LINCOLN – Alcona may have had Oscoda’s number on the football field in recent years, but Thursday night, it was all the Owls as they claimed a lopsided 55-8 North Star League win over the hosting Tigers.
“This was a good league win for us,” Oscoda head coach Mark Whitley said of the win that snapped their three game losing streak against Alcona. “We were on the road at Alcona, who has put a lot of points on the board against us the past two years. It was nice to be able to play every player on our team. It is really important to our coaching staff that every player plays in the game when we have the chance, and it is especially nice to get our reserves some carries, some catches, throws and some touchdowns and it is the same thing defensively. This was an all-around team effort that was fun for our players and our fans.”
The Owls began the game with the ball and faced an early fourth-and-five from the Alcona 25-yard line. Oscoda called a half-back pass play, which saw Owen Franklin fire a perfect ball to Andrew Dault at the 10-yard line. From there Dault marched his way into the end zone for the score just minutes into the game.
On the Owls next possession, Brayden Mallak tossed his first touchdown of the night, hitting Franklin for a 32-yard strike. Mallak also ran in the-two point conversion to make it 14-0.
Mallak tacked on a seven yard touchdown run just before the end of the first quarter and early in the second, Franklin found pay-dirt again on a two yard plunge. A Gabe Kellstrom extra point made it 28-0.
The Tigers had their best drive of the night before the half, driving the length of the field for a 15-yard touchdown and a two-point conversion to make it 28-8.
The Owls took the momentum right back however, as Mallak returned the ensuing kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown, giving Oscoda a 34-8 lead at the half.
“Offensively the kids want the football and they like to go fast,” Whitley said. “Putting the ball in the end zone is the goal and we are doing a good job of the no-huddle offense and getting the ball in the end zone. It was really nice to see the kids have another great start to the game. The offense score and the defense is fired up to stop the other team. I’m not sure if the defense fuels the offense or the offense fuels the defense but they seem to be complimenting each other really well right now.”
Oscoda added a third quarter touchdown on a 54-yard pass play from Mallak to Nathan Moeller. Fourth quarter scoring saw Dault run in from 29 yards out and Tyler Sivrais found the endzone on a one yard plunge.
All this against a team that scored 56 points against the Owls last year and 66 in 2016.
“Defensively we are getting helmets to the ball and our pursuit is pretty good right now,” Whitley said. “ We work on pursuit drills during summer camp and we pride ourselves in getting to the ball. Our defense is fired up right now.”
Mallak led the offense by going six-of-seven passing for 162 yards and two scores. He also had 71 yards and a score on the ground on six attempts. Franklin was one-of-two passing for 25 yards and a score and he ran five times for 32 yards and a touchdown. Franklin had two catches for 65 yards and a score, giving him a touchdown passing, rushing and receiving.
Dault had eight carries for 71 yards and a score and Robert Host ran twice for 15 yards. Moeller had one catch, a 54-yard touchdown with Devin Thomas making one catch for 27 yards.
Jacob Condor had nine tackles to lead the defense, Christian Ward had eight, Adam Hein had 7.5 and Dault took down seven.
Oscoda (2-1 overall, 1-0 NSL) hosts Mio (0-3, 0-1) on Friday. The Thunderbolts are coming off 54-0 loss to Rogers City last week.