ROCK FALLS – Jacob Mammosser reached his milestone, but that’s not what he really wanted.
The Rock Falls junior quarterback passed for 275 yards and eclipsed 5,000 yards in his career, but an early four-touchdown deficit was too much to overcome for the Rockets in a 57-34 Big Northern West loss to Mendota on Friday night at Hinders Field.
“It’s a lot of yards, but it doesn’t really matter how many yards I throw for,” said Mammosser, who ran for three touchdowns and passed for one.
“I could throw for a thousand yards in a game, but I’d rather have the win. It’s cool to have that, but it’s not like I’m going to go celebrate.”
The Rockets (1-6, 0-5) found themselves down 28-0 less than 8 minutes into the game.
Rock Falls outscored Mendota (3-4, 1-3) the rest of the way, but it was far too little, far too late. The Trojans were led by Wyatt Martinson, who had 24 carries for 246 yards and four touchdowns. He went for 205 in the first half alone.
Mendota outgained Rock Falls 522-333. The Trojans ran for 427 yards.
“We got down real fast, but I’m proud of our team. We battled back,” Mammosser said. “That large of a deficit is tough to overcome.”
The Rockets got on the scoreboard with its defense delivering a safety after a booming 53-yard punt by Daegan Wharff to the Mendota 1. On Mendota’s first play, Rock Falls’ defense smothered Trojans fullback Jimmy Bruno behind the goal line. The play made it 28-2 with 2:30 left in the first quarter.
On its ensuing possession, Rock Falls scored its first touchdown. A 40-yard pass from Mammosser to Connor Cain (7 catches, 82 yards) on fourth-and-17 set up a 5-yard TD run by Mammosser. That made it 28-8 with 5 seconds left in the opening quarter.
Mendota followed up a 28-point first quarter with a 22-point second quarter to reach the half-century mark.
The Rockets had an 84-yard TD drive in the quarter, highlighted by a 22-yard Mammosser to Austin Donoho connection on fourth-and-9. Mammosser also hit Cain for 17 yards. Two plays later, Mammosser went the final yard then added the two-point conversion, making it 36-16 with 7:33 left in the half.
After Mendota made it 50-16, Donoho busted an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, making it 50-22 with 1:35 until intermission.
“I just saw a hole and hit it, and it turned out for a score,” said Donoho, who also had nine catches for 74 yards. The return TD was his first. “It felt good, but it’s more about the team. I’m still not happy.”
The Rockets drove 67 yards for a TD with 6:36 left in the third quarter. Mammosser had a 24-yard pass to Brendon LeBarron to start the march that ended with a 16-yard Mammosser run.
Rock Falls scored the game’s final points with 6:18 to play. It moved 56 yards. LeBarron had an 18-yard run and Mammosser hit Donoho for 10 yards on fourth-and-10. Mammosser hit Wharff from 3 yards out for the score.