R-P football perfect at half-way point

By : 
CHAD SMITH
TRI-COUNTY RECORD

The Rushford-Peterson football team is unbeaten at the halfway point of the season after posting a 34-0 win at Wabasha-Kellogg on Friday night.

The Trojans’ defense was stingy and the offense had enough points on the board by the second quarter to send the Falcons to their fourth-straight loss of the season. R-P is now 4-0 (4-0 District) as they look to the second half of their schedule.

“We played really well defensively,” said head coach Davin Thompson. “Like I mentioned going into the game, when they take a snap, you don’t know who it’s going to or where the ball will wind up going. We covered each gap in the line of scrimmage to plug the running lanes and got to the football quickly. We were very physical on defense.”

The R-P defense was so stingy it only gave up 88 yards of total offense to W-K. Falcons’ passers (Jamie Hewitt, Luke Bergan) combined to complete 3 of 14 passes for only 10 yards and were picked off three times. The Falcons had better success on the ground, rushing 39 times for 126 yards. However, the Trojans tackled enough runners behind the line of scrimmage to total up 48 yards in losses, which left W-K with a net total of 78 yards (2 yards per carry).

“We’ve been playing well against the run all season,” Thompson said. “Ian Brown (8 tackles, 3 for loss against W-K) moved back to his original position of middle linebacker (Brown had played defensive end) and he’s been a monster for us. He leads the defense out there on the field.

“Ethan Hermanson has also been playing well after two interceptions on Friday night,” Thompson added. “They also ran some sweeps at us and he came up and made some great plays from his linebacker position.”

Hermanson also made some big plays on offense for the Trojans, leading the team with 74 yards receiving on seven catches. He caught two of the three TD tosses thrown by quarterback Landon Skalet. Kobe Lind caught the other touchdown, one of his three catches for 39 yards. Skalet completed 11 of 22 passes for 118 yards and three TDS (1 INT).

While the offense got the job done, Thompson said they’re still struggling to hold onto the football at times. “We had a couple turnovers in the red zone again,” he said. “We put the ball on the ground four times last week and I think that’s now seven in the last two games. It’s something we’re really going to have to work on.

“We did move the ball really well in the first quarter but we couldn’t finish out the drives. We got stopped twice on fourth down and had one turnover in the first quarter. We’re not playing bad at that point, we just have to finish drives. We finally started to finish off some of those drives in the second quarter (scored 21 straight points).”

The Trojans had a good night running the ball against a Falcons defense that sometimes stacked nine or ten guys in tight to the line of scrimmage in order to stop the run. Ethan Sense carried the ball 19 times for 143 yards (7.53 yards per carry), which included a 6-yard TD run. Triton Meldahl had six rushes for 72 yards and a TD.

While the Trojans are unbeaten on the season, Thompson says they can still get a lot better. One of the strengths through the first half of the season has been the R-P defense, which has given up 12, 7, 20, and zero points through the first four games (an average of 9 points per game). Triton Meldahl had six rushes for 72 yards and a TD.

“I feel as long as we keep playing good defense, we always have a chance to win,” Thompson said. “Offensively, I think we’re just now starting to find our groove. We put a lot of stuff in early in the season and now it’s time to focus on what we’re good at and use the weapons we have.”

Schedule

The Trojans host Winona Cotter in R-P’s Homecoming game on Friday night, Sept. 28, with kickoff at Ben Niggle Field at 7 p.m. Cotter is coming in struggling, winless during the first half of the season at 0-4 (0-3 District). Thompson said the Ramblers come in with decent size on the line of scrimmage and offense that’s a little frustrating.

“Their Wing-T stuff kinda drives me crazy,” Thompson said. “We’re going to have to play downhill, trust what we see, and get to the football. Their starting quarterback got hurt in the first game so they’re having to start a freshman. They will roll him out on a bootleg occasionally but they want to come in and run the football first.”

Category: