Junior Tackle: Rochelle opens season against Byron

Eighth-grader Brandt Waters carries two Byron defenders on his back during Rochelle's game against Byron on Saturday. (Photo by Robin Rethwill)

Seventh-graders win 26-6, fifth-graders edge Tigers 6-0

BYRON — The Rochelle Junior Tackle football program kicked off the 2019 season against Byron on Saturday. The Junior Hubs went 2-2 over four games, with the seventh-graders and the fifth-graders each locking down victories to begin the season.

8th Grade

Rochelle (0-1) fell against Byron by a score of 30-6. The Junior Hubs went about 20 yards on their opening drive before turning the ball over on fourth down. The turnover on downs resulted in a 45-yard touchdown run from Byron, and the ensuing 2-point conversion gave Byron an early 8-0 lead.

Byron added its second touchdown of the game on a special teams miscue from Rochelle when a fourth-down long snap went over the head of punter Erich Metzger. Byron recovered the ball and ran in for the score. After an interception on a pass from Brock Metzger to Tommy Tourdot, Byron went ahead 22-0 with a 50-yard touchdown run and 2-point conversion.

Rochelle got its offense going with two 13-yard passes and one 20-yard pass on its next possession before a fumble gave Byron the ball right back. Byron led 22-0 entering the second half before scoring on a 65-yard-run on the first play of the third quarter to go up 30-0 with the 2-point conversion. Rochelle avoided the shutout with a 5-yard touchdown rush from Erich Metzger in the fourth quarter.

Harley Martinez Nay

7th Grade

Rochelle (1-0) defeated Byron by a score of 26-6. Ethan Goodwin’s 52-yard rush on the second play of the game set up Grant Gensler’s 5-yard rushing touchdown to put the Junior Hubs ahead 6-0. Alex Pemberton then recovered a fumble on Byron’s first offensive snap of the contest, leading to a 23-yard pass from Carson Lewis to Gensler and a 1-yard rushing touchdown from Gensler. Lewis connected with Goodwin for the 2-point play.

Leading 14-0, Rochelle stopped another Byron drive when Goodwin intercepted a pass late in the first quarter. Byron scored its lone touchdown with minimal time remaining in the second quarter. Rochelle opened the fourth quarter with an 80-yard scoring drive capped off by a 2-yard rushing touchdown from Brandyn Metzger.

The Junior Hubs scored one final touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 34-yard pass from Lewis to Gensler on third-and-12. Kaiden Morris led the Rochelle defense with three tackles-for-loss in the second half.


6th Grade

Rochelle (0-1) was shut out against Byron by a score of 28-0. Byron scored two early touchdowns while missing both 2-point plays to go ahead 12-0 before a strip on Rochelle’s next offensive possession led to a 35-yard fumble return for Byron. Byron converted both 2-point plays after its last two touchdowns to force a running clock the remainder of the game.


5th Grade

Rochelle (1-0) went scoreless with Byron for nearly the entire contest before edging out the Tigers by a final score of 6-0. The Junior Hubs scored with roughly 15 seconds remaining in the game when Bobby Tourdot passed the ball to Brody Bruns, resulting in the game’s only touchdown.


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