A week after Rockford No. 1 turned Pierz upside down, Rockford’s football team resumed Friday, October 1, with a 43:12 win over Minnewaska.
“We got everyone in on both sides of the ball and it is a special moment for this team to be able to celebrate a win on their way home and have a share in the first championship title since 1963,” said coach Dan Houghton. “So proud of these guys for all the time they put in and they believed we could finally get another banner on the wall.”
Houghton said he was glad so many former players came back home for history. He adds: “This is not just about these guys on the field, it’s about our entire program and our community.”
Minnewaska got the ball first and went on the 10-play, 77-yard drive that ended with a 34-yard touchdown run. It was the fifth game in a row that Rockford gave up the early 6-0 lead.
“Our defense struggled on the first drive and then took over completely,” said Houghton. “We were able to move the ball offensive and involve many players on the offensive. Special teams also played well. “
Five games after Minnewaska scored, Rockford’s Patrick Andry walked into the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown run that was set up when quarterback Sam Zilmer linked up with Wes Overton for a 36-yard win.
On his next possession, Zilmer found Overton again, this time with a gain of 25 yards. Caleb Richards finished the drive with a 9-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Henry Skinner moved to Harrison Brun for the 2-point conversion.
Rockford’s offense continued with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Zilmer to Overton. Conner McCracken scored a 4 yard run. Skinner found Afton Kaul for his first catch of the season, which resulted in a 7-yard touchdown as Rockford built a 36-6 half-time lead.
Meanwhile, the defense forced Minnewaska to five three downs and in a row after the touchdown.
In the second half, Rockford added another score before bringing everyone into play on either side of the ball. The final hit came to McCracken after a 35-yard pass from Zilmer.
The Lakers managed to score a goal in the fourth quarter to reach the final 43:12.
Zilmer was 5 for 7 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns. Skinner was 2 for 2 for 10 yards and a score. Overton had four catches for 118 yards and a touchdown. Both McCracken and Kaul had a catch that resulted in touchdowns.
McCracken had nine carries for 58 yards and one touchdown. Logan Stedman rushed for 48 yards five times. Richards gained 22 yards on five carries.
Defensively, Richards led with eight tackles and Andry had six. The five tackles collected included Hayden Johnson, Avery MacDonald, Jaxon Maki, and Wilson Sanderson.
Andry and Alex Altmann each had a quarterback sack, and Overton had an interception. Andry and Edwards each had a fumble recovery and Nolan Perry had a forced fumble.
The Rockets will travel to Montevideo on Friday October 8th to win the championship in the Midstate District Red. Rockford is 4-1 overall and 4-0 in the district game. Montevideo is 1-4 overall.
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