Varsity football team wins 21-6 during season opener at Roscommon

Vikings score twice from long distance on Thursday, hold Bucks scoreless during second half
The varsity football squad from Grayling High School opened its 2022 season with a 21-6 victory vs. the Roscommon Bucks – a nonconference opponent – on Thursday night at Roscommon High School.
The Bucks kicked off to the Vikings to start the game. Marcus Chard returned the ball to Grayling’s 24-yard line. On 1st and 10 – the first play of the series – Josh Aldrich got free for a 76-yard touchdown run. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
Sixteen seconds into regulation, the Vikings led 6-0.
Roscommon recovered Grayling’s on-side kick attempt and the Bucks started at their 47-yard line. Four rushing plays – including one on 4th and 2 – did not gain enough for a first down. The Vikings took over on downs at their 46-yard line.
Runs by Corbin Allen, Jake Huspen, and Aldrich resulted in a first down for Grayling. An offside penalty on Roscommon gave Grayling five yards. On 2nd and 5, quarterback Ethan Kucharek completed a pass to Huspen for a nine-yard gain. Later, on 4th and 10, the drive ended on downs with an incomplete pass.
The resulting drive for Roscommon ended with a punt on 4th and 6; the ball went out of bounds at Grayling’s 8-yard line. The series for the Vikings ended with a punt on 4th and 8.
The Bucks started 40 yards from the goal line. Two runs and one completed pass picked up a first down. Later, on 3rd and 3, Roscommon scored on an 18-yard touchdown run. The Bucks lined up to kick the extra point, but a low snap resulted in a fumble. The kicker picked up the ball and attempted a pass but it fell incomplete.
With 0:38 left in the first quarter the score was tied at 6-6.
Chard returned the kickoff to Grayling’s 40-yard line. On the fourth play of the drive – 4th and 7 – Kucharek threw to Aldrich for a gain of 19 yards. After a loss of five yards on 1st and 10, a pass attempt by Grayling got tipped into the air and Roscommon intercepted it.
The Bucks started at their 40-yard line. Roscommon punted on the 11th play of the series.
Grayling – following the downed punt – took over at its 36-yard line. Aldrich rushed for 11 yards on 1st and 10. An offside penalty on Roscommon brought up 1st and 5. A screen pass from Kucharek to Aldrich gained 10 yards. A reception by Allen picked up nine yards. After a loss of one yard on 3rd and 1, Kucharek completed a pass to Allen for four yards on 4th and 2. Later, the drive ended with an incomplete pass on 4th and 10.
Roscommon started at its 27-yard line with 2:19 left in the first half. The drive ended with a punt on 4th and 13.
Grayling took over at its 37-yard line with 58.9 seconds left in the second quarter. On the last play of the first half – 4th and 12 for the Vikings – Kucharek completed a deep pass to Fletcher Quinlan but the Bucks tackled him short of the goal line.
At halftime, the score was Grayling 6, Roscommon 6.
The Bucks – after receiving the kickoff to start the second half – ran three plays and then punted on 4th and 8.
Grayling drove 74 yards on 12 plays, finishing the series with a six-yard TD pass from Kucharek to Quinlan. The series also included a 19-yard reception by Aldrich and a 20-yard catch by Huspen. Kucharek threw to Quinlan for the two-point conversion.
With 5:05 left in the third period, the Vikings had a 14-6 advantage.
Roscommon – after the kickoff – drove from its 20-yard line to Grayling’s 31-yard line but a fumble and a QB sack moved the Bucks back and they punted on 4th and 24.
Roscommon downed the punt at Grayling’s 2-yard line. Runs by Kucharek and Aldrich gained enough for a first down. Later, on 3rd and 15, Quinlan caught a short pass from Kucharek and got free down the sideline for a 91-yard touchdown. Maddox Mead kicked the extra point. With 11:02 remaining in the fourth quarter, Grayling led 21-6.
The Bucks started their next series at their 35-yard line. After a 20-yard run on 2nd and 10, Roscommon fumbled and Cole Dickie recovered the ball for the Vikings. The resulting drive for Grayling ended with a punt on 4th and 14.
Roscommon started at its 7-yard line after the kick. The Bucks completed a deep pass on 2nd and 8 for a 44-yard gain. A holding penalty on 1st and 10 brought up 1st and 20. On 2nd and 20, after a play involving a possible interception on a tipped ball and a long return by Grayling was ruled to be an incomplete pass, Allen intercepted a pass attempt by Roscommon.
The Vikings punted on 4th and 16.
The Bucks went for it on 4th and 11 and came up short.
Roscommon got the ball back with a fumble recovery. The drive ended with a punt attempt; Logan Malonen blocked the kick and Grayling recovered the ball for the Vikings 26 yards from the goal line.
Grayling killed the final 1:55 and the Vikings won by a final score of 21-6.
On offense, Kucharek finished with 264 passing yards and two TDs. Quinlan had five catches for 152 yards and two TDs. Aldrich had 89 rushing yards, 50 receiving yards, and one TD. Huspen had 49 receiving yards.
On defense, Huspen had six solo tackles, six assists, two tackles for loss, and one sack. Kaleb Hall had three solo tackles, five assists, and two tackles for loss. Allen had one solo tackle, six assists, and one interception. Malonen had two solo tackles, two assists, one tackle for loss, and one blocked punt. Dickie had a fumble recovery.
“It’s always nice to start the year with a win,” Coach Eric Tunney said. “It was game one and at times we played like it. Defensively we played very well all night and did a good job of shutting down a tough running back. Offensively we did some things well but also had some miscues. I’m hopeful that it was just first game jitters and that we can work on those things during practice to execute better on game day.”
“We have some talented kids and just getting everyone in sync will take some time. I’m very proud of how our kids responded to adversity. Some things didn’t go our way but we didn’t let it phase us and just made the next play. That’s not always the case but it’s a great skill to have as an individual and collectively as a team,” Coach Tunney said. “We must play better next week against Sault Ste. Marie as they have some big boys and it’s going to take a better effort to get a win across the bridge.”
The Vikings will play at Sault Ste. Marie at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 1.

Crawford County Avalanche

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Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806

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