R-P football rambles over Cotter for Homecoming

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The Rushford-Peterson football team stayed unbeaten thanks to a 56-12 home-field win over Winona Cotter in last week’s homecoming contest

The Trojans used a 28-point outburst in the second quarter to break the game open. The victory leaves the Trojans 5-0 on the season (5-0 sub-district).

 R-P coach Davin Thompson said the team did a great job of maintaining focus during all the potential distractions of Homecoming Week. “Homecoming Week has a lot of stuff going on and keeps the kids busy every single day,” Thompson said. “Cotter came out running their Wing-T offense, so the kids had to stay disciplined and control their gap in the offensive line of scrimmage. If we didn’t do our jobs, they certainly could break a few big runs.

“Offensively, I thought we ran the ball well,” he added. “Triton Meldahl had a great night getting us started, taking a quick pitch for a touchdown, as well as a toss-sweep to the end zone. Ethan Sense also had a good night running the ball. Landon (Skalet) didn’t throw a lot but he was effective when he did.”

Meldahl had a fantastic night, getting 111 yards and two TDs on only three carries (incredible 37 yards a carry). Sense ran the ball just six times for 86 yards and a touchdown (14.3 yards per carry).

Sophomore running back Carson Flynn had a huge night as well, running for 112 yards and two touchdowns on only eight carries. Fullback Carter Wiedemann got into the act with 56 yards rushing on only two carries.

As a team, the Trojans rushed it 27 times for a total of 413 yards (14.96 yards a carry), coming up with a number of big plays on the ground. Sense had the longest run of the night, galloping 60 yards on a single carry. Meldahl added a 46-yard run, Flynn a 44-yard run, and Wiedemann ran 41 yards on one carry.

Thanks to a successful ground game, Rushford-Peterson didn’t have to throw the ball a lot. Three players attempted passes, including Skalet, Meldahl, and Malachi Bunke. They combined to complete 3 of 9 passes for 34 yards and two touchdowns, both coming from Skalet.

Satisfied with their half-time cushion, the Trojan coaching staff played the junior varsity during the third and fourth quarters. Thompson said they were very pleased with how the younger Trojans played while gaining some valuable experience for future seasons.

“They did a really nice job,” Thompson said. “You can’t put a value on the experience they got in the second half. They’re under the lights on homecoming night. Cotter didn’t have a lot of reserves so at least some of their starters stayed in over the second half.  We told them at halftime the varsity wasn’t going back in and there were some pretty wide eyes. Once they settled down, they did a really good job.”

In spite of an unblemished win-loss record after five games, Thompson and the coaches feel the team can still get better. They did see improvement in one specific area. The Trojans didn’t fumble the ball once against the Ramblers, which Thompson said was great to see.



The Trojans face their first big test on Friday night when they head to Goodhue to take on the Wildcats. Goodhue lost a tough game to Blooming Prairie last week 20-14, the first loss of the season for the Wildcats. Thompson expects the loss will have R-P facing a Goodhue with a chip on their shoulder this Friday night.

“They’re going to come into the game a little salty,” Thompson said. “Coach (Tony) Poncelet does a good job. They’re very familiar with us, as he has two R-P graduates on his staff. It’s always a battle. We’re also a little salty over what happened last year (Goodhue handed R-P its first loss in the 2017 season).

“It’s going to be a physical game,” he said. “They’re coming to run the ball, but they will mix in a pass as well. They have a nice wide receiver in (senior) Carter Danielson, who they’ll run some reverses with. Passing isn’t necessarily their forte but they can do it. They’ll have a nice offensive line and rotate three backs through the offensive backfield.”

The first real test for the Rushford-Peterson football team kicks off at 7 p.m. this Friday, October 5, in Goodhue.