Football team wins 53-18 vs. Bucks in 2021 season opener

Vikings pull away in second quarter, win by 35 points during varsity home game on Thursday night
The varsity football squad from Grayling High School opened its 2021 season with a 53-18 victory vs. the Roscommon Bucks – a nonconference opponent – on Thursday night at Viking Stadium. 
The Bucks kicked off to start the game. The Vikings started at their 16-yard line after a penalty on the return. David Millikin rushed for nine yards on 1st and 10. A fumble on 2nd and 1 resulted in an 11-yard loss. Grayling gained five yards on an offside penalty. On 3rd and 7, Dylan Cragg completed a one-handed catch on a pass from quarterback Ethan Kucharek for a gain of 25 yards. Millikin rushed for 20 yards on the next play. On 2nd and 10, Millikin ran for a 27-yard touchdown. Grayling missed the extra point kick, but a roughing the kicker penalty gave the Vikings another chance at the conversion. Grayling went for two points and Millikin ran the ball across the goal line.
The Vikings led 8-0 with 8:59 left in the first quarter.
After the kickoff, Roscommon drove 56 yards on six plays, scoring on a three-yard run on 3rd and goal. The series included a 48-yard completion on 4th and 10. The two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful. 
Grayling – with 6:48 left in the first period – led 8-6.
Tayvion Hall returned the kickoff to Grayling’s 35-yard line. Millikin ran for 13 yards on 1st and 10. Josh Aldrich ran for five yards. After an incomplete pass, Kucharek threw to Cragg for a six-yard gain. Millikin rushed for a 25-yard gain, and a horse collar penalty on Roscommon added six more yards to the play (half the distance to the goal line). On the next play, Kucharek completed a pass to Cragg in the end zone for a three-yard TD. Millikin ran the ball into the end zone for the two-point conversion. The Vikings led 16-6 with 4:49 left in the first quarter.
The Bucks responded with a 13-play 56-yard scoring drive, finishing the series with a short touchdown run on 4th and goal. A quarterback sack ended the two-point conversion attempt.
With 11:28 remaining in the second period, Grayling had a 16-12 advantage.
The Vikings answered with another touchdown. On 2nd and 14 – the third play of the series – Millikin spun through a tackle attempt near the line and got free for a 73-yard TD run. The pass attempt on the conversion play fell incomplete. The Vikings led by 10 points, 22-12, with 10:09 remaining in the first half. 
The Bucks punted on 4th and 23 and – after a fair catch – Grayling started at its 11-yard line. Millikin ran for 11 yards on first down. Another run by Millikin gained 33 yards. Kucharek threw to Fletcher Quinlan for a nine-yard completion. Ben Gonzales rushed for 10 yards on 2nd and 1. Jake Huspen rushed for seven yards. A pass from Kucharek to Hall picked up 16 yards. On 1st and goal, Grayling scored on a three-yard run by Millikin. Kucharek completed a pass to Quinlan for the two-point conversion.
Grayling had a 30-12 lead with 4:42 left in the second quarter.
Roscommon punted on 4th and 10. The resulting drive for Grayling ended with an incomplete pass on 4th and 7.
The Bucks took over at their 12-yard line. On 1st and 10, the Vikings pressured Roscommon’s quarterback and an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone resulted in a safety (two points and possession of the ball) for Grayling. The Vikings, with 2:23 left in the second period, led by 20, 32-12.
The Bucks kicked off to the Vikings after the safety and Grayling started at Roscommon’s 40-yard line following a kickoff return by Marcus Chard. Millikin ran for 11 yards on 1st and 10. Millikin rushed for a 29-yard TD on the next play. Kucharek kicked the extra point, and the Vikings led 39-12 with 1:49 left in the second quarter. 
The Bucks ran the ball three times, ending the first half.
The score at halftime was Grayling 39, Roscommon 12.
The first series of the second half – a drive for Roscommon – ended with a punt.
Grayling drove 62 yards on seven plays, scoring on a 10-yard TD reception by Hall. The two-point conversion attempt ended with an incomplete pass.
With 6:39 left in the third quarter, the Vikings had a 45-12 advantage.
The Bucks completed a six-play 75-yard scoring drive with a 38-yard TD reception. Roscommon tried for two points on the conversion attempt and Grayling batted the pass at the line of scrimmage. No good.
The Vikings had a 45-18 lead with 5:14 remaining in the third period.
Grayling scored again. After the kickoff the Vikings started at their 30-yard line. Millikin ran for 20 yards on the first play of the series. A run by Millikin picked up five yards. Cragg caught a pass for a 20-yard gain. Runs by Millikin, Huspen, and Gonzales picked up another first down. Later, on 4th and 2, Hall ran the ball into the end zone for a four-yard TD. Kucharek threw to Cragg for the two-point conversion. 
With 41 seconds left in the third period, Grayling led 53-18. With the Vikings leading by 35 points, the game featured a running clock due to point differential rules.
Neither team scored in the fourth quarter and Grayling won 53-18.
“It’s always nice to get a win, especially the home opener against Roscommon. Viking Nation was out in full force, which was great to see, and Ferguson Field had a great energy Thursday night,” Coach Eric Tunney said. “We did a lot of things well and were able to put a lot of points on the board. We had over 500 yards of offense and a lot guys touched the ball, so that’s nice to see. We didn’t play perfect and definitely have some things to work on but I’ve learned over the years that winning isn’t easy and to enjoy each one before moving on to the next one.”
“Our younger guys played well and I think they’re going to see gains each week. Experience is the best teacher and I thought they all handled themselves well and am looking forward to watching that growth happen,” Coach Tunney said. “Defense looked pretty good as well. Roscommon has a couple of skill kids who are pretty talented and their QB is going to give teams fits this year. We know we will have to play better next week vs. a good Traverse City St Francis team.”
Millikin rushed for 280 yards and four TDs. Kucharek finished the game with 167 passing yards and two TDs. Cragg had five catches for 106 yards and one TD. Hall had 52 receiving yards and two total TDs (one receiving, one rushing).
On defense, Millikin had seven solo tackles and five assists. Sparty Skillern had four solo tackles, one assist, four tackles for loss, two sacks, and one forced fumble. Dakota Martin had three solo tackles.
The Vikings (1-0 overall, 0-0 league) will play at Traverse City St. Francis on Thursday, September 2, at 7 p.m.

Crawford County Avalanche

Mailing Address
Box 490
Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806
E-Mail: information@crawfordcountyavalanche.com

Comment Here