MHS can't solve Lutheran on either side of the ball

Mendota’s Damien Hampton attempts to chase down Rockford Lutheran quarterback Joshua Oetting on Sept. 13 at the MHS field. (Reporter photo)

MENDOTA – Mendota simply had no solution for Rockford Lutheran – on either side of the ball.

The Trojans didn’t even come close to the century mark in total offensive yards, while the Crusaders marched up and down the field with little resistance. The result was a lopsided 47-0 victory for Lutheran in a Big Northern Conference game on Sept. 13 at the MHS field.

Mendota fell to 0-3 overall and in league play, while Lutheran moved to 2-1 overall and in the BNC.

For Lutheran, it took the game’s opening kickoff and started what became five straight possessions resulting in a touchdown. For the Trojans, they went all four quarters without getting the ball past the 50-yard line. Mendota’s furthest advancement was to its own 44-yard line on the final possession of the game. The Trojans finished the contest running 27 plays from scrimmage, gaining 56 total yards and picking up two first downs. Conversely, Lutheran’s offense called 51 plays and piled up 366 yards. The Crusaders moved the chains 24 times.

A large chunk of Lutheran’s yards came from its big, fast and elusive running back, Tiger Brown. The 6-2, 205-pound senior carried the ball 16 times for 182 yards. He scored the first four Crusader touchdowns that guided his team to a 34-0 halftime lead.

Lutheran accepted the game’s opening kick and started the first series at its own 17-yard line. Eleven plays and nearly half a quarter later, Brown capped off the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run at the 6:18 mark. Joshua Oetting kicked the extra point.

Mendota’s first-half offensive possessions resulted in two punts, a lost fumble and an interception. The Crusaders scored on every one of their ensuing drives.

The Trojans’ first punt gave Lutheran the ball back at its own 43-yard line. The Crusaders took more than five minutes off the clock when they ran 10 plays covering 57 yards, the final play being a 7-yard TD run by Brown. Oetting’s extra-point kick made it 14-0 early in the second period.

Mendota punted again on its next series and Lutheran set up shop at its own 36-yard line. The Crusaders wasted little time in celebrating their third touchdown. Brown took the first play from scrimmage and rambled 64 yards to paydirt. Lutheran’s two-point conversion attempt was no good.

The Trojans turned the ball over on their next two offensive possessions and Lutheran capitalized on both. The first miscue was a fumble that was pounced on by Lutheran’s Elijiah Waller at the Mendota 19-yard line. Three plays later, Brown plunged into the end zone from the 2-yard line and Oetting converted the PAT kick with 4:19 left in the half.

Then, Mendota quarterback Ted Landgraf had a pass picked off by the Crusaders’ Tyler Johnson at the Trojan 29-yard line. Lutheran finalized the short drive on an 11-yard punishing run to the end zone by 250-pound running back Joel Fambro with 29 seconds before intermission. Oetting’s extra-point kick was good for a 34-0 halftime score.

Lutheran added one touchdown in the each of the second-half quarters. The Trojans punted the ball away of their first two possessions of the third quarter. The second punt came from their own 5-yard line and gave Lutheran prime field position at the Mendota 28-yard line. Quarterback Oetting called his own number on the final play of the short drive, slicing into the end zone from 2 yards out with less than a minute left in the third stanza. That made the score 40-0 and resulted in a running clock for the remainder of the game. The Trojans managed to block the extra-point kick.

Using its second string, Lutheran put one more touchdown on the board with 2:14 left in the contest on a 1-yard TD run by Anthony King Jr. Oetting’s PAT kick split the uprights.

Landgraf completed six passes for 40 yards for the Trojans. Emilio Perez had two receptions for 6 yards. Cody Jenner picked up 14 rushing yards on three carries.

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