BY DAVID PEDERSEN
Rockford learned what more consistent play can accomplish when the football team posted a 19-7 victory at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted last Friday.
“We played a full and complete game,” proclaimed head coach Dan Houghton about the team’s second win. “I am very excited for the players who have been working hard during practice, especially on the mental aspect of the game.”
Houghton said the work paid off against HLWW. He adds how the defense had a couple nice stands and offensively the Rockets were able to move the ball and put points on the board.
“If we continue to play like this we will definitely be a team that other teams won’t want to see come playoff time,” said Houghton.”
Playoff time is around the corner. The last regular season game was played Wednesday against Holdingford, after this issue went to press. The section tournament opens Tuesday, Oct. 23, with other rounds set Saturday, Oct. 27 and Friday, Nov. 2.
Junior quarterback Brock Deering led the offense by completing 10 of 18 passes for 203 yards and one touchdown. He also ran the ball nine times for 35 yards with two touchdowns.
The defense set the tone early after HLWW started out by driving to the Rockford 10 yard line. Defensive end Jordan Hubbs sacked the Laker quarterback and cornerback Jeremy Bingham intercepted a pass on the one.
Rockford’s offense took over and drove 99 yards to take the early lead. Deering connected with Brody Harstad on three pass plays including a touchdown from 20 yards out. Other receptions covered 26 and 25 yards.
Another long Laker drive was stopped again by the defense. The next time HLWW had the ball defensive end Zach Nelson stuffed a running play on fourth down and 2 yards to go for a first down.
Rockford took the ball the other way, sparked by a 42-yard catch by Harstad from Deering, who scored on an 11-yard run.
Just before halftime, the Lakers intercepted a pass and ran it back to the Rocket 1. The touchdown on the next play closed the Rocket lead to 13-7 at the break.
Rockford opened the second half with a 75-yard touchdown drive. This time, Deering’s prime target was Brendon Schumacher, who caught a 40-yard pass and another for 12 yards. Deering’s capped the drive with a 1-yard run, making the final score 19-7.
The Rocket defense took over, allowing the Laker offense to run just six plays from scrimmage in the fourth quarter.
Linebacker Logan Suko led the defense with with 14 tackles. Clouse and safety Sasha Galka each had nine tackles. Linebacker Ben Arens and Nelson followed with seven.
On offense, Harstad caught five passes for 122 yards and one touchdown. Schumacher added an interception. The Lakers had 173 yards of offense compared to 319 for Rockford.
Despite earning two wins, players recall last season when the lower seeded Rockets upset No. 1 seed DeLaSalle and reached the title game before losing in overtime.