College Football: Rochester fights off Warriors’ rally
ROCHESTER -- The visitors from west-central Minnesota to the Rochester Regional Sports Stadium on Saturday evening showed an over-abundance of courtesy spotting the home team a 21-0 lead.
ROCHESTER - The visitors from west-central Minnesota to the Rochester Regional Sports Stadium on Saturday evening showed an over-abundance of courtesy spotting the home team a 21-0 lead.
When Ridgewater College dispensed with the formalities due the MCAC’s most dominating program, it was a new game.
The Warriors outscored Rochester Community and Technical College 24-7 the rest of the way but still end up losing once again to the Yellowjackets, 28-24.
Statistically, the Willmar college had the advantage in first downs (20-12), total net yards (271-243) and penalty yards assessed (50-135), but whiffed on four extra-point attempts while the Jackets’ kicker Ruan Albuquerque was 4-for-4.
The South Division opener was the first loss for the Warriors, who started 2-0 vs. the North Division. Rochester (1-0, 2-1) was coming off a loss at Brainerd to Central Lakes. The Jackets’ looked vulnerable and it appeared Warriors’ coach Rob Baumgarn had the talent to beat their nemesis for the first time since 2005.
Rochester quarterback Tanner Menke ran for a TD and threw for another, sandwiching an interception return for a score, putting the Jackets up by 21 points less than three minutes into the second quarter.
The Warriors finally answered with a seven play 58-yard drive topped by DaShawn Bell plowing in from the 2-yard line. Tony Ayala’s 29-yard pass to Eddie Collins picked up half the drive’s yardage.
An interception set up a 39-yard drive with Ayala hooking up with Kevlin Jones for a 23-yard score with 1:29 left in the second. Menke, who backed up Nick Rooney the first three games, was making his first start after starting as a freshman. Rooney subsequently quit the team, the Rochester Post-Bulletin reported. Menke directed a six-play, 69-yard scoring drive in the next minute to put his team up 28-12 at half.
The second half was all Ridgewater. The defense allowed the home team just two first downs and no points.
The Warriors’ offense was stymied, too. A fault center snap by Rochester handed Ridge the ball at the two. Running back Dominick Wise got the touchdown when he recovered a teammate’s fumble in the end zone with 4:35 left in the fourth quarter.
After the defense made another stop, back-up QB Dimitri Levertte engineered a 82-yard drive, keyed by a 17-yard DaShawn Bell catch with 15-yards tacked on for roughing Levertte. Wise went over from the 2-yard line at 1:11 making it 28-24. A kick conversion failed for the second time; two tries by passing earlier also failed.
Ridgewater College next plays Saturday at Fergus Falls.
Rochester 28, Ridgewater 24
Ridgewater (0-1, 2-1) 0 12 0 12- 24
Rochester (1-0, 2-1) 7 21 0 0- 28
Roc – Tanner Menke 4 run (Ruan Albuquerque kick) 12:06, 1st
Roc – Travis Frank 31 interception return (Albuquerque kick) 12:14, 2nd
Roc – Marley Allison 44 pass from Menke (Albuquerque kick) 9:41, 2nd
Rgw – DaShawn Bell 2 run (kick fail) 3:55, 2nd
Rgw – Kevlin Jones 23 pass from Tony Ayala (pass fail), 1:29, 2nd
Roc – Patrick Bolten 3 pass from Menke (Albuquerque kick) 0:33, 2nd
Rgw – Dominick Wise fumble recovery in end zone (pass fail) 4:35, 4th
Rgw – Wise 2 run (kick fail) 1:11, 4th
First downs: 20 … Rushing: 33-64 … Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 18-39-207-1 … Fumbles lost: 1 … Penalties: 6-50
Rushing: DaShawn Bell 11-38, Dimitri Leverette 11-16, Dominick Wise 7-16, Matt Alberts 1-1, Tony Ayala 3-(-8) … Passing: Ayala 8-24-93-1, Levertte 10-15-114-0 ... Receiving: Chris Tidwell 6-65, Kevlin Jones 3-36, DaShawn Bell 3-24, Ryan Grunke 21-9, Eddie Collins 1-29, Greg McPherson 1-12, Brandon Zuidema 1-12, Wise 1-10 … Punting: 8-34.1 … Interceptions: Josh Hall 1-5, Dennis Archibald 1-10 … Fumble recoveries: Banypiny Chan 1-0 … Tackles (solo-assist): Adihia Bell 7-2, Luke Blanch 7-2, Quieron King 4-2, Jeremy Boykins 4-1, Brooklyn Shurelds 2-3, Jack Goeman 3-1, Justin Norwood 2-1 … QB sacks: Boykins 2
First downs: 12 … Rushing: 33-88 … Passing (com-att-yds-int.): 11-27-155-2 … Fumbles lost: 0 … Penalties: 16-135
Rushing: Vigil Hammond 20-117, Lyle Jennings 3-7, Tanner Meneke 7-(-19) … Passing: Menke 11-27-155-2 ... Receiving: Marley Allison 5-100, Pat Bolton 3-45 … Punting: 9-35.8 … Interceptions: Travis Frank … … Fumble recoveries: Andrew Bell … Sacks: Hunter Hauser 2, Tom Fjelstade 2