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  • Val T.

Rochester routs Northfield, stays within game of Peru in TRC

Updated: Oct 1, 2023

Ferverda, Deming, Beck combine for 8 TDs, Meadows catches TD pass


Sports Editor, RTC

Brant Beck

Brant Beck ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns, and Alex Deming ran for 137 yards and three touchdowns, and the Rochester defense held Northfield to just two first downs in recording its third shutout in five games in a 62-0 win on senior night at Barnhart Field Friday.

Colton Ferverda ran for 66 yards and two touchdowns and also caught one of Carson Paulik’s two touchdown passes. Senior Wesley Meadows caught the other touchdown pass, getting open behind the defense and hauling in a 51-yard pass from Paulik, muscling his way out of a tackle attempt from Northfield’s C.J. Long and storming into the end zone.

Alex Deming

Rochester beat Northfield for the second straight year. Prior to 2022, Northfield had won six of seven meetings against the Zebras.

Rochester is 5-2 overall and 5-1 in the Three Rivers Conference. Northfield fell to 2-5, 2-4.

In other TRC games Friday, Peru routed Southwood 61-7, and Maconaquah beat Lewis Cass 43-26.

Peru still leads the TRC at 6-0, and Rochester and Maconaquah are 5-1. Southwood, who suffered their second conference loss, hosts Rochester next Friday.

Rochester scored touchdowns on three of their first five plays from scrimmage to build a 21-0 lead barely seven minutes into the game, and the lead ballooned to 48-0 at halftime.

A running clock was instituted per the IHSAA Mercy Rule in the second half. The Zebras scored on nine of their 10 possessions before backups were summoned.

Meanwhile, Northfield’s first 10 possessions resulted in seven punts and three turnovers.

Northfield fullback Turner Stephens was coming off a 143-yard rushing game against Wabash last week, but his longest carry against Rochester was three yards.

“Pretty good,” Rochester coach Ron Shaffer said. “We challenged Brady Beck and Xavier Vance to really clog the middle up, and they did a nice job of doing that. Our ends closed well. I think we controlled the line of scrimmage.”

Rochester is 4-1 since Deming moved from inside linebacker to defensive end.

“The d-line was definitely dominant tonight,” Deming said. “In the triple option, we all have our rules, so basically, manning quarterback, fullback and pitch man, and everybody did their rules all the way.”

The first touchdown came on Beck’s 49-yard run as he followed a Deming block on a sweep around the left side.

Then came Meadows’ touchdown catch on Rochester’s third offensive snap and a 49-yard Deming run on their fifth.

Rochester has scored 40 or more points in a game 15 times since the start of the 2021 season.

“A lot of good execution tonight, I would say,” Shaffer said of the offense. “Nobody really stood out to me. We still have things we can improve on.”

Brant Beck followed an army of blockers around the left side for a 19-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

On the next drive, Rochester faced a third-and-22, and Ferverda lined up as a slot receiver on the left side and caught a 32-yard pass from Paulik, taking a rare snap out of the shotgun formation with 4:03 left in the half.

Brant Beck’s 59-yard run on the next drive set up a 2-yard run from Ferverda.

After a Northfield fumble that Peyton Young recovered, Ferverda had runs of 21 and 4 yards to make it 48-0 with 25.5 seconds left in the half.

Ferverda reflected on senior night of the progress of the program. Rochester lost to Northfield 62-0 when Ferverda was a freshman.

“A lot,” Ferverda said of the progress of the program. “We love coach Shaffer. He pushes a lot to just be greater every day. I like his motivation and everything else. I really like it.”

A Dylan Hook block helped spring Deming for a 55-yard run down the right sideline down to the Northfield 5 on the first play from scrimmage of the second half, and he scored from seven yards out two plays later.

After another Northfield fumble, Rochester gained possession on the Northfield 19, and Deming scored on an 11-yard run between left guard and tackle to complete the scoring.

Brady Beck appeared to have his first varsity touchdown on the final play of the third quarter after taking a handoff from Maddox Jewell after Jewell intercepted a Jake Perney pass at the Rochester goal line and sprinted down the left sideline with it before handing it off to Beck, but an illegal crackback block penalty on the Zebras negated the score.

Still, the outcome was much different than last week’s 34-23 loss to Peru.

“We just need to get bigger and stronger, but it’s a little too late for that, so we just need to get faster at this point,” Ferverda said.

Rochester 62, Northfield 0

Northfield 0 0 0 0 – 0

Rochester 21 27 14 0 – 62

First quarter

RHS – Brant Beck 49 run (Parker Wallace kick)

RHS – Wesley Meadows 51 pass from Carson Paulik (Brant Beck run)

RHS – Alex Deming 49 run (run failed)

Second quarter

RHS – Beck 19 run (Wallace kick)

RHS – Colton Ferverda 32 pass from Paulik (kick failed)

RHS – Ferverda 2 run (Wallace kick)

RHS – Ferverda 4 run (Wallace kick)

Third quarter

RHS – Deming 7 run (Wallace kick)

RHS – Deming 11 run (Wallace kick)

Fourth quarter

(no scoring)

Top Left: Wesley Meadows #48

Top Right Brant Beck #22

Middle Left: Carson Paulik #10 (Holding) Parker Walace #14 (Kicking)

Top Right: Brady Beck #55 Colton Ferveda #7

Bottom: Carson Paulik #10

Photos: Paul Deming

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