Rochester Adams downs Rochester High in opening round of playoffs

By: Zachary Manning | Online Only | Published October 30, 2020

 Rochester Adams' Joey Shallow races for the end zone against Rochester High Oct. 30. Adams won 39-7.

Rochester Adams' Joey Shallow races for the end zone against Rochester High Oct. 30. Adams won 39-7.

Photo by Patricia O'Blenes

ROCHESTER HILLS — Separated by just three miles, the Oct. 30 matchup between Rochester Adams and Rochester High was more than just a playoff game.

The Falcons went undefeated and won the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division, while the Highlanders scuffled to 2-3 in the OAA White.

But Adams hasn’t lost to Rochester since 1996, and the Highlanders came out throwing haymakers, taking control of the game early and never looking back.

In the end, Adams would go on to win 39-7. The Highlanders will play either Lapeer High or Davison High next week in a Division 1 district semifinal.

“It’s always good to play well against your rival,” Adams coach Tony Patritto said. “As much as we respect them, we really want to beat them.”

The Highlanders punished the Falcons on the ground, collecting five rushing touchdowns in the contest. Griffin Henke was the main beneficiary, scoring three times on the ground.

Sophomore quarterback Parker Picot found some daylight on a 68-yard touchdown scamper, while also hitting Joey Shallow for a 50-yard passing touchdown.

It was a complete performance for the Highlanders, with the offense posting its highest scoring output of the season. On defense, Adams has now held its opponents under 10 points in back-to-back games.

“We ask a lot, because those guys all play both ways,” Patritto said of his linemen. “They stepped up big and did a nice job creating some holes for our guys.”

The loss concludes the Falcons’ season with a 6-1 record. Despite the shortened season due to COVID-19, Rochester collected its first six-win season sine 2010.

It was a strong offensive year for the Falcons. They posted 274 points, which was their highest season point total since the 343 they scored in 1993.

“I was just very proud of their effort all year long,” Falcons coach Erik Vernon said. “I was proud that they trusted in the coaches and their teammates to do the things they had to do. We’ll be able to look back in a little bit, evaluate the season after this tough loss, but just very proud of them.”

Andrew Koss scored the only points of the night for the Falcons, with a 9-yard touchdown run. Despite the loss, Vernon was proud of the way his guys played this season and is thankful for everything his seniors gave to the program.

“Where we were at last year and what we were able to accomplish this year, we had great seniors, great senior leadership,” Vernon said. “I can’t speak highly enough about the guys that we have. It was fun to coach them, and they really did a great job.”