football

Oscoda’s Anthony Ward hits the edge with the room to run during Friday’s 62-0 win at Alcona. 

OSCODA – If you thought the Oscoda football team would have a letdown with the North Star League title on the line Friday night; think again. The 11th ranked Owls did what they’ve done every game so far this season, rolling to a convincing shutout win, 62-0 at Alcona.

“I think they went out and did what they were supposed to do,” head coach Mark Whitley said. “Overall, it was just a great team effort. Everyone was able to get in the game and our twos and threes were able to score a touchdown and I thought that was pretty awesome as well.” 

The shutout win means that Owls have outscored their opponents 274-0 this year and is the only team in the state that hasn’t allowed a point by its opposition this fall. It is also the first time in program history that they have had five straight shutouts. Throw in their 50-0 win over Rogers City earlier this season and Oscoda outscored its NSL foes 112-0 in the two games.

“When we sit down and talk about our goals in June and July, the guys always want to win the league title, so that has been pretty exciting,” Whitley said. “We wanted to win the league title and we did and now we want to go after a district title and see if we can put ourselves in a position to keep on going.” 

Alcona started the game with the ball, but didn’t keep it for long as the Oscoda defense forced a quick three-and-out.

Oscoda’s first drive was six plays and 44 yards and it was capped by a 26-yard touchdown run by Anthony Ward. On the run, Ward broke one tackle at the 10-yard line, then broke another near the goal line to find his way in. The Owls displayed a full house offense on the ensuing two-point conversion, with Caleb Nagel taking the ball in to make it 8-0.

Oscoda’s defense found the scoreboard for Oscoda’s next points. Alcona quarterback Zach Stephenson ran on the left side of the field, but coughed up the football into the hands of Zach Ouillette. Ouillete raced down the field, showing off his sprinter-like speed, returning it 42-yards to the house for a 16-0 lead. 

Next up was Owen Franklin, who ran in 10-yards for a score that made it 24-0 and Nagel finished out the opening quarter with a one-yard plunge to make it 32-0. After Franklin’s touchdown run, Nagel completed a pass to Brennon Mills for the two-point conversion.

Ouillette scored the lone points of the second quarter, as he ran in for an 11-yard score, putting the score to 38-0 at the half.

In the third quarter Anthony Ward scored on a run of 36 yards, will Mills racing in from six yards away. Ward also had a 36-yard touchdown run to round out the scoring. 

“The real key to our offense is they can’t bottle one player because we just have so many offensive threats,” Whitley said. “We run the ball with Ouillette, Nagel or Franklin with Mills getting some runs too and we can throw the ball to four different receivers. We’re not one dimensional. We really like to share the ball.

“Up front, the offensive line has done a really good job of passing and run blocking,” he added. “Ian Boboltz, Kadon Schirmer, Chris Thompson, Gavin Lueck and Trevor Miller have done what I consider a tremendous job so far.” 

The Oscoda defense nearly gave up a score in the first half, but they stopped a fourth down play on the one yard-line, keeping their unblemished streak intact. The Owls gave up just 40 yards of total offense in the game.

“Our attention to detail on defense has been phenomenal,” Whitley said. “As a unit we seem upset if we allow four or five yards. We just have a team that is helmets to the football and gets after it. To hold a team under 50 yards in a game is an unbelievable feat.” 

Leading the Oscoda offense was Ward who rushed five times for 139 yards and three touchdowns, Ouillete finished with 125 yards and a touchdown on seven carries, Franklin ran eight times for 44 yards and a score, Damon Burrows had four carries for 27 yards, Mills ran twice for 26 yards and a touchdown and Drew Hess had a carry for 18 yards. 

Leading the defense was Gavin Lueck with nine tackles, Ouillette had six tackles and the fumble return for touchdown, Mills had 4.5 tackles, Schirmer had four tackles and Hess had 3.5 tackles and an interception.

Oscoda (5-0 overall, 2-0 NSL) wraps up the regular season on Friday at Houghton Lake (4-1). 

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