Troy Athens football outlasts Rochester High

By: Christian Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published September 23, 2011

 A Troy Athens defender tries to bring down Rochester's James Ward. The Athens defense forced eight turnovers in the 21-13 win.

A Troy Athens defender tries to bring down Rochester's James Ward. The Athens defense forced eight turnovers in the 21-13 win.

Photo by Donna Agusti

Advertisement

Troy Athens and Rochester High put on a show for the Rochester fans Sept. 23 during homecoming.

Athens survived 21-13 to go to 4-1 overall.

“It was a tough win and Rochester is a tough team,” Athens coach Josh Heppner said.

The Red Hawks defense caused eight turnovers, including three in the fourth quarter with Rochester deep in Athens’ territory each time.

“That’s what kept us in the game,” Heppner said.

Tied at 7 after touchdowns by Rochester’s TJ Dean and Athens’ Sam Haskell, the Red Hawks took the lead with just over 40 seconds in the first half when Ben Bartnowak hit Lonnie Bolden for a 21-yard score.

The combo hooked up again with 10:21 left in the third, this time on a 61-yard screen pass, to make it 21-7.

Rochester cut the lead to 21-13 when Kyle Wink caught the tipped pass from John Glancy with 6:45 remaining in the game, but the Athens defense then stiffened.

The Red Hawks picked off the Falcons on their next two possessions.

“Our coaches tell us to practice how we play and we took that to mind,” Bolden said. He finished the game with two interceptions.

The loss moves Rochester to 1-4 overall. Next, it meets Clarkston High at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 at home.

“We have a little bit of a mash unit out there because of injuries, but that’s not an excuse. We have to learn how to win,” Rochester coach Erik Vernon said. “We fought hard, and I’m proud of them. We have to find a better way to take care of the football.”

Athens goes to 4-1 overall and takes on West Bloomfield High at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 for its homecoming.
 

Advertisement