by Dave Pedersen
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
It was a tail of two half when Rockford lost a home football game to Eden Valley-Watkins 26-21 Friday.
EVW won the first half 26-0 and Rockford dominated in the second half 21-0. The game marked the opening of the remodeled stadium when fans were invited to check out the new field turf after the game. A ribbon cutting involved soccer players, who utilize the new facility.
Rockford heads back on the road for a 7 p.m. game at Kimball Area, Friday, Sept. 13. Both teams are 0-2. Last year Kimball knocked off Rockford 33-26 in double overtime.
EVW scored in the first half two touchdown passes and an interception. A blocked punt led to the fourth score of the half.
Rockford got the offense rolling in the second half, getting on the scoreboard with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Brock Deering to Brendon Schumacher. The two combined for another scoring pass, this one from 11 yards out.
Rockford’s defense also helped the rally when defensive backs Schumacher and Jeremy Bingham knocked down back to back passes in the end zone.
The offense marched down field again, scoring on a 30-yard pass from Deering to Bingham, making the score 26-21 with 3:40 left. The onside kick by Ben Skinner was almost snagged up by the Rockets, but was recovered by the Eagles, who ran out the clock.
“We couldn’t have played any worse in the first half,” said coach Dan Houghton. “I love the effort our guys put in the second half. They could have easily packed it up, down 26-0, but they didn’t. That shows character and a never quit attitude.”
The Eagles outgained the Rockets 338-331 yards. Tommy Reinking led the ground game with 16 carries for 62 yards. Deering was 15 of 24 passing for 274 yards and three touchdowns. Schumacher had six catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Jeremy Bingham had four catches for 74 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, Reinking led the way with 13 tackles, while linebacker Kane Vogel had nine tackles and cornerback Bingham had seven tackles and an interception. Securing six tackles each was Jake Clouse, Maxwell Gulsvig and Schumacher.
“We need to eliminate our mistakes and execute in order to win games,” adds Houghton. “Right now, those things are beating us.”
Contact Dave Pedersen at [email protected]