By Greg Gielczyk

Ludington gave Belding all it could want, and then some, but fell short of getting the victory Friday night. The Orioles went into overtime before falling, 44-41 in the non-conference contest.

Host Ludington (2-5) struck first, with quarterback Trey Forkinski hitting Wilson Gunsell on a short five-yard pass for the touchdown and Miles Wilson added the point after kick for a 7-0 lead at the 8:28 mark of the first period.

Belding came right back, Jack Ward running it in from two yards out. The try for the extra point was no good, and Ludington still held the lead, 7-6.

The Orioles bumped their lead up to 14-6 with 3:38 left in the first quarter on a 73-yard pitch-and-catch from Gunsell to Nathan Gilchrist and Wilson again added the extra point kick.

But this was a see-saw affair, and Belding answered that Ludington score with a seven-yard run by Koden McNeil, and  Bryce Finn ran in the two-point conversion to cut the Orioles’ lead to 14-12 with 11:28 left in the second period.

Ludington made it 17-12 at the 8:12 mark on a 38-yard field goal by Wilson.

Back came Belding again, McNeil scoring on a seven-yard run as Belding took the lead for the first time in the game, 18-17 with six minutes left in the half on an 11-yard run by Rockburn.

Ludington’s deficit grew to 25-17 when McNeil scored on a five-yard run and Franco Biella kicked the extra point with 3:57 still to play in the second period.

The Orioles shaved their deficit to just one point, 25-24 at the half when Forkinski threw a 75-yard strike to Aidan Gilchrist with 3:34 left.

Anthony Szubinski increased Belding’s lead to 32-24 with 11:17 left in the fourth quarter with a 30-yard run.

But the Orioles answered again, cutting the Belding lead to 32-30 when Forkinski scored on a two-yard keeper. The pass for the two-point conversion fell incomplete.

Isai Badder answered for Belding, running it in from 25 yards out. The extra point attempt was blocked and it was 38-30.

Gilchrist returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards, and Forkinski ran in the two-point conversion to knot the game up, 38-38 with just 43 seconds left in regulation.

Ludington had first possession in overtime, and Wilson kicked a 29-yard field goal to give the Orioles a 41-38 lead.

Knowing it had to score a touchdown to win, Belding did just that when Rockburn scored on an eight-yard run.

The two teams combined for 621 yards of total offense, with Ludington having the most with 312. Belding had more rushing yards, 262-120.

Ludington had 192 passing yards on 8 of 18 completions. Forkinski completed 6 of 15 passes for 106 yards. Gilchrist had four receptions for 81 yards.

Stephen Weinert led the Orioles in rushing with 74 yards on 11 attempts while Forkinski gained 49 yards on 19 attempts.

Defensively the Orioles were led by Gage Jones with 10 tackles, Aric Storm and Aiden Gilchrist each had eight and Daniel Rameriz five.