Ferverda, Deming, Brant Beck run for 2 TDs each, lead Zebras past North Miami
McKee leaves in 3rd quarter with injury, but Rochester stays in TRC contention
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Colton Ferverda and Brant Beck each set career highs for rushing yards and rushed for two touchdowns, and Alex Deming also had two touchdown runs for the Rochester
football team in a 46-6 win over North Miami on senior night at Barnhart Field Friday.
Rochester led 16-0 at halftime and had four touchdowns and a 30-yard Parker Wallace field goal on five second-half possessions.
Rochester improved to 7-1 overall and 6-1 in the Three Rivers Conference. They also won for the fourth straight time against North Miami.
Rochester did lose senior wingback-linebacker Gavin McKee to an apparent right leg injury with 4:26 to go in the third quarter. He had to be helped off the field by teammates before leaving on a Gator.
“We think it’s an ankle injury,” Rochester coach Ron Shaffer said. “We think it’s an ankle injury. We’re hoping for the best right now. He’s getting evaluated , and we’ll find out later.”
Lucas Keim had an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for North Miami, who fell to 3-5, 2-5.
Meanwhile, the Zebra defense held North Miami’s Austin Smith, who was coming off back-to-back-to-back 200-yard games against Whitko, Maconaquah and Wabash, to just 39 yards on 16 carries.
“Pretty decent,” Shaffer said of the defense. “The kids reacted well, played really physical up front. I don’t know what Austin Smith ended up with, but it didn’t seem like he got loose and ran all over us, so really proud of our effort tonight.”
In the first half, North Miami had 39 offensive snaps while Rochester had only 15. That included a 17-play North Miami drive in the second quarter that yielded no points.
Yet the Zebras had a 16-0 lead on a 6-yard Deming touchdown run in the first quarter and a 65-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Ferverda’s 23-yard touchdown run on a sweep capped a five-play, 51-yard drive to open the second half and was part of an 11-carry, 159-yard effort. The two-point conversion attempt failed, but Rochester’s Ethan Brock recovered the ensuing onside kick and drove another 47 yards in five plays. On fourth-and-7 from the North Miami 44, Beck, from the right wingback spot, cut inside on a counter and split two defenders and raced in for a touchdown. Another Luhnow two-point conversion run made it 30-0.
“Once I grabbed that ball, I’m looking for a kickout from my brother (Brady) and then just get up the field and just run and make moves on the way up,” Beck said.
Keim’s kickoff return for a score followed, but after Rochester’s Gavin Young recovered North Miami’s onside kick try, the Zebras went on another eight-play, 50-yard drive. Ferverda had a 32-yard run on third-and-7 and finished the drive with an 11-yard touchdown run.
On the Zebras’ first possession of the fourth quarter, the Zebras were facing first-and-23 after a holding penalty when quarterback Aaron Swango faked a give to Deming between right guard and right tackle. As the defense swarmed to Deming, Swango handed the ball to Beck on a counter. He cut up the middle for a first down, made North Miami’s Ryan Meredith miss and then cut back on Grant Wildermuth and followed Maddox Jewell’s block into the end zone.
That capped a four-carry, 110-yard performance for Beck.
Deming finished with 98 yards on 12 carries.
Rochester had 385 yards of offense, all rushing.
“I’d think with what we were doing offensively and the night Deming was having too, he was having some decent yards,” Rochester coach Ron Shaffer said. “They want to stop him, and that opens up a lot of things for us on the offense, and Brant benefitted from that.”
Said Brant Beck of Deming: “He’s an amazing player. I love him on the team.”
The defense took care of the rest.
One week after allowing 33 points and 450 yards against Northfield, Rochester held North Miami to 174 yards of offense.
“I can’t even describe it,” sophomore linebacker Owen Prater said. “Last week, we just had some miscommunication. This week, we excelled and knew what we were doing better. At practice, we were disciplined, disciplined, focused in, just all around better.”
Rochester stayed one game behind TRC leader Tippecanoe Valley in the TRC as Valley routed Wabash 65-19. Southwood and Maconaquah also won their games over Whitko and Manchester, respectively, to stay tied for second with Rochester. Rochester travels to Maconaquah, and Valley travels to Southwood next week.
Rochester 46, North Miami 6
North Miami 0 0 6 0 – 6
Rochester 8 8 20 10 – 46
RHS – Alex Deming 6 run (Payton Luhnow run)
RHS – Deming 65 run (Luhnow run)
RHS – Colton Ferverda 23 run (run failed)
RHS – Brant Beck 44 run (Luhnow run)
NM – Lucas Keim 89 kickoff return (pass failed)
RHS – Ferverda 11 run (run failed)
RHS – Beck 42 run (Parker Wallace kick)
RHS – Wallace 30 FG