By DAVE PEDERSEN
Crow River News Sports
Three big plays were the difference for Watertown-Mayer in the 21-6 victory over Rockford to open the football season Friday.
Watertown-Mayer scored all 21 points in the first half. Points came on a 1-yard run that followed a big 47-yard run, a 59-yard pass and a 30-yard interception for a touchdown.
The Rockets won the second half 6-0 but failed to convert opportunities into points. The lone score came on a 7-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Drew Engebretson to junior running back Hawkin Petron in the third quarter.
Rockford started out strong with a 9-yard pass from Engebretson to senior running back Lucas Mason, who ran for 40 yards on the next play. However, the offense stalled inside the WM 30.
After yielding two WM touchdowns, Rockford moved the ball as far as the 16-yard-line before the drive ended.
In the second quarter Rockford’s defense put an end to WM drives be getting multiple turnovers. Mason had two interceptions playing at linebacker and lineman Luke Overton had a forced fumble recovered by lineman Cory Weber.
Coach Dan Houghton says his team played much better in the second half on offense but drives continued to stall out in opposing territory.
Engebretson completed nine passes for 26 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Mason attempted one pass that was intercepted. He carried the ball 14 times for 72 yards.
Petron rushed six times for 29 yards. Drew Rozanski had three catches for 22 yards. Zach Roehl caught two passes for 26 yards and Nick Manthana gained 17 yards on two pass receptions.
Rozanski led the defense with 10 tackles at linebacker. Overton, Weber and Petron each had nine tackles, while Chance Palmer had eight and Brock Desens seven.
Watertown-Mayer had 271 yards in total offense compared to Rockford’s 171 yards.
“We have some things we need to work on,” notes Houghton. “We will be fine but just need to execute a little more. Hats off to Watertown-Mayer for making big plays when they needed them.”
This week the Rockets play at home against Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted on parent’s night. Last year Rockford lost at HLWW 36-14. Both teams come into the first matchup of the league season at 0-1.