Varsity football squad starts year with 44-34 loss at Roscommon
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The Vikings – during their varsity football season opener at Roscommon on Thursday night – battled back to pull within four late in the third period after trailing by 10 at halftime, but the Bucks scored three more TDs down the stretch, and the final score was Roscommon 44, Grayling 34.
Roscommon kicked off to start the game. The first drive of the season for Grayling ended on downs; the Vikings went for it on 4th and 1 and came up short.
The Bucks drove 39 yards on seven plays, scoring on a 14-yard TD run. Roscommon ran the ball into the end zone for the two-point conversion. The Bucks led 8-0 with 9:03 left in the first quarter.
Grayling punted on 4th and 18. The Vikings stopped the Bucks on a 4th and 3 play to get the ball back.
Grayling started at its 46-yard line with 6:00 left in the first period. Zack Osga rushed for six yards on 1st and 10. Quarterback Logan Joseph threw to Nick Hunter for a gain of 14 yards. A shovel pass to Justin Youngblood picked up four yards. Ken Dutton caught a pass from Joseph for seven yards. Two runs by Osga and a catch by Hunter picked up enough for another first down. Joseph rushed for seven yards on the next play. On 2nd and 3, Joseph scored on a four-yard TD run. Joseph threw to Dutton for the two-point conversion.
The score was tied at 8-8 with 3:09 left in the first period.
After the kickoff, Roscommon drove 74 yards on 10 plays, capping the series with a 28-yard touchdown run by the quarterback. The Bucks ran the ball across the goal line for the two-point conversion.
On 4th and 5 – the eighth play of Grayling’s next series – the Vikings went for it and the pass fell incomplete.
Roscommon scored on a 24-yard TD pass, finishing a 46-yard drive. The Bucks ran the ball into the end zone for two points on the conversion attempt. Roscommon had a 24-8 advantage with 8:28 left in the second quarter.
Grayling responded with a 60-yard touchdown drive. On the 10th play of the series – 2nd and 9 – Joseph completed a short pass to Hunter, who ran toward the corner of the end zone and reached the ball across the goal line for a TD. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
With 5:20 left in the second period, Roscommon led 24-14.
The Bucks drove from their 20-yard line to Grayling’s 5-yard line, bringing up 1st and goal. The Vikings kept Roscommon out of the end zone. The first half ended with an incomplete pass on 4th and goal.
The score at halftime was Roscommon 24, Grayling 14.
The first three drives of the third period – two by Roscommon and one by Grayling – did not result in any points.
On the fourth series of the second half, the Vikings drove 54 yards on 10 plays, scoring on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Joseph to Dutton on 3rd and 8. Grayling went for two on the conversion attempt and came up short.
Roscommon led 24-20 with 1:19 left in the third quarter.
The Bucks answered with a 62-yard TD drive, scoring on a 29-yard run by the QB on 3rd and 10. With the two-point conversion, Roscommon led 32-20.
Grayling turned the ball over on downs.
The Bucks drove 64 yards on six plays, scoring on a 21-yard TD run up the middle. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
With 6:16 left in regulation, Roscommon led 38-20.
Eli Jackson, now lined up at quarterback, threw to Joseph for a gain of nine yards. Jackson ran for nine yards on the next play. Jackson threw to Joseph for a 37-yard gain. Grayling finished the series with a four-yard touchdown run by Jackson on 3rd and goal. Two-point conversion attempt, no good. The Vikings trailed 38-26 with 4:48 left in the game.
Roscommon recovered Grayling’s on-side kick at the 50-yard line. The Bucks scored on a 50-yard run on 2nd and 10. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
Roscommon led 44-26 with 4:21 remaining in the fourth period.
The Vikings drove 63 yards on nine plays, scoring on a 15-yard TD reception by Osga. Jackson ran the ball across the goal line for the two-point conversion.
The Bucks led 44-34 with 2:48 left in regulation.
Neither squad scored in the final 2:48, and Roscommon won 44-34.
Joseph finished with 106 passing yards with two TDs and 50 rushing yards with one TD. Osga had 53 rushing yards and 24 receiving yards. Hunter had 62 receiving yards and one TD.
On defense, Jackson had 13 tackles. Parker Dole had 10 tackles, Youngblood had six, and TJ Hart had six.
“Obviously, the outcome is not what we wanted. Roscommon has a good team and executed their game plan well. We struggled to get things going offensively and couldn’t get off the field in crucial points on defense. We have to be more consistent on both sides of the ball. We had some glimpses of being able to move the ball well and the defense did have some big stops. The kids are resilient and will continue to work hard as we travel to Cheboygan next week,” Coach Eric Tunney said.
The Vikings will play at Cheboygan on Thursday, August 30, at 7 p.m.