RAPID RIVER - The Rapid River Rockets hit the turf Friday night against Ewen-Trout Creek for the first time since their appearance in the MHSAA 8-man championship game.
Before Friday's game, there was a bit of tension in the air, with both teams beginning a new season with a clean slate and coming in ready make a statement.
Before the game, Rapid River coach Steve Ostrenga delivered his speech to his squad.
"You guys can match up with anyone," he said. "If you make a mistake (out there), don't drop your head. Look up."
Ostrenga added that a lot of questions would be answered going into this game. They added some new players, and he was eager to see how the new guys would perform under pressure.
Ewen-Trout Creek coach Larry Maki said he felt good going into the first game.
"We pretty much have last year's team back," Maki said. "We've improved throught the year last year, and we've got a couple of extra players, and we're looking for good things. But Rapid River has that winning attitude."
The event turned into a lopsided contest, as the Rockets rolled over the Panthers 52-0. As it turns out, Rapid River didn't make too many mistakes.
Rapid River put up 22 points in the first quarter, including a 21-yard touchdown reception by Eli Orth and two rushing touchdowns by quarterback Jake Pearson; one for 34 yards and the other, a 1-yard rush.
The Rockets were able to match their point total in the second quarter, putting up another 22 points. Orth and Pearson rushed for two more touchdowns, and a pass on a two point conversion to Robert Metter made it 36-0.
Pearson went back to Metter later in the second quarter, scoring on a 44-yard reception and adding the two point conversion to make it 44-0.
E-TC?plays Wednesday at Engadine.