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FOOTBALL: Adams continues mastery of Rochester

| August 27, 2016 | Comments (0)

BY DAN STICKRADT

SENIOR EDITOR

dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com

Twitter: @LocalSportsFans

ROCHESTER HILLS — Rochester Adams had difficulty pulling out tight games last season.

Consider Friday’s effort a step in the right direction for the Highlanders.

Locked in a 14-14 battle in the third quarter, Adams used a pair of touchdown drives in the period, coupled with some stingy defense to pull away from Rochester, 33-14, in a season opener in Rochester’s final game in its stadium.

The Falcons’ stadium will go through a complete reconstruction beginning in late August through next summer.

Kyle Wood finished 7-for-11 passing for 154 yards with one touchdown pass and one rushing TD to aid the Highlanders to their 19th straight win over Rochester — the two teams did not face in 2011 — which pushed the streak to two decades and counting.

Wood added 89 yards on 16 carries, while Cole Patritto chalked up 93 yards on seven carries.

“This was a big game, not only because it was Rochester and the season opener, but we play a really tough schedule and we knew we had to take care of business,” said Adams coach Tony Patritto.

“I thought Kyle played a good game. He’ll tell you that it wasn’t his best game, but we still won,” continued Patritto. “I have the utmost confidence in him. He’s a four-year (player) whose been around a while. He stepped up and led us when we needed someone to lead us.”

Adams (1-0) opened up the third quarter with a long, nine-play, 63-yard drive that was capped by Wood’s 3-yard scamper up the middle that pushed the lead to 21-14.  The series proved to be the game-winning drive.

After forcing Rochester to punt on its first drive of the second half, Adams converted again on another nine-play drive, this time covering 59 yards and ending when Chase Kareta blazed a 12-yard trail into the end zone for a 27-14 advantage.

Although the PAT was blocked, the Highlanders’ ball-control offense in the third stanza took the wind out of Rochester’s sails.

The Highlanders added an insurance score with 8:49 left in the contest when Stephen Roncelli broke lose on a 49-yard catch and run off a pass from Wood.

“We seemed a little winded in the second quarter, and that led to a lot of mental mistakes,” said Patritto. “We went back to all of the conditioning we did in the summer and we were much more focused in the second half. That made the difference. We played a real good third quarter.”

Junior QB Brent Burtraw finished 11-for-22 passing for 143 yards and one touchdown pass for Rochester, which returned most of its roster from last season’s 1-8 campaign.

Cole Patritto (46-yard run) and Wood (10-yard run) accounted for Adams’ first-half scores. The Highlanders never trailed in the contest.

JaMeir Scott (29-yard run) and the combination of Butraw to Brandon Wright (22-yard TD pass play) made up Rochester’s first-half scoring drives, the latter that tied the game late at 14-14 in the first half.

The Falcons could not sustain the momentum in the second half.

“Their quarterback (Wood) is a special player. He made the difference for them in the second half,” noted Rochester coach Erik Vernon. “We played a nice first half, but we needed a couple of more big plays. Adams (converted) on couple of those big plays and we needed to get a couple of stops in the second half.”

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About Dan Stickradt: DAN STICKRADT | SENIOR EDITOR dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com View author profile.

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