The Rothsay Tigers travelled to Ortonville to take on the Trojans on Friday night. Rothsay would look to play spoiler on the Trojan homecoming festivities. The Tigers would start out on offense and receive the opening kickoff. They would get off to a good start as they would run for a few first downs and get a 61 yard touchdown run. The 2 point conversion failed but they would take an early 6-0 lead.
The Tiger defense would start off strong as they would force the Trojans to a 4th and 3, deep in their own territory. Ortonville would gamble and go for it, converting and gaining extra yards to get to mid field. Rothsay would get the stop on the next series and force a punt, gaining the ball back at their own 27 yard line. The Tigers would march down the field eating up rushing yards and clock as the first quarter ran down. On the first play of the second quarter Rothsay would score on an 11 yard touchdown run. The Tigers would lead 12-0.
Ortonville would gain some momentum converting on 3 different 3rd downs but ultimately be turned over on downs facing a 4th and 11. Ortonville would get a defensive stop of their own and forcing a punt by Rothsay. After a short punt the Trojans would get the ball at midfield and look to score before halftime. They would get close but the Tigers would stop them at the 10 yard line with little time left in the half. Backed against their own end zone the Tigers couldn’t muster up anything and were forced to punt from their end zone. After fumbling the snap Rothsay would take the safety and go into halftime with the 12-2 lead and some momentum.
“We felt pretty good at halftime,” Rothsay coach Joshua Nordick said. “We had some guys step up big tonight and our offensive line worked well together.”
The Trojans would come out and gain that momentum swing they had been looking for. After taking the kickoff to the 5 yard line and scoring on the ensuing play they would get a little spark. An onside recovery would shift the momentum entirely. Taking the ball and clock, they would score to take their first lead of the night, 16-12, before Rothsay even got the ball in the second half.
The Tiger offense would soon gain the lead back as they would go down the field and score to lead 18-16 as the 3rd quarter would wind down. The Trojans would get it back by mixing a little pass in there and score to lead 24-18. Rothsay would try to crawl back in as time and rain started to cone down a little more but the Trojans would force a turnover on downs inside their own 15 yard line. With time a factor the Tigers would need a quick turnaround and would force Ortonville to a 4th and 5. A fake punt and 52 yards later would make it difficult as the trick play worked once again for the Trojans. They would make it even harder when they scored a few plays later to increase the lead 30-18. With only 5 minutes left Rothsay would need two quick scores.
As the kickoff sailed out of bounds the Tigers would have to go 65 yards in a hurry to have a chance. They would get that chance as they would mix the run and pass, eventually scoring on a 21 yard pass and cut the lead to 30-24. With just over a minute left in the game the onside kick was coming. The dagger in the hopes of the Tigers spoiler effort would come as they would take the onside kick to the end zone to go for a final score of 37-24.
“It was nice to compete against the big school,” Coach Nordick said. “They have three times the coaches and enrollment is three times higher than ours (Rothsay is 55 compared to Ortonville 145) and we were in it until the end. I am proud of the effort from our team and will be looking to get back in the win column next week.” The Tigers will be back in Rothsay next Friday facing the UNC Warriors.
The Tigers were led by their offensive line consisting of Noah Fiedler, Chris Carrillo, Nick Wiezorek, Ethan Bennett, Karsyn Zilmer, Ethan Curtis, and Mason Kadel to go behind Colby Larson’s 250 yard rushing night.