JV football team blanks Blazers in the 2nd half, wins opener 52-28

Vikings trail 28-24 after a back and forth first half, but Grayling outscores Kalkaska 28-0 in the last 24 minutes of regulation
The Kalkaska Blazers – during Thursday night’s junior varsity football game at Viking Stadium – led 28-24 at halftime, but Grayling outscored the Blazers 28-0 in the second half and the Vikings won the contest by a final score of 52-28.
The first eight possessions of the game – four for each team – all ended with touchdowns.
Kalkaska opened the game with an on-side kick and Grayling fielded the ball at its 48-yard line. The Vikings drove 52 yards on 14 plays, scoring on a three-yard TD run by Jake Huspen on 4th and 2. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
With 8:04 left in the first period, Grayling led 6-0.
Kalkaska started at its 20-yard line after the kickoff return. The Blazers got free for an 80-yard touchdown run on the first play of the series. Kalkaska went for two points on the conversion attempt and Grayling stopped the play short of the goal line.
With 7:23 remaining in the first quarter, the score was tied at 6-6.
The Vikings started at their 38-yard line after the kickoff. A personal foul penalty on the Blazers moved Grayling to Kalkaska’s 47-yard line. Quarterback Ethan Kucharek rushed for 14 yards on the next play. Later, on 3rd and 11, Josh Aldrich ran for 12 yards. On 1st and 10, Kucharek ran for nine yards. Huspen rushed for nine yards on 2nd and 1. On 1st and goal, Huspen ran the ball into the end zone for a four-yard TD. The pass fell incomplete on the two-point conversion attempt.
Grayling led 12-6 with 4:33 left in the first period.
Kalkaska drove 50 yards on 10 plays, finishing the series with a three-yard TD run on 1st and goal after converting on a 4th and 11 situation. The Blazers ran the ball across the goal line for the two-point conversion, giving Kalkaska a 14-12 lead.
After a short kickoff, the Vikings started at their 37-yard line. On the first play of the drive, Tayvion Hall ran for a 63-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt – a pass play – was unsuccessful.
With 10:21 left in the second quarter, Grayling led 18-14.
Kalkaska finished a three-play 65-yard drive with a 52-yard touchdown run. The Blazers ran the ball for the two-point conversion, and Kalkaska – with 8:22 left in the first half – led 22-18.
Grayling drove 64 yards on six plays and scored another TD. Runs by Kucharek and Hall picked up a first down early in the possession. Huspen rushed for 15 yards. The Vikings finished the series with a 31-yard touchdown run by Hall on 3rd and 10. Kalkaska deflected Grayling’s pass attempt on the two-point conversion play. The Vikings had a 24-22 advantage with 6:12 left in the second quarter.
Kalkaska drove from its 39-yard line to Grayling’s nine-yard line with a series of 10 plays. On 4th and 3, with 33 seconds left before halftime, the Blazers picked up a first down with a five-yard run. On the next play, Kalkaska ran for a four-yard TD. Grayling stopped the two-point conversion attempt – a rushing play – short of the goal line.
With 17 seconds left in the second period, Kalkaska led 28-24.
Grayling started at the 50-yard line after recovering Kalkaska’s on-side kick. After a completion for a one-yard loss, Grayling threw deep and Kalkaska intercepted the ball. On the return, the Blazers fumbled and Cole Dickie recovered the ball for Grayling. There was a penalty on the play during the interception return – personal foul on Grayling – giving the Blazers the ball back for one untimed down before halftime. Kalkaska kneeled to end the half.
After two quarters of play, the Blazers led 28-24.
Grayling kicked off to Kalkaska to start the second half. On the first play of the possession, the Blazers fumbled the snap and Jacob Carnes recovered the ball for Grayling.
The Vikings took over at Kalkaska’s 42-yard line. On first down, Kucharek completed a deep pass to Fletcher Quinlan for a 24-yard gain. Later, on 4th and 15, Kucharek completed a pass to Aldrich, who evaded one defender, broke a tackle, and got free for a 24-yard TD. Kucharek threw to Quinlan for the two-point conversion.
Grayling led 32-28 with 10:07 left in the third period.
Kalkaska punted on 4th and 11 – the fourth play of the series – and the Vikings started at their 32-yard line.
Marcus Chard rushed for six yards on first down. Kucharek ran for two yards. A pass to Chard on 3rd and 2 gained seven yards. On the next play, Aldrich rushed for a 53-yard TD. Kucharek completed a pass to Chard for the two-point conversion.
Grayling, with 5:28 left in the third quarter, led 40-28.
The Blazers punted on 4th and 11 and Chard returned the ball to Kalkaska’s 38-yard line. On 2nd and 8, Huspen stiff-armed a defender and got free for a 32-yard run. On the next play – 1st and goal – Huspen ran the ball into the endzone for a four-yard TD. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
With 1:24 left in the third period, Grayling led 46-28.
On the first play of the fourth quarter – 2nd and 13 – Grayling forced a fumble and Tucker Strohaver recovered the ball for the Vikings.
The Vikings started 26 yards from the goal line after the takeaway. A run by Huspen on first down gained 18 yards. Grayling finished the series with a one-yard touchdown run by Dylan Sims. Kalkaska stopped Grayling’s rushing play short of the goal line on the two-point conversion attempt.
With 9:10 left in the game, the Vikings led 52-28.
Kalkaska punted on 4th and 12. Grayling ran the ball five times, killing five minutes. The Blazers took over on downs and ran twice to end the game.
Grayling won 52-28.
Coach Chris Kucharek said the team’s “defense came to life in the second half” after a “back and forth game in the first half.”
“The offensive was rolling the entire night,” Coach Kucharek said. “The offensive line dominated the game; three-hundred and twenty-nine rushing yards means we owned the trenches.”
According to the team, quarterback Ethan Kucharek threw for 95 yards with one TD and he ran for 33 yards. Aldrich rushed for 64 yards and one TD and had 24 receiving yards with one TD. Hall ran for 111 yards and two TDs. Huspen rushed for 95 yards and three TDs. Quinlan had two catches for 56 yards. On defense, Trevor Cvitkovich had 7.5 tackles, Logan Malonen had 6 tackles, and Thomas Jones had 3 tackles.
The Vikings (1-0 overall, 0-0 conference) will play at Traverse City St. Francis at 6 p.m. on Thursday, September 24.
 

Crawford County Avalanche

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Grayling, MI 49738

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