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HILLMAN-With its backfield growing seemingly smaller with each week, the Hillman football team went to the air to get a win on Friday.
Ty Jones threw for 80 yards and three touchdowns on 6-of-12 passing as the Tigers beat Rogers City 33-0 at Hillman High School to get back to the .500 mark on homecoming night.
"It's homecoming and that got the boys fired up," Hillman coach Bill Koenig said. "They came out and played hard for four quarters and that's what it took to win the football game."
From the outset, Hillman (3-3) wasted no time, marching 87 yards on 13 plays on its first drive which ended with Jones finding Alex Cheek for a 21-yard score with 5:18 left in the first quarter.
After Brendan Zimmer recovered a fumble on Rogers City's first drive, Hillman needed just a few plays to find the end zone again. This time Jones threw a six-yard pass to Dylan Ross to put Hillman ahead 14-0 early in the second quarter.
For the Hurons (0-6), most of the game was one mistake after another. All but one of Rogers City's first-half drives ended in a turnover and the Hurons trailed 33-0 at the half.
"We didn't play well. There's just no if's, and's or but's about it. We weren't that much outmanned, we just didn't play well." Rogers City coach Tim Nagy said.
Aside from turnovers, the Hurons were hit with several penalties throughout the game that either killed their own drives or gave Hillman better field position.
Rogers City also lost center Andrew Selke to injury in pre-game warmups and lineman Caleb Pommerenke went down late in the fourth quarter and was wheeled off the field on a stretcher. While he was alert and moving his arms, Nagy said he thought Pommerenke had a chest injury.
With Kenny Kolcan out for another few weeks, the Tigers turned to Mason VanPamel, who had 78 yards on 14 carries and a pair of touchdowns in the first half before leaving the game with a shoulder injury.
VanPamel intercepted Hurons' quarterback Quintan Kelly early in the second quarter and punched the ball in from seven yards out on Hillman's next drive to push the Tigers' lead to 21. After David Olshanski forced a fumble on the Hurons' next drive, VanPamel found paydirt four plays later, this time from eight yards out to give Hillman a 27-0 lead.
Jones threw his third touchdown pass of the half with about a minute and a half left in the second quarter, this time finding a wide-open Josh Reinbold for a 35-yard touchdown pass.
Koenig was happy to see such good production from his young quarterback and receivers.
"We had to (pass the ball). We've got some running backs banged up a little bit. On the offensive line, we had some new guys in there filling holes, so we went to the air," Koenig said. "We thought it would be open and it was. For having sophomore receivers and a sophomore quarterback, I thought we did well for passing."
Travis Powers intercepted Kelly before the end of the half and came up with another one on the last play of the game.
The Hurons' defense did a better job of stopping the Tigers in the first half and forced Hillman to punt three times. Offensively, the Hurons moved the ball well, but couldn't overcome penalties or turnovers. Michael Klein picked off the Hurons' on their second drive of the half and on the next Rogers City drive, the Michael Olshanski came up with a quarterback sack on fourth down. The Hurons marched down the field again after another Hillman punt and got to Hillman's 13 yard line, but the Tigers stopped Chris Lopez on two straight runs for massive losses, which eventually forced a turnover on downs.
Hillman's best offensive chance came late in the third quarter when Jones threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Joe Fazekas that was called back on a penalty.
Lopez and Jacob Malocha each had 66 reception yards for the Hurons.
After a loss to Mio last week, Koenig said this win was important as the Tigers head into an important game next week with Atlanta.
"It's going to be our last home game next week, the seniors last time they play at home. I told the boys we needed to make a statement before we go against Atlanta because they're tough this year so this is a step in the right direction," Koenig said.
Alcona 44, Oscoda 0
LINCOLN-The Alcona football team won its final Huron Shores Conference game of the season on Friday, shutting down Oscoda, 44-0.
Nathan Fettes led Alcona with 103 yards on eight carries and three touchdowns.
Alcona led 8-0 at the end of the first quarter on a 20-yard run by Eric Hampton and a two-point conversion run by Fettes.
Alcona (4-2) erupted for 28 points in the second quarter with Fettes finding the end zone on 65-yard and 8-yard runs. In between, Garrette Norling had a 76-yard touchdown catch from Cody Franklin and then added a one-yard touchdown run.
After a scoreless third quarter, Fettes found paydirt for the third time, this time from 53-yards out for Alcona's final score of the game.
Franklin was 3-of-5 through the air for 91 yards. Defensively, Norling had 24 tackles and two sacks, Austin Cole had 18 tackles and Fettes had 17 tackles.
Alcona hosts Manton next week.