College football: RCTC faces key division contest
The RCTC football team is primed for a key Southern Division showdown on Saturday..
Control of the Southern Division in the MCAC will be on the lineSaturday when theRochester Community and Technical College football team plays at North Dakota State College of Science.
The two teams were both forced to forfeit games this week (RCTC two and NDSCS one) but they sit atop the Southern Division standings. NDSCS is 3-1 overall and RCTC is now 1-3, but the one win was a division victory.
"This is going to be our biggest test of the year,"RCTC coach Bill Quistorff said.
With the two forfeits, the Yellowjackets record goes from being 3-1 to 1-3, giving them a high sense of urgency. NDSCS is also a stellar foe that has blowout wins in every game this season.
"They're definitely a good offensive team for sure, Quistorff said. "They're good all the way around."
NDSCS is averaging 485 yards and 58.5 points a game on offense. Quarterback Dallas Cook has passed for 988 yards and 13 scores. Two other quarterbacks have thrown for more than 200 yards.
Quistorff said NDSCS has not faced a lot of high-caliber opponents, and certainly not a defense as good as RCTC's. Cook is a mobile QB and Quistorff said the key is to pressure him, something the Yellowjackets have been very good at.
"We need to get him on the run, make him uncomfortable," Quistorff said. "Our interior defensive line really needs to do well."
RCTC gets a big boost with the return of defensive lineman Chad Lewis, who missed the last two games due to injury. Hunter Hauser, an elite defensive tackle, is coming off a two-sack game and Quistorff believes Fazson Chapman, if he can avoid penalties, is due for a break-out game.
"We've been focusing on the little things on the D-line," Quistorff said. "We need them to step up so our three great linebackers can come in and make plays."
Linebacker Tommy Fjelsted, a Mayo grad, earned Southern Division Defensive Player of the Week honors for his huge game in a 28-24 win over Ridgewater. He had 15 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Linebacker Travis Frank of Caledonia intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown in the contest. Cody Stanger of Stewartville leads the team in tackles and had 10 last week.
"I really feel our defense is going to have a big game and help set up our offense to have a big game," Quistorff said.
NDSCS also has a strong defense and features the best defensive line the Yellowjackets will face, Quistorff said.
"We have the skill players," the coach said. "We need our offensive line to step up and be physical.
"It always starts in the trenches," Quistorff added.
Freshman quarterback NickRooney has been re-instated to the team after quitting a week ago. He started the first three games. Sophomore Tanner Menke will start this week, for the second straight game.
"We have some new things in mind," Quistorff said. "We hope to catch them off guard."