Rebels stay unbeaten with road win

EYOTA — A trio of touchdowns in the second half Friday night broke open a tie game and gave the Southland Rebels a 35-14 win over the Dover-Eyota Eagles.

This football game was a back-and-forth affair throughout the first half with the lead exchanging hands. D-E scored first after an interception set up a short drive. This put the home team up 7-0 only a couple of minutes into the game.

"Their defender jumped the route out in the flat and we turned it over on our first possession," Southland coach Shawn Kennedy said. "They scored right away, but then we came back with a nice drive and chewed up yardage on the ground."

Nick Schmitz scored the first of his three touchdowns early in the second quarter and Lee DeHough added the extra point to tie the game. After the defense held, the Rebels got the ball back and once again marched to paydirt.

After taking a 14-7 lead on another rushing touchdown from Schmitz, the Rebels defense was unable to hold it. The Eagles went on a drive and scored with 30 seconds left in the second quarter and it was tied at halftime.


"It wasn't pretty in the first half," Kennedy said. "We're struggling to find our identity after the season-ending injury to Mike Goergen and there was no passion in the first half. The guys regrouped at halftime, then we came out in the second half and played good football."

The visiting Rebels scored a touchdown in the third quarter as Schmitz got them the lead back with a 26-yard run. The senior running back has picked up the slack in Goergen's absence and carried the rushing load in this win.

"We had a nice drive in the third quarter and Nick finished it off," Kennedy said. "This year's team is a little different from the past in that we're able to go on long drives. We had 228 yards rushing on the night, so the offensive line opened some holes."

Running the ball successfully on offense allowed the Southland defense to put the clamps on D-E in the second half. For the second straight week, the Rebels defense pitched a shutout in the second half. They held the Eagles to only 130 yards of total offense.

Chris Wolff also had a rushing touchdown for Southland. The touchdown from Wolff came early in the fourth quarter and the Rebels put it away.

Capping it off through the air, the Rebels scored with three minutes left to play. Alex Ruechel caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Decker Bendtsen. The fifth extra point of the game was added by DeHough and the Rebels remained unbeaten.

Dover-Eyota (0-2) was led offensively by Jordan Donlinger, who had 51 yards rushing on 13 carries and scored a touchdown. The Eagles had 58 yards passing and 72 rushing in the loss.

The offense moved the ball in the second half and the Rebels finished with 268 offensive yards. Schmitz led the way with 119 yards rushing on 20 carries. The Southland defense forced four D-E fumbles and recovered three of them.


In the air game, Bendtsen finished 4 of 11 for 40 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Ruechel caught all four of the passes from Bendtsen on the night.

"The passing attack is still a work in progress, but we hit a few quick slants," Kennedy concluded. "We played physical Southland style football in the second half. We improved on doing the little things correctly and it led to sustained drives."

Southland (2-0) finishes up the non-divisional portion of its schedule next Friday night with a home game against Plainview-Elgin-Millville.

Southland 35, Dover-Eyota 14



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