RC off to 2-0 start with win over Cards

ONAWAY-The Rogers City picked up a big win over one of its biggest rivals on Friday and put another damper on Onaway’s playoff hopes on Friday.

The Hurons upset the Cardinals 22-7, giving them their first win over Onaway since 2010. Rogers City lost 50-12 to Onaway last year and has started the season 2-0 for the first time since 2009.

“In all my time in Rogers City, I’ve never seen a better team effort. I know I say that all the time, but I feel like this team is playing great and has a taste for winning,” Rogers City coach Tim Nagy said.

Rogers City (2-0) had a little luck on its side: Onaway (0-2) picked up five personal fouls in the game, gave up four fumbles, three of which went for turnovers and lost an onside kick.

“Penalties just killed us tonight. We had some bad coverage on a few plays, but really, it was just those penalties that held us back,” Onaway coach Jim Cleaver said.

The first half of the game saw both teams fight each other to a defensive standstill. Onaway had its best chance to score with about 48 seconds left in the half. With first and goal on the four yard line, Rogers City sacked Onaway quarterback Matthew Tollini on second down and Chris Lopez batted down a sure fire touchdown pass to Carlos Bautista.

Tollini led his team in rushing yards with 110. Tommy Auger picked up 67 while Noah Bacon had 20.

The Cardinals attempted a field goal, but were called for a delay of game penalty. With 25 seconds left, the Cardinals missed the field goal on a bad snap.

Rogers City struck quickly in the second half, kicking and recovering an onside kick.

“We saw that Onaway had their heads down a bit after the first half, so we decided to come out strong and take advantage of that,” Nagy said.

The Hurons then went on a long drive that ate up half the third quarter, finally scoring off a three-yard Lopez touchdown catch. Jacob Malocha caught the two-point conversion gave Rogers City an 8-0 lead.

The Hurons struck again three minutes later, recovering an Onaway fumble on the kickoff. Ben Peltz ran it it for a a touchdown, while the two point conversion was stopped, giving the Hurons a 17-0 lead.

Malocha led the Hurons in rushing with 87 yards. His big pickup came on a 35 yard punt return, one that nearly ended in misery for the Hurons.

“That run (by Malocha) was great. He picked it up on the five yard line, knowing it hadn’t gone out of bounds. He turned a potential tragedy for us into a tragedy for Onaway,” Nagy said.

Rogers City’s last touchdown came with 8:40 left in the game on a three-yard run by Cameron Urban. The Hurons scored on another conversion and took a 22-7 lead. Urban’s score was set up by a 35 yard Quintin Kelly run.

Kelly was 4-for-7 passing for 36 yards.

Bad luck continued to plague Onaway as Auger drove his team down the field after the kickoff, picking up 37 yards in four plays. This set up a three-yard touchdown pass from Tollini to Bautista that would have made the game 22-13 with three minutes to play.

However, offensive pass interference called the touchdown back and set up second and 18. Three plays later, Onaway’s offensive drive had dried up and Rogers City ate up the clock with a few running plays and kneels to end the game.

“Our defensive played really strong tonight. The guys were picking up yards and stopping plays all night, but the penalties couldn’t have come at worse times tonight. Overall, I am still happy with how they played,” Cleaver said.

Rogers City hosts Alcona next Friday, while Onaway travels to Forest Area.