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RCTC hosts Minnesota West in MCAC state quarterfinals

The RCTC football team begins postseason play and will host Minnesota West in the MCAC state quarterfinals at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

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Rochester Community and Technical College
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The Rochester Community and Technical College football begins the postseason as the Yellowjackets host Minnesota West in the MCAC state quarterfinals at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. This marks the second meeting of the season between the two teams.

Here's a look at Sunday's matchup:

Minnesota West at RCTC

When: 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Rochester Regional Stadium.

Records: RCTC is 4-3, Minnesota West is 3-5 .

Last game: RCTC had its regular-season finale against Vermilion cancelled due to COVID protocols. Minnesota West nipped Minnesota State-Fergus Falls 35-33 in double overtime last week.

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Last meeting: Host Minnesota West defeated RCTC 21-17 back on Sept. 25.

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Minnesota West notes: The Bluejays have not displayed a lot of offense this season as they are averaging just 193.8 yards and 17.4 points a game. The rushing game has really struggled, as the team averages just 21.6 yards per game. Willard Carl Holm passed for 254 yards and two TDs in Minnesota West's win over RCTC earlier this season. He has passed for 1,028 yards with 8 TDs and 10 interceptions this season. Bailey Cowell (40 catches, 2 TDs) is the team's top receiver, and Tommy Lais and Ian Stamer both have 27 catches and 3 TDs. Rashard Anderson has 300 yards rushing, but no one else on the team has more than five. The defense allows 358.9 yards per game, including 241.3 passing. But Minnesota West held RCTC's offense to just 212 yards in the first meeting, including 72 on the ground. DE Izaya Atkinson has been a force and he has 10.5 sacks.

RCTC notes: Having last week off for COVID protocols gave RCTC a chance to rest for the playoffs. The Yellowjackets will need to get their offense on track this time around against Minnesota West if they want to advance in the postseason. The ground game will have to carry on without Israel "Speedy" Lozoya (540 yards, 8.2 average, 4 TDs), who is out for the season with a knee injury. Dylan Ingram led the Yellowjackets with 58 yards and a TD on 19 carries in the first game against Minnesota West. He has rushed for 594 yards, a 4.5 average and 8 TDs this season. The Minnesota West pass defense (just like RCTC's) has been vulnerable this year so RCTC QBs Billy Maples (744 yards passing, 7 TDs, 2 ints.) and Justin Lynn (466 yards, 4 TDs, 2 ints.) could have an opportunity for a big game. But they combined to throw for just 140 yards and no touchdowns in the first meeting. Stephen Lewis (42 catches, 13.0 average, 2 TDs) did have seven catches for 69 yards in the first contest against the Bluejays. RCTC's top tacklers on defense have been linebackers Conner Loy (54 tackles, 2.5 sacks), Alex Derico (49 tackles, 5.5 sacks) and Malachi Mitchell (34 tackles).

Up next: This is an elimination game. The winner will advance to the MCAC state semifinals on Sunday, Oct. 31 .

Guy N. Limbeck / glimbeck@postbulletin.com

Guy N. Limbeck is a Rochester native who has been working at a daily newspaper since 1981. He has worked at the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Guy at 507-285-7724 or glimbeck@postbulletin.com.
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