Austin Donoho knows he only gets to play so many downs of football before his playing days end.
The Rock Falls senior isn't going to waste any of those valuable snaps on the sideline. Donoho starts at receiver and defensive back for the Rockets (1-4) and doesn't leave the field for special teams either.
"You only get to play football for so long," Donoho said. "So, I love being out there all of the time."
So far, he's made it count.
On the offensive side of the ball, he leads the team with 48 receptions for 432 yards and five touchdowns.
The 48 receptions is only eight shy of the SVM area-high from a year ago of 56 caught by Milledgeville's Jordan Harris.
Harris isn't at the top of that list this year, as he has had to take the lion's share of snaps at quarterback for Milledgeville after Kameron DawTyne was injured in Week 2.
Donoho's offensive production also helps replace the void left by Alex Leaf, Steven Armoska and Austin Babcock. The three graduates combined for 153 receptions in their senior season.
This season, Donoho has seen a lot of targets, but quarterback Jake Mammosser has also completed 31 passes to Daegan Wharff and 19 to Connor Cain.
"It's not really about stats for us," Donoho said. "I think we all have a great relationship with Jake, and he does an excellent job of spreading the ball around to everyone."
The offense has had to work the last 3 weeks, as Lutheran, Byron and Winnebago have combined to score 185 points.
"It's not really the offense that I am worried about," Rock Falls coach Scott Berge said. "We've been able to move the ball and score. It's just that we haven't been able to stop anyone."
Next up on the list is the undefeated Stillman Valley Cardinals, who host the Rockets on Friday. The Cardinals have escaped close conference games with Oregon and Byron by seven points to remain at the top of the Big Northern race.
"We can't focus too much on what they are doing," Donoho said. "It's about focusing on what we are doing and getting better."
Stillman is led by fullback Zac Hare, who has rushed for 607 yards and 10 touchdowns.
"The fullback is a load," Berge said. "We'll try to sneak a few guys up in the box, but it's about playing strong up front. He's going to get a few yards, but you just can't let him get going, because then he's really hard to bring down."
With four losses, the Rockets know that the playoffs start now. A fifth loss would eliminate them from playoff contention.
"We definitely know the importance of this game," Donoho said. "We want that chance for the playoffs and know we can't lose again."