Rebels football team overcomes early miscues to beat L/A

Published 11:51 pm Friday, August 29, 2008

ADAMS — The Rebel football team rubbed off a little rust in its season opener to beat Lewiston/Altura 22-6 in Adams Friday night.

After blocking a punt to force a safety to take a 9-6 lead late in the third quarter, Southland scored two touchdowns in a span of just under three minutes to take over the game.

It started when Alan May returned the safety kick 35 yards to the Cardinal 25 yard-line, then Alan May turned a swing pass from Mitch Nagele into a 20-yard gain down the right sideline to set up a 1-yard TD run by Chris May.

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After Southland recovered a Cardinal fumble at the Southland 34-yard line, Alan May added to his night when he turned a simple out pattern into a 66-yard score by shedding a tackler and streaking down the left sideline to put Southland up 22-6 with 1:55 left in the third quarter.

“I just used my speed to get to the outside,” said May, who had seven catches for 171 yards. “Their corners were playing off like 10 yards so that out route was there.”

Alan May was motivated from a first half fumble he had on the Cardinals’ 16 yard line.

“Coach kind of gave me a pep talk and kind of fired me up to go out there and make up for my mistakes,” Alan May said.

Alan May’s lost fumble was one of four turnovers by the Rebels (1-0 overall) Friday.

“We made a lot of mental mistakes, but I could see when they were warming up that they were nervous,” Southland head coach Shawn Kennedy said. “I kept telling them to relax, because I think athletically we can play, but we have to work on fumbles and turnovers. We can’t do that stuff anymore. But it’s nice to have things to work on. If we didn’t have anything to work on after tonight, we’d be in trouble.”

Besides turning the ball over, the Rebels had trouble running against L/A’s front as only one Southland runner ran for over 30 yards and none had more than 80 yards. That caused Kennedy to turn to the passing game in the second half.

“They didn’t adjust too much when we threw to the outside and we kind of picked up on that in the second half,” Kennedy said. “Alan’s a great receiver and he doesn’t go down very easily, he’s just gotta tuck the football when he runs with it.”

The only Southland rusher to break the 70-yard plateau was Sam Noterman, who cut back on the right side of the defense for a 54-yard scamper to give the Rebels an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

“It was a lot of good line play and we work on it a lot,” said Noterman, who ran for 71 yards on eight carries. “It was an outside play so that’s were it was supposed to go.”

While Southland’s offense stalled at times, its defense was nearly dominant as it stopped the Cards on four fourth down conversions and held L/A to just 100 yards on the ground. The Cardinals only score came on an 81-yard kickoff return by Jay Peoples to open the second half. Peoples was virtually untouched on the play as he followed his blocking down the left sideline.

But the Rebel defense prevailed in the end as it was led by Nic Poshusta, who had two sacks.

“I was just trying to time it out,” Poshusta said. “He had a way were he would get down lower on a longer cadence and he stood up a little bit when they went on the go right away.”

Southland will travel to Onalaska Lutheran next Friday at 7 p.m.


First quarter

(S) 54-yard TD run Sam Noterman (Dan Schneider kick) (5 plays, 76 yards) 3:31

Second quarter

No scoring

Third quarter

(L/A) Jay Peoples 81-yard kick return (kick failed) 11:46

(S) Ben Wolterman blocked punt for safety 5:48

(S) Chris May 1-yard TD (kick failed) (3 plays for 24 yards) 4:39

(S) Mitch Nagele 66-yard TD pass to Alan May (Schneider kick) (1 play for 66 yards) 1:55

Fourth quarter

No scoring


Southland rushing: Sam Noterman, 8-for-71 yards, 1 TD; Ben Wolterman, 6-for-27 yards; Mike Churchill, 2-for-22 yards; Henry Mullenbach, 1-for-11 yards; David Schotanus, 5-for-10 yards; Chris May, 4-for-3 yards, 1 TD; Camden Hurd, 1-for-1 yard; Mitch Nagele, 4-for- -4 yards

Southland passing: Mitch Nagele, 9-for-15, 179 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Southland receiving: Alan May, 7 for 171 yards, 1 TD; Chris May, 2-for-27 yards; Brock Bendtsen, 1-for-16 yards

Southland defense: Nic Poshusta, 2 sacks; Ben Wolterman blocked punt (safety)

L/A rushing: Brandon Hammann, 10-for-44 yards; Trevor Ruhoff, 12-for-32 yards; Sean Nelson, 4-for-16 yards; Justin Puetz, 6-for-8 yards; Jay Peoples, 1-for- -2 yards; Cole Kukowski, 4-for- -2 yards

L/A passing: Kukowski, 7-for-16 for 72 yards

L/A receiving: Hammann, 1-for-8 yards; Ruhoff, 2-for-30 yards; Adam Neumann, 3-for-11 yards; Cole Weaver, 1-for-4 yards; Travis Weaver, 1-for-19 yards

Penalties: 6-for-45 yards

L/A defense: Travis Weaver, 1 INT