CRYSTAL FALLS—The rout was on early here Sept. 20. Forest Park scored on its first six possessions and forced six turnovers as the Trojans demolished Ontonagon 53-0.
They are now 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the Great Western Conference, alone in first place after Gogebic’s loss at Lake Linden Sept. 21.
“It was a good team win,” Coach Bill Santilli said. “Everybody contributed a lot of stats.”
Forest Park scored four TDs in the first quarter. Austin Snell’s 1-yard run and Daniel Nocerini’s 25-yard pass reception from QB Jeff Johnson got them started. They scored twice in the final two minutes of the quarter: on Lee Graff’s 1-yard run and Snell’s 35-yard pass from Johnson, set up by Connor Kezerle’s interception.
In the second frame, Raymond Tomasik scored on a 13-yard run. FP got the ball back on Darius Sanders’ interception, and Billy Ragio scored on an 11-yard run.
Just 19 seconds after Ragio’s TD, Graff intercepted an Onto pass and ran it back 36 yards to paydirt, making it 46-0 at halftime.
The entire second half was played with running time, and the only score was Graff’s third TD of the night, on a 16-yard run in the third quarter.
Ontonagon had to forfeit to the Trojans last year. This time, Santilli said, the Gladiators are still battling despite low numbers and lost several players during the game. “I think that kind of took the air out of the game.”
Santilli said that after watching tapes of Ontonagon’s games against Northland Pines and North Central, he had expected a more difficult game. “I saw some things that they did pretty well. But against us, they just never got going.”
Blame the turnovers for that. The Gladiators were plagued by turnovers all night, usually when they seemed to be building some momentum.
Except for the first offensive possession (Graff’s last TD), Forest Park’s reserves played the entire second half before the home fans at Dick Mettlach Field and picked up some statistics. “We told our guys we’ve got to be ready for North Central next week.
“Now we’ve got to sharpen up and hopefully improve.” After the Trojans’ visit to 4-0 North Central, they will host North Dickinson (also 4-0) in their Homecoming game Oct. 4.
Team stats: Forest Park, 347 total yards (30-242 rushing, 5-8-105 passing), Ontonagon 153 total yards (39-125 rushing, 1-7-28 passing). First downs: FP, 10; Ontonagon, 9.
Individual stats: Lee Graff, 10-99; Austin Snell, 3-45; Jeff Johnson, 4-30; Billy Ragio, 3-20. Passing: Johnson, 5-8-105-2 TDs. Receiving: Daniel Nocerini, 2-46; Snell, 1-35; Graff, 1-15; Raymond Tomasik, 1-9.
Defense (tackles-assists): Adam Hilberg, 10-3; Nocerini, 6-1; Zach Aberly, 4-3; Connor Kezerle, 5-1. Fumble recoveries: Michael Wagner, Nocerini. Interceptions: Kezerle 2, Darius Sanders, Graff.
• The 4-0 Trojans travel to Powers Sept. 27 to challenge another 4-0 team, North Central. The Jets blasted Baraga 52-8 on Sept. 20, and have earlier wins over Ontonagon, Munising and Lake Linden.
Gladiators 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Trojans 28 18 7 0 -- 53