Southland cruises past Rushford/Peterson

Published 12:06 am Saturday, October 15, 2011

NIck Schmitz celebrates his second-quarter touchdown that came off a blocked punt against Rushford-Peterson Friday night in Adams. - Eric Johnson/

ADAMS — The Southland Rebels rebounded from last week’s 7-0 loss to No. 6 Fillmore Central with a 37-6 punishing of Rushford-Peterson Friday night.

The No. 9 Rebels (6-1 overall) scores included two touchdowns coming off early first-quarter Trojan fumbles and a blocked punt in the second quarter, as they go into the short week looking to decide the Three Rivers Conference championship when they host Caledonia on Wednesday.

“This is Three Rivers football,” Southland head coach Shawn Kennedy said, pleased with Friday’s win.

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The Rebels, who throughout the year has run behind a powerful ground game, seemed to balance Friday night’s offensive attack, coming at Rushford-Peterson on the ground and in the air.

Quarterback Jake Frodl was 10-for-15 for 119 yards with one touchdown and one interception. His favorite target of the night was Tyler Kressin who had five receptions for 72 yards.

Southland's Tyler Kressin runs out of a tackle during the second quarter against Rushford-Peterson Friday night in Adams. - Eric Johnson/

“We just stick to Southland football,” Kressin said. “We have a game plan and if that doesn’t work we have a back-up. We always have a plan.”

The Rebels scored first after recovering a Trojans fumble on the RP’s first series of the game.

Nick Schmitz busted off a 59-yard run that took the ball to RP’s 9-yard line where a few plays later Frodl connected with Schmitz from four yards out at the 9:15 mark. Schmitz ran for 94 yards on eight carries on the night.

“We got our running game going the way it should all the time,” Kennedy said. “And when you’re able to pass it opens up the running lanes.”

Southland recovered another fumble on the Trojans’ second series that ended with Kressin falling on his own fumble in the endzone leading to a 14-0 lead with just over two minutes left in the first.

Kicker Le DeHoogh made it 17-0 from 13 yards out about midway through the second quarter on a drive that included a fourth and 15 conversion coming off a 22-yard pass from Frodl to Kressin.

Schmitz added another score when he recovered a blocked punt in the endzone around three minutes remaining in the half.

RP’s only score came in the first half when Trojans’ quarterback Ethan Wilkemeyer ran it in from three yards out with 1:41 left.

Southland's Ezra Smith pulls down Rushford-Peterson runner Casey McLellan during the first quarter Friday night in Adams. - Eric Johnson/

The Rebels added another score in the fourth quarter when Mike Goergen ran the ball in from three yards out at the 10:53 mark and then Christopher Wolff picked off Wilkemeyer and ran it in from 31 yards out.

While Friday night’s win was a good recovery from last week, the Rebels aren’t resting on their laurels.

“It feels good, but now you just look on to the game after tonight,” said Ben Wolterman who was moved from running back to offensive line, adding some extra muscle up front which helped open up the night’s running game.

“I’ve always been sort of blocking guy, so putting me on the line has been a nice change,” Wolterman said. “I’m happy to be there.

“Putting Wolterman on the line helped,” Kressin said. “He’s a real physical kid.”

Wolterman also led the defense with 11 tackles, four of those unassisted.

This game sets up the clash with No. 7 ranked Caledonia in Class 2A, Wednesday. Caledonia defeated Fillmore Central 21-11 Friday night.

“This will decide the conference championship so let’s go out and have some fun,” Kennedy said.