A muddy field and a fired up homecoming crowd helped propel Oscoda (1-7) to a 24-20 upset of Rogers City (3-5). The loss ended any hopes for a Huron playoff berth and snapped a nine-game losing streak for the Owls.
Rogers City had the misfortune of being on the wrong end of a 40-12 score Oct. 24, 2008 when the Owls snapped a 28-game losing streak at Gilpin Field.
This time, penalties and turnovers proved costly for the Hurons, as they lost three fumbles and suffered an interception.
The Hurons took a 6-0 lead on the strength of big runs by junior halfback Jacob Malocha. He had four carries for 44 yards to set up a one-yard run by quarterback Quintin Kelly. That gave the Hurons a 6-0 lead at the 8:44 point of the second quarter. The game moved quickly as both teams were content to plow the middle of the line, throwing few passes in the first half.
Oscoda had great success running through the center of the line, as footing to the outside proved very slippery. The Owls answered with their own drive, kept alive by a two fourth down runs. They scored on a rollout pass and added the two-point conversion to go up 8-6 with 55 seconds left in the second quarter.
After a Huron punt, Oscoda found the end zone again, this time on a 70-yard run, added the two-pointer and went up 16-6.
At this point coach Tim Nagy chose to go to the air with Kelly hitting wideout Chris Lopez on the right side and Lopez out running the cornerback down the sideline for a 40-yard touchdown play. Kelly connected with Malocha for the two-pointer to make it 16-14.
The Hurons held Oscoda on two consecutive possessions, then lost fumbles both times to end drives.
The Owls took advantage of a fumbled punt, recovering at the Huron 9 yard-line to set up a score. Three running plays into the line drew the ball to the 2 yard-line. With their backs against the wall, the Hurons were unable to defend the goal line, and a punishing Oscoda running game as the Owls touchdown run and two-point conversion game them a 24-14 lead.
Needing two scores in five minutes, the Hurons went to the air, but Kelly’s long pass attempt to Lopez down the middle fell short and into the hands of an Oscoda safety for an interception.
The Owls took three minutes off the clock before punting. This time Kelly and Lopez connected for a short pass on the right sideline which Lopez turned into a 70-yard touchdown.
Rogers City hosts Atlanta in the final game of the season, also homecoming for the school.
(More on the game is in the Oct. 24, 2013 edition of the Advance)