Photos by Dan Mathews
GENOA - Friday's rivalry contest between Oak Harbor and Genoa was one of those games where the final score doesn't truly reflect the play of the game.
While the Comets walked away with a convincing 34-14 victory to retire the Celestial trophy, the Rockets out-gained Genoa in total offense.
The Rockets (1-1 overall) tallied up 343 yards while Genoa finished with 242, but a couple of key turnovers and stalled drives out did Oak Harbor.
Oak Harbor received the opening kick-off and started at their own 20-yard line.
The Rockets picked their way down the field on an 80-yard drive that came to an end on a touchdown pass from Jac Alexander to Brandon Elmes to give Oak Harbor a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Genoa was quick to respond as the Comets (2-0 overall) marched down the field in three minutes before punching the ball across the goal line to even the score at 7-7.
In the second quarter it appeared as if the Rockets were going to hold Genoa to a field goal, but a roughing the kicker penalty extended a Genoa drive in the opening minutes of the quarter and Genoa made the penalty hurt as Jacob Plantz pushed his way in from a yard out to give Genoa a 14-7 lead with 10:38 left in the half.
Oak Harbor mustered another big drive in the quarter, but a pass from Alexander was caught a shade out of bounds in the back of the end zone to stall a drive and the Comets took a one score lead into the half.
Offensively, the Rockets seemed to be able to move the ball in short spurts as Alexander completed 25-of-43 passing for 209 yards as Clay Schulte hauled in 12 receptions for 81 yards, Hunter Wilkins had eight catches for 69 yards, and Nick Pfeiffer had four catches for 39 yards.
The rushing game also added 135 yards to the Rockets' total as Alexander finished with 69 and Schulte added 56.
Schulte also added a touchdown on Oak Harbor's final drive of the game.
Leading 14-7 going into the second half, Genoa mainly focused on its running game as Jacob Bradfield piled up 112 yards and Daniel Novotney added 55.
Genoa also benefited from two big interceptions from Plantz, including a pick-six to seal the contest late in the game.
Defensively, Schulte led the Rockets with 11 tackles, three for loss and Wilkins added a handful.