jamison caught the ball, stayed in bounds, and got enough yardage for a first down. Grayling was able to kill the final minute of regulation, and the Vikings won by a final score of 20-14.
“After trailing Roscommon 14-0 Ethan Dannenberg (had) a 70-yard kick return to get (us) rolling. The offensive and defensive line dominated the game and wore down the interior of the Bucks. The game was tied in the second half 14-14 when Logan Trumble made a key play. Logan had a 70-yard interception return that stopped Roscommon in the red zone and gave (us) good field position that would eventually lead to the game-winning TD,” Coach Chris Kucharek said.
Halstead finished the game with 115 rushing yards on 19 carries with two TDs.
“We had some nervous Nellies to start the game but once we calmed down and started to complete our assignments we controlled the game,” Coach Kucharek said.
On defense, according to the team, Halstead had 9.5 tackles. Trosper had 6.5 tackles, Charles Kendall had four tackles, and Hawes had 3.5 tackles.
“Always fun to watch kids improve from week to week. Justin Jamison, Ethan Dannenberg, and Brad Trosper had huge games for us this week,” Coach Kucharek said.
The JV football team (1-0 overall, 0-0 league) will play at Gladwin on Wednesday, Aug. 30, at 6 p.m.