A perfect game plan
Running game, defense lead Alcona past Oscoda
OSCODA–Jason Somers couldn’t hide his excitement.
After watching his Alcona football team dominate physically on defense, impose its will offensively and overcome some adversity it was hard to blame him.
Tim Hutchinson ran for four touchdowns, Jack Hutchinson added a pair of scores and Alcona ran past Oscoda on Friday, winning 56-28 at Alcona High School.
The win puts Alcona (5-1, 3-0 North Star League) a step closer to the playoffs and wraps up the North Star League’s Big Dipper division title. The win also helped Alcona retain the F-41 trophy, the award given to the winner of the Alcona-Oscoda game.
“I’m ecstatic. Boy we did some good stuff tonight. We had a couple guys injured and it’s just next man up,” Somers said. “It shows a lot of character and some real willingness to be team players tonight.”
Alcona led 32-6 at halftime and pushed its lead to 40-6 early in the third quarter after a 37-yard touchdown scamper from Jack Hutchinson and a conversion run by Tim Hutchinson.
Alcona found big holes all night to run through and it took advantage, scoring seven times on rushing touchdowns and watching three players run for more than 140 yards. Several times, Alcona’s backs found seemingly impossible ways to break tackles and stay on their feet and keep going.
Somers credited the effort of Alcona’s offensive line, which had to rotate players at a few positions after an injury to a starter in the first half.
“Those suckers are something else,” Somers said. “They know where to go and they just do it. The backs are giving them good effort (too).”
The Owls (4-2, 2-1 NSL) came into Friday’s game averaging 41.8 points offensively. While the Owls found the end zone three times through the air and once on the ground, they were held in check by Alcona’s punishing defense which limited Oscoda’s ability to make big plays and came up with some key stops.
Alex Stephenson led Alcona’s defense with 12 tackles and Devon Mills added 10.
“Coach (Terry) Franklin. Coach Franklin put us in the right places all night,” Somers said. “He showed the boys where they needed to go and boy did they ever execute what he put out there in front of them. That was a hell of a game plan.”
Travis Lamrock caught touchdown passes of 30 and 38 yards from Nathan Nagel and Grant Huebel had a 51-yard touchdown reception on a pass from Brayden Mallak.
Trailing 40-6 early in the third quarter, Oscoda answered back quickly as Nagel found some running room and ran 56 yards to pay dirt. An added conversion made it 40-14 with 9:36 left in the frame.
Alcona failed to convert a fourth down on its next drive, but Oscoda couldn’t take advantage with the ball at Alcona’s 20-yard line. On 4th-and-10, a pass by Nagel was broken up Ian Travis.
Oscoda scored again late in the third quarter as Nagel found Lamrock wide open for a 38-yard touchdown strike to make it 40-20.
Any attempts by Oscoda to pull any closer were short-lived as Tim Hutchinson scored on a 42-yard run on Alcona’s next drive and after an interception by Stephenson on defense, Tim Hutchinson scored again, this time from 15 yards out. A conversion catch by Luke Loyer and a conversion run by Kyle Haeger gave Alcona a 56-20 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
Tim Hutchinson led Alcona with 244 yards rushing and Jack Hutchinson had 235. Stephenson had 142 yards and a touchdown on the ground and 40 yards passing.
Oscoda’s last score came with 5:47 to play when Mallak found Huebel for a 51-yard touchdown.
Nagel was 4-of-16 passing for 78 yards and two touchdowns. Lamrock had two catches for 68 yards.
Nagel also led Oscoda on the ground, carrying the ball 14 times for 154 yards and a touchdown.
Alcona asserted itself early on defense, forcing Oscoda to punt on its first two drives. The Tigers led 14-6 after one quarter after touchdown runs by Jack Hutchinson (three yards) and Tim Hutchinson (16) yards.
In between Alcona’s two scores, Nagel found Lamrock for a 30-yard touchdown to make it 8-6.
Alcona kept forging ahead in the second quarter, getting touchdown runs from Tim Hutchinson (12 yards) and Stephenson (95 yards).
The Tigers’ defense kept making big plays too. Before Stephenson’s touchdown, Alcona forced the Owls to turn the ball over on downs at the six-yard line. Oscoda faced 3rd-and-5 from the six to keep its drive alive, but Nagel threw two incomplete passes to give Alcona the ball.
Oscoda got the ball back with 1:10 left in the half and again Alcona stifled the Owls, stopping them at the 12 yard line before time expired.
Alcona plays at Burton-Atherton on Friday.
James Andersen can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.