In an old-school OK Red battle, the defenses led the way for a majority of the game between Rockford and Jenison. Rockford quarterback Zak Ahern led a pair of crucial drives to deliver the Rams to victory, 16-13 in overtime.
Nate Ross got the scoring started with a field goal of twenty-one yards for Jenison, the only scoring play in the first half made it 3-0 as the teams headed into the locker room.
In the closing seconds of the third quarter, the game was still 3-0 Jenison. The Wildcats were in the red zone, poised for more scoring when Sam Watts intercepted the football and returned it seventy-six yards to the end zone for the game’s first touchdown. Rockford would take this 7-3 lead into the fourth quarter.
Jenison would regain the lead with four minutes to go when Jaden Vandalsen ran across the goal line from two yards out. This gave the Rams and Zak Ahern just enough time to mount a comeback. The quarterback led the Rams down the field to the fourteen yard line, where Jackson Burkholder booted a field goal of thirty-one yards to even the score at 10 and force overtime.
In the extra frame, Jenison got the football first. The Wildcats got another field goal from Ross, this one also from twenty-one yards out, to make the score 13-10. Needing a field goal to extend the game, or a touchdown to win the game, Ahern rolled out to the left looking to complete a pass. He then changed direction and tucked the football as he took off to the right side. He dove just inside the pylon and crossed the goal line for the game-winning score.
Rockford (1-0) will now travel to Caledonia next Friday to take on the Fighting Scots, who defeated West Ottawa tonight 49-28. Jenison (0-1) will face those Panthers in next Friday’s game. Both games will be broadcast LIVE on Michigan Sports Radio next Friday night.