POSEN - Wayne Karsten's first game as head coach of the Posen football team was supposed to be one he would remember forever.
Karsten and his team will try to put the contest out of their memories as quickly as possible, however.
Cedarville scored four touchdowns in the first eight minutes, part of a nightmare first half for Posen, as that fast start allowed the Trojans to roll past the Vikings 51-7 Friday in the season opener at Posen High School.
The ball squirts free from Cedarville halfback Zach McFarlane after he’s hit by two Posen defenders, including Tyson Klecha (12), during Friday’s football game at Posen High School.
Cedarville, which went undefeated through the regular season last year and even won a pair of games in the playoffs, looked to be every bit as tough from the outset of Friday's game as they seized control of the contest in the first few minutes and never looked back.
Zach McFarlane scored on a 40-yard run on the Trojans first play from scrimmage, quarterback C.J. Paquin tossed a pair of touchdown passes in a span of three minutes and Luke Murray recovered a fumble by McFarlane and took it the rest of the way on a 38-yard scoring play, digging Posen's 27-0 hole with four minutes still to go in the opening quarter.
Posen shot itself in the foot with four first-half turnovers - each of which was converted into a touchdown by the Trojans - and Cedarville continually had a short field to work with, starting each of its first five possessions in Viking territory.
Posen trailed 43-0 at the end of the difficult first half after Tyler Anderson's 30-yard interception return for a touchdown and Paquin's 20-yard scoring pass to Murray.
"It was absolutely the worst-case scenario," said Karsten of the first half. "Before the game I felt we would come out and be the aggressor, but when you look at our roster there are a lot of first-year players and they didn't know what to expect. You try to simulate game situations in practice and in scrimmages, but you can't simulate Friday night under the lights."
Posen finally showed signs of life late in the first half, driving from its own 26-yard line to the Cedarville 3 in nine plays, but the drive, and the half, ended with an incomplete pass.
That late march set the tone for the Vikings' second half though, as Posen finally got on the board in its first possession of the second half. Aaron Romel capped off an 11-play drive with a 4-yard run to paydirt.
Cedarville finished off the scoring for the night when it countered with a 3-yard touchdown run by bruising fullback Jordan Huff.
Posen also had an eight-play drive in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter, but that drive stalled inside Cedarville territory. Still, those second-half drives, along with the one that finished off the first half, provided bright spots on an otherwise inauspicious night for the Vikings.
"At halftime we made some changes and we were able to move the ball down the field," said Karsten. "They proved to themselves they could move the football. If we execute - block, catch and tackle - we're all day. This is a new system. We're taking baby steps. We took our first baby steps with that drive (to end the first half), then we scored. Anything positive we'll take. We'll look at the second half and what we were able to do that let us move the ball down the field. We're not going to worry about the first half. The past is done."
Posen quarterback Aaron Romel was the key to the Vikings' offense. He carried the ball 19 times for 80 yards and the one score. He also completed 7 of 15 passes for 72 yards. Three of those receptions went to Scott Couture, who had 20 yards receiving.
McFarlane led Cedarville's ground attack with 75 yards on four carries. The Trojans had 206 yards rushing for the game.
Posen looks forward to next week's matchup with Presque Isle County rival Rogers City.