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Harvard hits stride

When it rains, it pours.

After a nearly 3-hour delay at halftime due to lightning and heavy rain, Rock Falls coach Scott Berge predicted some sloppy play once the Rockets’ game against Harvard resumed around 11:30 p.m. Thursday.

“I don’t think either team is going to be able to play with the same intensity as the first half,” Berge said during the long halftime break. “Honestly, I expect to see some sloppy football. Hopefully we can stay away from the sloppy stuff and get our game going.”

Harvard (1-0) was the one that got its game going, as it chewed up big chunks of yardage through the second half. It finished off four of its first six drives with TDs, while Rock Falls threw a pair of interceptions and lost a fumble on a kickoff.

The end result was a 47-16 Harvard victory.

Rock Falls broke through with 5:38 left in the fourth quarter, as Jacob Mammosser hooked up with Connor Cain for a 12-yard TD strike, then Austin Donoho for the 2-point conversion.

After Jonathan Buckley picked up a fumble and returned it 32 yards to the Harvard 8, Mammosser connected with Donoho for a TD and Daegan Wharff for the conversion.
But Ben Platt’s 38-yard TD scamper stopped that momentum in its tracks, and the Hornets held on from there.

Mammosser threw for 199 yards, with two TDs and two INTs. Donoho had 9 catches for 73 yards; the Rockets ran for just 16 yards.

Jose Mejia finished with 94 yards rushing, and christian Kramer added 89. Peyton Schneider threw for 67 yards, 43 going to Dustin Nolen.

The Rockets (0-1) had their game going early on, despite a stout Harvard defense and the officials trying to slow things down due to the heat.

Extra water breaks and longer waits between changes of possession all seem to cramp Rock Falls’ frenetic style of offense in the first half.

“The refs kept telling us to slow down, so we really couldn’t push the tempo like we want to,” Rock Falls quarterback Jacob Mammosser said. “But toward the end of the first quarter, we really started rolling.”

Rock Falls ran 41 first-half plays compared to Harvard’s 22, and that included drives of 14, 10 and 10 plays.

But the Rockets came away with no points, as all five drives saw Rock Falls turn the ball over on downs.

Harvard, meanwhile, made the most of its opportunities. On its second series, quarterback Schneider connected with Coty Reilly on a 24-yard TD pass, then Mejia broke off a 60-yard TD scamper on the next possession.

Kramer’s 4-yard scoring run - set up by his own 28-yard run three plays earlier, gave the Hornets a 21-0 lead at the break.

“We didn’t really play that bad on defense,” Donoho said. “We just gave up a couple of big plays, and a couple of them went for scores.”

Mammosser threw for 199 yards, with two TDs and two INTs. Donoho had 9 catches for 73 yards; the Rockets ran for just 16 yards.

Mejia finished with 94 yards rushing, and Kramer added 89. Schneider threw for 67 yards, 43 going to Nolen.

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