RCTC moves its way to victory over rival Central Lakes
RCTC had a season-high 260 yards passing and added 166 yards on the ground to post a 35-12 victory over Central Lakes in MCAC football.
Even when Central Lakes is down, Rochester Community and Technical College always enjoys beating the Raiders.
Saturday's 35-12 win by RCTC over Central Lakes in MCAC football was extra sweet because it came during the Yellowjackets' homecoming game. The Yellowjackets improved to 2-1 and also dropped Central Lakes to 0-3.
“Central Lakes, it’s kind of a rival school,” RCTC coach Derrick Hintz said. “We’ve kind of been the top dogs the last few years. It’s good to beat anybody, but a little extra special to beat Central Lakes.”
RCTC was also coming off a loss to Itasca a week ago.
“I just thought we came out with more energy and played together,” RCTC wide receiver Stephen Lewis said. “That’s what we have to do every time.”
The Yellowjackets had their best passing game of the season as they put up 260 yards through the air with two quarterbacks again splitting time. Billy Maples was 9-for-14 passing for 146 yards and two touchdowns, both to Myanza McCain. Justin Lynn was 10-for-16 passing for 111 yards.
“Coach (Dan) Pippin’s been working hard to get that passing game going,” Hintz said his offensive coordinator.
In last week's loss, the Yellowjackets totaled just 111 yards passing. On Saturday, Lewis surpassed that total himself as he snared 12 catches for 133 yards. That included catching deep balls of 32 and 38 yards.
“I just feel like it was a great job by the O-line and QBs,” Lewis said. “And they just got me the ball.”
The RCTC offensive line also got into the scoring act. In the first quarter, center Felix Foucher bounced on a fumble in the end zone to put the Yellowjackets up 7-0.
RCTC was able to continue its potent ground game. Israel "Speedy" Lozoya topped the 100-yard mark for the second straight week as he gained 103 yards on 19 carries. He had a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, one play after he popped a 20-yard run. Dylan Ingram added 49 yards on 12 carries as RCTC had 166 yards rushing and 436 total yards.
“We knew they couldn’t stop our offense,” Hintz said.
Defensively, RCTC completely shut down the Central Lakes ground game, allowing just 12 yards on 16 attempts.
“I think after last week we definitely tried to make an emphasis on coming out early and start swinging, not letting them come out and hit us first,” RCTC linebacker Conner Loy said. “We have to come out and be physical right away.”
Loy had a pair of big impact plays. He intercepted a pass at the Central Lakes 32 with just 20 seconds left in the first half. On the next play, Maples hit McCain for a 32-yard TD and RCTC had a big score at the end of the half for a 21-6 lead.
Loy blocked a punt after Central Lakes' first drive of the third quarter. That set up a 22-yard scoring drive that Lynn capped with a 15-yard TD run on fourth-and-3. Loy's two big plays helped the Yellowjackets open up a 28-6 lead.
“It feels great,” Loy said. “Obviously, we win as a team, but it’s definitely a personal boost when you can play like that. And just having your teammates putting you in those positions as well when you can trust them in the back, it’s definitely helpful.”
Unable to run, Central Lakes did put up 51 passes, completing 23 for 287 yards. Jastin Butts-Dugar also collected an interception for RCTC in the second half. Jerimiah Boyle and Joshua Franklin picked up a sack each.
Hintz wasn't as pleased with RCTC's overall discipline. The team had 13 penalties for 136 yards.
“I’m pleased with the scoreboard, it’s just the other things we have to clean up,” Hintz said. “Discipline, we are not disciplined and we have to find a way to fix that."
After three straight home games to start the season, the Yellowjackets play four of their next five on the road, including a 3 p.m. game next Saturday at Mesabi Range.
RCTC 35, Central Lakes 12
Central Lakes 0-6-0-6 — 12
RCTC 14-7-7-7 — 35
RCTC — Felix Foucher recovered fumble in end zone (Ethan Forthun kick), 5:41.
RCTC —Myanza McCain 18 pass from Billy Maples (Forthun kick), 0:09.
CL — Anthony Richmond 22 pass from Matt Torres (kick failed), 12:56.
RCTC — McCain 32 pass from Maples (Forthun kick), 0:14.
RCTC — Justin Lynn 15 run (Forthun kick), 11:01.
RCTC — Israel Lozoya 1 run (Forthun kick), 8:54.
CL — Ethan Guerra 23pass from Torres (pass failed), 4:32.
First downs 20 20
Total net yards 299 436
Rushes-yards 16-12 38-166
Passing yards 287 260
Pass att.-comp.-int. 23-51-2 20-32-1
Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-0
Punts-Ave. 5-26.4 4-33.0
Penalties-yards 7-55 13-136
Central Lakes — Riley Niedzielski 4-6, Daryel Bell 2-5, Anthony Richmond 4-3, Landon Jones 1-(-1), Matt Torres 5-(-1). RCTC — Israel Lozoya 19-103, Dylan Ingram 12-49, Justin Lynn 3-26, Cavin Russell 2-6, Billy Maples 2-(-18).
Central Lakes — Matt Torres 14-26, 179 yards, 2 TDs; Landon Jones 9-25, 2 int., 108 yards. RCTC — Billy Maples 9-14, 146 yards, 2 TDs, 1 int.; Justin Lynn 10-16, 111 yards; Cavin Russell 1-2, 3 yards.
Central Lakes — Noah Foster 7-96, Tucker Schultz 4-45, Ethan Guerra 3-47, Paul Meyer 2-19, Jake Moe 2-17, Anthony Richmond 1-22, Caleb Jones 1-16, Daryel Bell 1-14, Justin Miller 1-8, Jackson Ackerman 1-3. RCTC — Stephen Lewis 12-133, Myanza McCain 3-66, Damario Richards 2-18, Dylan Ingram 1-17, Zachary Cowan 1-11, Yaach Chuol 1-3.