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MENDOTA — Mendota’s football season got off to a late start after an hour and a half lightning delay, but for Trojans it was worth the wait.
Mendota absolutely dominated on both sides of the ball Friday as it cruised to a 46-6 victory over Rich South.
Right out of the gate the Trojans showed how explosive their offense can be as quarterback James Carroll faked out three defenders and bounced outside for a 74-yard touchdown run.
Ryan Reeder added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
“We are running a bit of a different offense from a year ago,” MHS coach Brock Sondgeroth said. “James does a good job of reading the defense and really makes it tough to stop the offense.”
After the score, it was the Trojan defense’s turn to shine.
On third-and-8, the Stars connected on a screen pass from Nicholas Cooks to Lemont Brooks Jr.
However, Brooks Jr. fumbled the ball and Mendota recovered.
On the ensuing drive, runs of 9 and 13 yards by Wyatt Martinson kept the drive alive before an offsides on fourth down gave the Trojans first-and-goal.
Carroll the found the end zone once again to push the lead to 14-0.
Rich South then turned the ball over on downs and the two teams traded interceptions.
That allowed the Trojan offense to get back to work.
Martinson, Carroll and Garet Zinke carried the ball down the field before Carroll reached the pylon and gave Mendota a 21-0 lead heading into halftime. The second half was no different.
On third-and-7, Reeder intercepted Cooks’ pass and returned it 67 yards to the 5-yard line.
“The guys up front on the defensive line really did a nice job pressuring the quarterback,” Carroll said. “That allowed our DBs to be aggressive and make some plays.”
Moments later, Carroll found Reeder in the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown pass and a 27-0 lead after a missed extra point by Joe Myers.
On the next Rich South possession, the Stars were stopped on three straight plays and forced to try a punt, but the snap skidded across the turf and the Trojan offense started on the 13-yard line.
Jared Fritz scored on a 9-yard run and the Trojans led 34-0.
Just as they did throughout the entire game, the Trojan defense stopped the Stars once again, and after a 20-yard punt, Mendota took over on downs.
Martinson carried the bulk of the load on the drive with runs of 13 and 12 yards before breaking free for a 26-yard touchdown.
Shortly into the fourth quarter, Rich South went to the air as Mendota allowed just 38 yards rushing in the contest.
Cooks connected with Demontre Hall for 38 yards, which set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Brooks Jr. to finally crack the scoring column.
With 38 seconds left, Cooks fumbled the ball again and Cole Sampson lived every defensive lineman’s dream as he picked up the fumble on the 21-yard line and rumbled into the end zone to cap the 46-6 victory.
“Our goal was to keep Rich South under 150 yards of offense,” Sondgeroth said. “To hear that we did that (103 total yards) is outstanding.”
For the game, Martinson had 125 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, while Carroll added 122 yards and three touchdowns on seven carries while also throwing for a score.
Mendota plays at home Friday against Johnsburg. It is varsity only and starts at 7 p.m. Brad Martin Sr. can be reached at 220-6939, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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