Ten football players named all-conference

Chad Smith

The Rushford-Peterson football team recently wrapped up a solid 7-3 season, with several players earning postseason honors. The Trojans placed seven players on the All-Three Rivers Conference first team, as well as three more players on the Honorable Mention squad. The Trojans also have the District Offensive Player of the Year and the District Co-Lineman of the Year winners.

All-Conference First Team

Triton Meldahl – The senior runner spearheaded the Trojans’ ground game. Meldahl carried the ball 217 times for a net total of 1,738 yards and 17 touchdowns. His longest run of the season was 73 yards and the senior running back averaged an impressive eight yards a carry. He had 21 carries that went for 20-40 yards, as well as 12 carries that went for 40 yards or longer. Meldahl also caught six passes out of the backfield for another 74 yards.

Meldahl was also named District Offensive Player of the Year.

Peyton Morrison – Another Trojan senior, Morrison made contributions on both sides of the football. Offensively, he contributed as both a runner and receiver. Morrison carried the football 36 times for 164 yards (4.56 yards per carry) and a touchdown, and  his longest run of the season was 30 yards. Morrison caught another 20 passes for 217 yards (10.8 yards per catch). As a linebacker, he was also among the best tacklers on the Trojan defense. He was third on the team with 39 tackles (30 solos, 9 assists). He even spent time on special teams, returning six kickoffs for 140 yards (23.3 yards per return), including his longest return of 46 yards.

Gunner Mierau – The senior lineman helped to pave the way offensively for the Trojans’ offense. His biggest statistical impact came on the defensive side of the ball. Mierau finished with 22 tackles (18 solos) on the season and one quarterback sack.

Halen Schwendinger – Another senior lineman who made his biggest impact defensively, Schwendinger finished second on the squad with 40 tackles (35 solos). He finished with five solo tackles for loss, which resulted in a minus 18 yards for the opposition.

Vinnie Mason – The senior contributed in all three phases of the game during his final season in a Trojan uniform. The tight end caught 14 passes for 198 yards (14.1 yards per reception) and was second in touchdown receptions with five. He also rushed the ball six times for 25 yards.

Defensively, Mason was the top tackler for the Trojan defense with 41 stops (27 solo). The senior had 13 solo tackles for loss and assisted on five others. He added six sacks and assisted on two others. On special teams, Mason also returned three kickoffs for a total of 30 yards. Mason also shared kickoff duties, putting the toe to the ball 31 times for a total of 1,248 yards (815 net).

Mason was also named District Co-Lineman of the Year.

Kobe Lind – The speedy Trojan junior was another player who made an impact in all three phases of the game. Lind was the top receiver on the squad, catching 21 passes for a team-high 343 yards (16.3 yards per catch) and tied for the team lead with six TD catches. He also ran the ball 13 times for 127 yards and a touchdown. As a defensive back, Lind finished with 13 tackles and one solo tackle for loss. On special teams, he returned six kickoffs for 47 yards and nine punts for another 125 yards.

Malachai Bunke – Only a sophomore in his first year as a starting quarterback, Bunke made an impact through the air and on the ground. He completed 85 of 149 passes for 1,091 yards and 19 touchdowns. His longest pass of the season went for 46 yards and Bunke was intercepted only six times. He also ran the ball 38 times for 84 yards and three TDs. Defensively, Bunke finished the year with 20 tackles and one interception.

Honorable Mention

Ben Weiser – The junior lineman made his biggest statistical impact on defense. Weiser wound up the season with 26 tackles (23 solos) That number included three solo tackles-for-loss and he assisted on three others. He also assisted on one sack.

Justin Ruberg – The sophomore tight end tied for the team lead with 21 receptions and was second with 242 yards. He also tied for the team lead with six touchdowns while averaging 11.5 yards per catch. Defensively, Ruberg added 16 tackles to the team total. On special teams, Ruberg was the team’s punter, booting the ball 29 times for 819 yards (621 net). He averaged just over 28 yards per punt.

Carson Thompson – The sophomore lineman helped the team anchor the line of scrimmage. Defensively, Thompson pursued the football well. He finished the season with 37 tackles (26 solos). That number included eight solo tackles for loss, and he assisted on four others. Thompson added four sacks a