**ARTICLE BY SEAN MASSA**
The Ludington Orioles and Petoskey Northmen played a thrilling opener on Thursday night. It was so competitive, that it required overtime. After one extra frame, Ludington took home a 37-31 victory.
Ludington would get on the board first in the first quarter, as Trey Forfinski scored on a 17-yard touchdown run. Petoskey would answer back immediately, as Cody Hibbler took the Oriole kickoff back 93 yards for a touchdown, evening the game at seven.
It would be Ludington scoring next, as Trey Forfinski scored on a 1-yard plunge, his second of the game. A blocked extra-point from the Petoskey defense would make the Oriole lead only 13-7. The Orioles’ special team unit would continue to struggle, as Cody Hibbler took the O’s kickoff back 84 yards for a touchdown, his second return score of the half. Petoskey would also miss their extra point, creating a deadlock at 13.
Petoskey finally broke the seesaw trend, as Joseph McCarthy scored on a 1-yard touchdown run, making their lead 19-13. Ludington would answer as time expired in the first half, with Chase Hackert hitting Levi Laman on a 5-yard scoring toss to even the game at 19 heading into the locker rooms.
To start the third quarter scoring, Chase Hackert found the end zone on a 39-yard run. This gave Ludington the lead, 25-19. Ludington would continue their hot start to the second half when Chase Hackert scored again, this time on a 6-yard carry, making their lead the largest of the night, 31-19.
Petoskey was not going down without a fight however, as Joseph McCarthy hit Brian Pike on a 41-yard TD strike to cut the Ludington lead to just six, 31-25. With just over one minute remaining in the fourth quarter, Cody Hibbler scored on a 9-yard touchdown run to even the game at 31.
This game would head to overtime, where Ludington would find the end zone. Aidan Gilchrist scores on a 6-yard touchdown run to secure the 37-31 win for the Orioles.
Chase Hackert completed 17/28 passes for 213 yards and one score. He did have three costly interceptions. On the ground, Hackert added 102 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. Trey Forfinski led the Ludington ground attack with 181 yards on 24 carries. Aidan Gilchrist led the Orioles receivers with 106 yards.
Ludington will look to move to 2-0 when they face Shelby next week. Petoskey will take on Bay City Western in their next bout, looking for their first victory.