Junior Tackle: Rochelle takes down Rockton for three wins

Eighth-grader Bo Lundquist runs behind lead blocker Cohen Haedt during the Rochelle Junior Tackle football game against Rockton on Saturday. (Photo by Robin Rethwill)

Seventh-graders receive forfeit as Junior Hubs sweep Saturday action

ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Junior Tackle teams returned from a one-week hiatus to host Rockton at Helms Park on Saturday afternoon. All three teams that competed on Saturday earned victories, while the seventh-graders received a forfeit due to Rockton not having a seventh-grade team. Rochelle will conclude the regular season at Winnebago this weekend.

8th Grade

Rochelle dominated Rockton on Saturday, winning 46-12 to remain undefeated on the season. The Junior Hubs (6-0) moved the ball well on their opening drive, with Andrew Eyster breaking off a 31-yard run before quarterback Cohen Haedt kept the ball for a 20-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Rochelle scored again later in the quarter, when Haedt connected with Holden Liebhaber for a 16-yard touchdown pass after connecting on 26-yard and 38-yard passes.

Leading 16-0, Rochelle found the end zone early in the second quarter, where Caiden Redlarczyk rumbled forward for a 10-yard touchdown run. Redlarczyk added a 22-yard touchdown later in the second quarter, helping the Junior Hubs command a 30-0 halftime lead.

Rochelle scored on a 65-yard kickoff return by Redlarczyk to start the third quarter. Luke Chadwick helped the Junior Hubs clinch their win, rushing for a 1-yard touchdown during the fourth quarter. Rochelle totaled 319 yards in the victory, while the defense held Rockton to 13 total yards. Haedt finished with three carries for 46 yards and Bo Lundquist followed with three carries for 42 yards. Tyson Pavlak and Sebastian Albertson each had three tackles on defense.

6th Grade

Rochelle outlasted Rockton 14-6 in a defensive battle on Saturday. Eli Underwood sparked the offense for the Junior Hubs (4-2), rushing for a 12-yard gain before Korbin Milos followed with a 10-yard gain during the first quarter. Underwood then exploded for a 46-yard touchdown rush that gave Rochelle its first lead of the game. With Rochelle leading 8-6 late in the first quarter, Quentin Ansteth rushed for a 25-yard gain before following with a 10-yard in the second quarter.

Underwood’s 28-yard rush on a first-and-25 down allowed the Junior Hubs to move the sticks before halftime. Rochelle’s second-half highlights included a 12-yard carry from Ansteth during the third quarter and a 10-yard touchdown run from Underwood during the fourth quarter. The Junior Hubs totaled 239 yards in the game, while the defense held Rockton to 123 total yards.

Underwood led Rochelle’s offense, rushing for 101 yards on six carries while Ansteth totaled 14 carries for 91 yards in the win. Vaughn Manning caught two passes for 10 yards and Roger Navarro finished with three tackles on defense. Jaycob Hammer rushed two times for 12 yards.

5th Grade

Rochelle took down Rockton 16-14 on Saturday. The Junior Hubs (4-1-1) were shut out during the first quarter, but the offense gained steam during the second quarter, where Dominic Escatel escaped defenders for a 13-yard rush before Landon Johnson hit the ground running for a 22-yard gain. Noah Hayden followed with a 21-yard rush and an 11-yard rush, setting up a 4-yard touchdown run from Escatel that gave Rochelle its first lead of the fifth-grade contest.

Rochelle’s second-quarter highlights included a 10-yard carry from Escatel and another 11-yard carry from Hayden. With Rochelle leading 8-6 in the fourth quarter, Hayden exploded for a 30-yard run that sparked the team’s final scoring drive, which was capped off by a 40-yard touchdown run from Bentley Etes. The Junior Hubs held a slim advantage in total yards, outgaining Rockton 258-252. Hayden carried the ball 10 times for 102 yards to lead the offense.

Escatel finished with 11 carries for 62 yards, while Johnson added six carries for 43 yards. Braxton Rosenthal compiled a team-high four tackles, while Brycen Williams added three.