2019 Football Preview: Rochester High

2018 Record: 2-7

By: C & G Sports Staff | Rochester Post | Published July 24, 2019

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Last season’s record: 2-7
League: Oakland Activities Association White Division
Returning starters: Seven
First game: 7 p.m. Aug 30 at Rochester Adams

Offensive keys:
The Falcons bring back plenty of experience as they head into the 2019 season — namely, quarterback Peyton Youngblood.

“He brings that experience back, having a year in the system already,” coach Erik Vernon said. “He’s a competitor and he’s a football player. So having him as a quarterback to lead that offense is going to be big for us.”

Vernon will be looking for his QB to grow from both a leadership standpoint and a consistency standpoint this season. The 11th-year head coach said his senior has days where his confidence is buzzing. The key for Youngblood is to make that confidence an everyday thing.

Also expected to play important roles this season are wideout Jordan Meacham, running back Noah Stout and offensive tackle Magd Boutany.

Defensive keys:
In order to find success on the defensive side of the ball, Vernon needs his defensive line to take a step forward.

“The key will be for us to find some guys on the defensive line that can be strong and stand their ground,” the coach said. “We’ll be good in the linebacking corps and good in terms of defensive backs. The big thing is just staying healthy and getting these young guys some experience.”

Players to look out for include Meacham at cornerback, Youngblood at linebacker, defensive end Kellen Burke, defensive back Paul Miller and linebacker Cam Williams.

Coach’s outlook:
Of the seven games the Falcons lost last year, four of them came by one score or less. Vernon said the team had trouble nailing down the little things and that if the Falcons can right the ship with that this season, the results will be more favorable.

“This year we’ve refocused on doing those little things,” Vernon said. “Last year the record wasn’t what we wanted it to be, but the effort was there. If we can bring that effort this year and do those little things right, we should have a good year.”

 

at Rochester Adams (6-4) — 7 p.m. Aug. 30
The Falcons and Highlanders have opened the regular season each of the past three years. The Highlanders, who escaped with a 28-27 win last season, are 3-0 in those games.

vs. Oak Park High (9-2) — 7 p.m. Sept. 6
The Knights won nine games and reached a Division 2 district final last season. In the battle with Rochester, Oak Park escaped with a 41-33 victory.

at Birmingham Groves (10-3) — 7 p.m. Sept. 13
Despite not being able to beat Groves in the last two tries, Rochester leads the series 11-8.

at Birmingham Seaholm (7-3) — 7 p.m. Sept. 20
The Maples enjoyed a bounce-back season in 2018. After winning just one game two seasons ago, Seaholm picked up seven victories last year and clinched a spot in the playoffs. Rochester beat the Maples 28-27 in 2017.

vs. Troy High (2-7) — 7 p.m. Sept. 27
Other than Troy Athens, the Colts have played no other team more than Rochester. In 39 games, the Colts are 25-14 against the Falcons.

vs. Troy Athens (1-8) — 7 p.m. Oct. 4
The Falcons and Red Hawks met for the first time since 2013 last season. Rochester narrowly escaped in that game, winning by a field goal.

at Lake Orion High (5-5) — 7 p.m. Oct. 11
Rochester’s last game against the Dragons came in 2013. Lake Orion came away with a 41-20 win in that game and leads the series 18-14.

vs. Rochester Hills Stoney Creek (3-6) — 7 p.m. Oct. 18
Whoever wins this year’s game will take the lead in the all-time series. Both teams currently have six wins each. The Cougars won last year’s meeting 25-0.

vs. Bloomfield Hills High (2-7) — 7 p.m. Oct. 25
The Falcons are winless in two tries against the Black Hawks. In those games, Bloomfield Hills has outscored Rochester 61-28.

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