By Chris Zadorozny
Right from the start of the game, it was Huron’s to lose.
Coming into Friday night’s matchup against the rival Flat Rock Rams (0-8), the Chiefs (4-3) knew they had to start strong.
They did just that and scored on just the fourth play of the game, and 18-yard touchdown run by junior running back Ian Robinson.
After that touchdown, the Chiefs didn’t look back, winning in a rout, 48-7.
Flat Rock tried to respond on its first drive of the game, but couldn’t and was forced to punt.
Unfortunately for the Rams, the punt was blocked, setting up a first down on the Flat Rock 13-yard line.
“From the start they had momentum and we never got it,” said Rams Coach Tom Oestrike. “They physically dominated us, we made mistakes, and it’s been the same thing every year. We come out in the first quarter think we’d be ready to play, but we weren’t ready to play. They were fired up, they took it to us. The first play they set the tone. We got physically beat.”
It took the Chiefs another four plays until sophomore quarterback Matt Hartwick kept the ball for a one-yard touchdown run. Just like that, it was 14-0 just three and a half minutes into the game.
“It’s Flat Rock-Huron, and I had to prepare the guys that way,” said Chiefs Coach Dan Kalbfleisch. “It always feels good to beat them. The score doesn’t really matter, as long as we come out with the ‘W’ that’s all that matters.”
The remaining drives in the first half for the Chiefs resulted in touchdowns except for one. The same score at the end of the game was the same one at halftime, 48-7.
Everyone on the Chiefs’ sideline played, as they rotated in Hartwick, senior Eli Scott, and junior Miles Molnar at quarterback. Scott received many of the reps in the first half, while Molnar controlled most of the second half.
Overall, the Chiefs had 324 yards of total offense opposed to the Rams’ 226 yards.
Robinson scored the third touchdown of the game, a 14-yard run with five and a half minutes left in the first quarter to put his team up 21-0.
The ball was spread around the field for the Chiefs, as the fourth score of the game for Huron was a five-yard run, followed by a blocked PAT by Rams senior linebacker/wide receiver Kevin Frtiz.
Early in the second quarter, with the Chiefs up 27-0, a perfect punt by Marco Marchionda put the Rams back at their own 5-yard line.
An incomplete pass forced a second and ten. On the very next play, Rams star running back, senior Merle Newell had about a four or five-yard gain, but he fumbled the ball. Riley Griffin picked it up for the score, bumping theHuron lead to 34-0 and deflating the Rams’ sideline.
The Rams tried to recover, but a 40-yard punt return by junior Devin Collins followed the fumble return for a touchdown, putting the Chiefs up 41-0 only three minutes into the second quarter.
Flat Rock did respond, finally. After a knee injury sent senior wide receiver Cody Ratcliffe to the sideline for the rest of the game, the Rams rallied for an eight-play, three-minute drive that covered 80 yards.
The only score of the game for the Rams came from senior quarterback Brandon Kish, who kept the ball off the snap and found some holes for a 46-yard run.
As for Ratcliffe, the Rams are hoping he will return.
“He’s not a kid that fakes anything, so for him to be on the ground like that, we need him for Week 9,” said Oestrike.
Hartwick capped the game scoring when he ran 16 yards for score.
Know one knew it then, but the 48-7 score would be the final. At the half, there was a scrum that ensued after the whistle blew, but luckily, nothing got out of hand.
John Svoboda had a strong game on defense for the Chiefs, as did others.
“Senior Alex Guess had a big tackle on D and played pretty well. Senior Patrick Hobbins played well, too,” said Kalbfleisch.
On the offensive side of the ball, Kalbfleisch was pleased with back-up running back Joe Cox.
“He got an interception and a lot of yards running. He’s a backup that works really hard in practice every day. I was really proud of what he did.”
Cox played all of the second half, carrying the ball eight times for 47 yards.
The Rams spread the tackles out on the defensive side of the ball, with Newell grabbing a few more tackles than most of his teammates.
On the offensive side of the ball, Kish, Fritz and Newell carried much of the load.
The Rams (0-9), will travel to Stockbridge (3-5) in hopes of at least salvaging a win out of this season.
“This game’s over. We can’t worry about it. We don’t want to be 0-9. We’re going to have our best week of practice, and we’re going to go up there and do the best that we can do,” said Oestrike.”
As for the Chiefs, it’s going to be a battle next week against Dearborn Heights Annapolis.
“Annapolis has four wins, so they’re a decent football team,” said Kalbfleisch. “Both teams are playing for a winning record and that’s a lot. They just want to keep their hopes alive and go to the playoffs. We haven’t had many winning seasons at Huron, and they want to have a winning record.”
To read the original post that appeared in The News-Herald on October 22, 2013, go to www.miprepzone.com/thenewsherald