PELLSTON — Posen’s season of promise got off to an impressive start Friday afternoon.
The Vikings, playing their season opening 8-player football game at Pellston, scored three first quarter touchdowns and never looked back, rolling to a 50-26 victory.
“It was great to play and I think our kids were fundamentally sound and our playmakers were able to make plays on offense and on defense we tackled pretty well and just played assignment football,” Posen coach Greg Pietsch said.
One of those playmakers Pietsch was talking about was undoubtedly Jack Romel. The senior quarterback torched the Hornet defense for five touchdowns and almost 250 yards of total offense.
Romel got things going in the first quarter, running in for touchdowns of 25, 20 and 27-yards; making it 22-0 after one quarter.
Just moments into the second quarter, Romel struck again, this time running down the left side of the field for an electric 87-yard touchdown run and 30-0 advantage.
“He is really becoming a great dual threat quarterback,” Pietsch said. “He is making the defense make the wrong read and making them pay by making the right read. It helped our running game tremendously. He has just put in a lot of time in the off-season behind the scenes and it is just great to have a player that you can put the ball in his hands and he is really good at making something out of nothing.”
The Vikings carried that 30-0 lead into the half, and while Pellston managed to find some offense in the final two frames, Posen never let the game get in doubt, scoring three more times.
Ethan Romel scored on a two-yard run, John Ennest ran in from eight yards out and Jack Romel added his fifth score of the night; this time from two yards away.
“I have to give credit to our offensive line up front as well,” Pietsch said. “They blocked really well for being the first game and I think we are just going to keep on getting better. Our center Connor Paull was one of the unsung heroes that played a great game.”
Jack Romel finished with 189 yards and five touchdowns on 15 carries and he was also an efficient six-of-eight passing for 53 yards. Eli Chojnacki ran eight times for 74 yards, Ennest finished with 29 yards and a score on six carries and Ethan Romel had three carries for 13 yards and a score. Logan Timm had three receptions for 15 yards.
Of course, it wasn’t just the offense that shined in the season debut. The Viking defense stifled the Hornets; especially in the first half when Pellston struggled to pick up positive yardage, let alone first downs.
“Our defense came out and played extremely physical in the first half,” Pietsch said. “We got some of our younger kids in there in the second half and got them experience, so that is going to help down the stretch depth wise.”
Timm finished with 12 solo tackles, assisted on eight others and had one fumble recovery. Ennest had 11 solos and six assists, Owinn Comerford had eight soloes, seven assists and one fumble recovery and Chojnacki had six solo tackles.
Of course, these two teams weren’t even originally scheduled to play. However, when Pellston’s original opponent Forest Area and Posen’s original foe Hale both canceled their seasons due to lack of players, this week one match-up was born.
“I’m just really proud of the way our kids came out and played that game, especially when we had less than a week to prepare because of the uncertainty with Hale canceling,” Pietsch said. “I’m really proud of the way our kids responded and I think this game made us a better team.”
Posen (1-0 overall) travels to Rogers City (1-0) on Friday. The Hurons edged the Vikings 12-6 last year, and Pietsch expects another close battle.
“We are just going to do our best and play our game,” Pietsch said. “They are a very solid football program, a playoff team last year, it is at their place and a cross county rivalry game so we are just expecting a tough ball game. We will be ready for the challenge.”