LINCOLN-Under Dave Schneider, Alcona has come to be known as a powerhouse running team.
However on Friday in their 2012 season opener, the Tigers took care of things through the air.
Cody Franklin hooked up with Josh Mead for two touchdown passes and Alcona overcame three turnovers to beat Rogers City 14-0 in the season opener for both teams at Alcona High School.
News Photo by James Andersen
Rogers City quarterback Chris Lopez throws a pass during a football game on Friday at Alcona High School,
Alcona (1-0) wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, marching 64 yards on five plays on the game's opening drive. Franklin capped the drive with a 38-yard toss to Mead who ran up the right side to paydirt.
"Good to see the passing game go. I thought Cody threw the ball well tonight and Josh Mead, we knew he was going to be very good," Alcona coach Dave Schneider said. "He's done the kind of job that makes us not miss that 6-foot-6 kid we had last year (graduated tight end Brock LaVergne)."
Nathan Fettes led the Tigers attack on the ground, gaining 94 yards on 14 carries. Garrette Norling added 45 yards on eight carries and Eric Hampton added 46 yards on eight carries.
After a fast start, Alcona stalled on offense the rest of the first half, turning the ball over twice.
Rogers City (0-1), which installed a new offense earlier this week, played well against a brusing Tigers defense, but seemed to stall on a lot of drives at the wrong time. On their second drive of the game, the Hurons marched to Alcona's 19-yard line, but eventually turned the ball over on downs.
Defensively, the Hurons didn't allow a rushing touchdown to the Tigers, a team known for a strong running game, and forced several turnovers. Mark Rhode had a fumble recovery and Chris Lopez had an interception.
"Couldn't ask for anything more than what you saw on that field," Rogers City coach Tim Nagy said. "To a man, they played their butts off. We've made vast improvements even from last week to this week."
The Hurons marched down the field from their own 30-yard line on their opening second-half drive, but Franklin swatted away a Lopez pass on fourth down to give Alcona the ball back.
Alcona took advantage of the opportunity on its next drive and marched 69 yards in six plays, the last of which was a 37-yard touchdown catch by Mead from Franklin. A two-point conversion by Hampton gave Alcona a 14-0 lead with 5:06 left in the third quarter.
While the Tigers came up with three interceptions-one each by Norling, Joe Carrasco and Austin Cole-they also had their share of offensive troubles, fumbling at least a dozen snaps, two of which resulted in recoveries for the Hurons.
"This is something we absolutely have to fix or we're not going to beat anybody," Schneider said.
Chris Lopez was 7-for-22 for 85 yards and three interceptions for Rogers City and gained 65 yards on 14 carries.
Schneider credited the Hurons tough defensive effort, but said his own team must play a lot better.
"Good teams win ugly games and it doesn't get any uglier than that," Schneider said. "Rogers City is a little better in person than they looked on tape. They just never quit."