HILLMAN - Two underclassmen quarterbacks dueled one another in a 34-18 Rogers City win over Hillman in non-conference play Friday in Hillman.
Hillman junior quarterback Andy Smith was 9 of 19 for 203 passing yards and three touchdowns. The Hurons sophomore quarterback Pat Quaine equaled the challenge going 8 of 15 for 175 yards and three touchdowns (two passing, one rushing).
The difference in the game was Rogers City's run game. Kevin Fairbanks led the Hurons (1-0) with 115 yards rushing and a rushing and receiving touchdown each.
Pat Quaine (12) drops back to pass as halfback David Lewandowski blocks during Friday’s football game against Hillman.
"We kept (Hillman's) offense off the field," said Rogers City head coach Mike Kosiara. "It's nice to run the ball and not rely on the pass."
The Tigers (0-1) couldn't find their running game. Hillman's top rusher was Devon Schumaker with 44 yards.
"To pass you have to have a run game, but we were passing to get a run game and that didn't work," said Hillman coach Bill Koenig.
Quaine found three different receivers in the game. His favorite target was his tight end Devon Ferris, who had five catches for 59 yards. Fairbanks and Dave Lewandowski both had 58 yards receiving.
Smith focused his passes to speedy sophomore Kevin Tracey, who had three catches for 151 yards and three touchdowns.
"The offensive line picked up the blitzes and Kevin Tracey made things look pretty good," said Koenig.
The game remained tight into the fourth quarter. Down 26-18, the Tigers' defense stopped the Hurons on a goal line series.
Rogers City, though, came back with a huge play on defense. Jordan Zempel and Lewandowski both got into the backfield and tackled Lance Safford for a safety.
"The defense was stout," said Kosiara. "For the most part we stuffed them except for (some) big plays."
The game started with Rogers City taking a 6-0 lead on a Fairbanks touchdown in the first quarter. Smith tied it up a few minutes later on a 67-yard touchdown pass to Tracey.
The Hurons scored again in the second on a 58-yard touchdown pass to Fairbanks. The extra point was good for a 13-6 Hurons' lead. Hillman cut the lead to 13-12 on a 44-yard touchdown pass to Tracey. The two-point conversion failed.
Quaine found Lewandowski for a 16-yard touchdown pass with 27 seconds left in the first half for a 19-12 halftime lead. The Hurons scored in the fourth quarter for the 34-18 final.
The Tigers failed on every 2-point conversions. The Hurons turned the ball over four times in the game.
The Tigers (0-1) travel to Rudyard on Friday and Rogers City faces Posen at home.