Rochester Adams Holds Off Rockford Rush for 1st Finals Title since 1999

By Tim Robinson
Special for

November 5, 2022

COMSTOCK PARK -- Rochester Adams goalkeeper John Coon wasn't sure how to feel after his team held off Rockford 2-0 in Saturday's Division 1 championship game at Comstock Park High School. 

Was it elation at winning a title or relief that the game was over?

"Both," he said after the Highlanders clinched their first Finals championship since 1999. "I'm relieved that it's over and happy we were on the winning side of things."

The Highlanders (17-1-6) handed the Rams (22-1-1) their only loss of the season. It also was only the second time this season Rockford allowed two goals in a game. 

The Adams goals came toward the end of each half despite Rockford's ability to control play for stretches. 

The first came with 3:25 to go in the first half. Jackson Craft took a pass from Colton James to notch his team-leading 24th goal of the season 

"It was a beautiful ball from Colton," Craft said. "It couldn't have been any better. I got the touch and was able to put it in. It gave us a big boost."

That also was a familiar sight to coach Josh Hickey.

Jackson Croft (2) makes a run at the Rockford goal for the Highlanders."Jackson has done that all year," Hickey said. "He gets behind you and makes you pay, and he just finishes."

It stayed that way until late in the second half, during which Adams withstood a furious Rockford offensive push that kept the pressure on.

"Their mentality in the second half was way more 'Let's get after this team,'" Coon said. 

Which the Rams did, but a stalwart Highlanders defense and a couple of shots that hit goalposts prevented Rockford from getting on the board.

Adams put it out of reach when Matt Vostriakov scored on an assist from Craft with 4:12 remaining, 

"I just heard screaming," Vostriakov said of his reaction to the goal, "I heard screaming, and I ran to the bench to celebrate with my team."

It was a disappointing end to a storybook season for the Rams, who won their first Regional title last week. 

"Adams played a really good game," Rockford coach Tim Boleman said. "Credit to them. They've got a really good team. We didn't do what we should have done, and we didn't defend as well as we should have.

"We had a great season," he continued. "We had an incredible ride. We accomplished great things. We didn't think we would be here. We were unbeaten until today, the only team in the state to do that."

Instead, on a warm, overcast November afternoon it was the Highlanders' moment in the sun, so to speak.

"They worked so hard to do this, and they wanted this so badly," Hickey said.

"We had tough battles all through the playoffs. We had injuries. These kids are banged up, sick, they just gave everything. They deserve it."

Click for the full box score.

PHOTOS (Top) Rochester Adams celebrates its Division 1 championship Saturday at Comstock Park High School. (Middle) Jackson Croft (2) makes a run at the Rockford goal for the Highlanders.

Be the Referee: Soccer Red Card

By Paige Winne
MHSAA Marketing & Social Media Coordinator

April 16, 2024

Be The Referee is a series of short messages designed to help educate people on the rules of different sports, to help them better understand the art of officiating, and to recruit officials.

Below is this week's segment – Soccer Red Card - Listen

On the soccer field, number 9 is waiting to sub in for number 4 when number 4 commits a foul worthy of a yellow card. The referee stops play to issue the yellow.

On the way to report the card to the home team’s coach, number 4 uses insulting language toward the referee. What should happen next?

Should the referee ignore the player’s insult? Does number 4 get a red card, and then gets subbed out? Or should number 4 get a red card and number 9 stays on the bench, so their team plays down a player?

If you said a red card and the substitute is not allowed to enter – you are correct. Because the substitute was not yet waved into the game, she cannot enter for an ejected player. They must play down a player the remainder of the contest.

Previous Editions

April 9: Batted Baseball Hits Runner - Listen
March 12: Basketball Replay - Listen
March 5: Hockey Officials - Listen
Feb. 27: Less Than 5 - Listen
Feb. 20: Air Ball - Listen
Feb. 13: Hockey Penalties - Listen
Jan. 30: Wrestling Tiebreakers - Listen
Jan. 23: Wrestling Technology - Listen
Jan. 9: 3 Seconds - Listen
Dec. 19: Unsuspecting Hockey Hits - Listen
Dec. 12: No More One-And-Ones - Listen
Nov. 21: Football Finals Replay - Listen
Nov. 14: Volleyball Unplayable Areas - Listen
Nov. 7: Pass/Kick Off Crossbar - Listen
Oct. 31: Cross Country Interference - Listen
Oct. 24: Soccer Overtime - Listen
Oct. 17: Tennis Spin - Listen
Oct. 10: Blocked Kick - Listen
Oct. 3: Volleyball Double & Lift - Listen
Sept. 26: Registration Process - Listen
Sept. 20: Animal Interference - Listen
Sept. 13: Feet Rule on Soccer Throw-In - Listen
Sept. 6: Volleyball Jewelry - Listen
Aug. 30: Football Rules Similarities - Listen
Aug. 23: Football Rules Differences - Listen