The Onaway High School varsity football team will try to shake off a disappointing loss in its opener when Presque Isle County rival Rogers City comes to town tonight (Friday).
According to athletic director Marty Mix, this could be the final time the Cardinals and Hurons square off in football, as OHS will be required to play all its games within the Ski Valley Conference beginning next year.
If the Cards are to win this final meeting with their biggest rival, they will have to improve upon last week’s opener at Inland Lakes – a game Onaway dropped 14-7.
“Our offense just didn’t play well,” said Cardinal coach Jim Cleaver following his first action as head man of the varsity. “We had seven dropped passes and the left side of our line just collapsed.
“I was, however, happy with how hard the defense played. They did their jobs.”
The game was scoreless until the Bulldogs’ Daniel Flowers took a handoff 45 yards for a touchdown early in quarter two. Christian Cleaver blocked the PAT attempt but Inland Lakes led 6-0.
Onaway responded later in the quarter with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Tollini to Tommy Auger. Carlos Bautista kicked the extra point, and the Cardinals led 7-6 at the half.
The Red Bird defense made that lead stand through three quarters, but Bulldog QB Todd Athey scored on a one yard sneak with 4:48 remaining in the game, with the conversion bringing about the final score.
Tollini completed 12 of 26 passes for 180 yards, a touchdown, and a pair of interceptions. The senior also ran the ball 12 times for 50 yards. Noah Bacon had five carries for 23 yards and four catches for 40 yards.
Auger had five catches for 90 yards, while Bautista had two catches for 38.
Cleaver paced the OHS defense with 11 tackles, a sack, a pass deflection, and a fumble recovery. Tollini had 12 tackles, Bautista had 10, Bacon and Frankie Ramos had seven each, and Auger had six, plus a pass defelection.
Kickoff between the Cardinals and Hurons is scheduled for 7 p.m.