By DAVE PEDERSEN
Crow River News Sports
Despite a 40-7 football loss to Melrose Friday Rockford head coach Dan Houghton liked his team’s energy and heart, which is a good thing heading into the second half of the season.
“We were able to get things clicking on offense and then we would shoot ourselves in the foot with a penalty or something else,” said Houghton. “If we continue to take care of the little things we will continue to improve as we head into the playoffs.”
The home game against Melrose was Tackle Cancer night and the Rockford 2007 State Tournament team was honored at halftime.
Rockford did some good things in the game, starting with a 29-yard pass from quarterback Andrew Engebretson to Zach Roehl. Stone Fritz provided a 20-yard run. Defensive end Neil Weiss hit the Melrose quarterback attempting to throw on third down and forced a punt.
Running back Tyler Gearin took an inside handoff and ran for 20 yards.
Meanwhile, Melrose was able to build a 14-0 halftime lead. The team finished a 14-play 80-yard drive with a 10-yard scoring run. An interception was returned to the 2-yard-line, followed by the second touchdown.
To start the second half Melrose scored on an eight-play, 67-yard drive ending with a 19-yard pass. Other scores came on a 41-yard run, 18-yard pass, 3-yard run and 10-yard run.
Rockford had its moments in the second half. Gearin ripped the ball out during a tackle as Everett Brun was there to recover it. Engebretson hit Kyle Calder for a 31-yard pass play on one drive and they connected three times for 71 yards on another drive that ended when Drew Rozanski ran for the team’s lone touchdown.
Engebretson was 10 for 16 passing for 151 yards with one interception. Fritz had eight carries for 34 yards and Connor Abbott gained 24 yards on seven rushes. Calder had five catches for 110 yards and Roehl had three catches for 30 yards.
Leading tacklers were Calder and Austin Schloeder each with 11 tackles. Gearin had nine tackles and Luke Overton and Neil Weiss each had eight tackles.
Rockford plays at Holdingford, 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6. The Rockets won the last two meetings. Holdingford is 2-3 on the season.