BY VIC FOURNIER
ROCHESTER HILLS — For decades Rochester and Utica were arch-rivals. The two neighboring schools competed in the same conferences from the 1920s and up into the 1970s.
With leagues changing in the disco era, the two rivals went their separate ways and despite being only seven miles apart, did not face each other on the gridiron for 33 years until Thursday night.
The Falcons and Chieftains reunited for a non-league contest and Rochester came away with a 38-7 victory.
The last time the two played was in September, 1979, with Utica posting a 26-0 victory in that contest.
Rochester jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead and put the game away with a 21-0 third quarter run.
Shakir opened the scoring for Rochester with a 2-yard touchdown run. The play was set up by an interception from senior Manny Mendoza.
Later in the first quarter, senior John Doroshewitz would get the first of his three interceptions to put Rochester in good field position. The drive would stall deep in Utica territory, but a roughing the kicker call on a made field goal gave the Falcons new life. One play later, junior Tyler Carten scored on a 4-yard scamper for a 14-0 lead.
The Chieftains would cut the lead to 14-7 on a TD early in the 2nd quarter. That was the last ray of hope Utica would enjoy.
Doroshewitz booted a 32-yard field goal. The score was set up by a 40-yard pass from Doroshewitz to Demetrius Magee.
Doroshewitz ended a Utica drive late in the first half with his second pick of the night.
In the second half, it was all Rochester.
Shakir picked up his second TD on a 1-yard run to stretch the lead to 24-7.
On Utica’s next drive, Magee would pick off a pass and race down to the
Chieftains’ 1-yard line. Shakir later plunged in for his final TD of the night.
Later in the quarter, Doroshewitz capped off his fine night with his third interception, which set up the final score of the night.
Carten scored on a 3-yard scamper for Rochester. Doroshewitz was 5-for-5 in extra points. Manny Mendoza recorded eight tackles for Rochester.
The Falcons will next host Troy next Thursday at 7 p.m. in the annual Hall of Fame Game.