‘Shaffe’ at home: Strong rushing nights for Deming, Luhnow lead Rochester past NM in coach’s return
Defense records first shutout since 2017
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
DENVER –- Alex Deming ran for 122 yards and three touchdowns, and Payton Luhnow added a career-high 112 yards and two touchdowns on the ground as the Rochester football team rolled to a 56-0 win over host North Miami at Tim DuBois Field Friday.
Defensively, the Zebras recorded their first shutout since an 8-0 win over Wabash in the 2017 season opener. Offensively, Rochester scored touchdowns on eight of their nine possessions.
Rochester improved to 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the Three Rivers Conference. North Miami dropped to 0-8, 0-7. They have lost 15 straight games dating back to last year.
The 56-point margin of victory was the largest for Rochester in a game since a 63-0 win over Wabash on Sept. 3, 2010.
Antonio Schlosser, Gavin McKee and Zachary Schlosser also had touchdown runs for Rochester.
Zachary Schlosser’s 23-yard touchdown run with 1.7 seconds left was the first of his career. He also had an interception that set up a score in the third quarter.
Colton Ferverda contributed 64 yards rushing and also had a 12-yard reception from Aaron Swango for the Zebras.
Parker Wallace made six of his seven extra point attempts.
When Antonio Schlosser ran five yards for a touchdown and then tacked on the two-point conversion with 4:17 left in the third quarter, Rochester led 42-0, and the rest of the game was played with a running clock.
Meanwhile, Rochester held North Miami leading rusher Bradyn Fennell, a junior, to five yards on the ground. North Miami had 38 yards of total offense.
The game marked the return to North Miami for Rochester first-year coach Ron Shaffer. He is a 1991 North Miami grad.
“We really liked the way they tackled,” Shaffer said of his defensive players. “Secondary played much better than we had the last few weeks, and so I’m really excited for what they were able to do. We got an interception out of Zach Schlosser tonight, getting his first action, and (he made a) nice break on that. The kids played good, fundamental disciplined defense.”
Rochester drove 78 yards in 10 plays, all runs, on their opening possession after forcing a North Miami three-and-out. The Zebras converted a third-and-13 on a 15-yard Luhnow run, and Deming had five consecutive carries later in the drive, including a 4-yard touchdown.
The next drive went 52 yards and included a 15-yard Ferverda run, a 12-yard scramble from quarterback Aaron Swango and a 14-yard Antonio Schlosser carry before Deming carved through the line for a 10-yard touchdown run.
With North Miami defensive tackles Ross Gosnell and Brayden Hovermale seemingly pinching in to try and stop Rochester’s renown fullback trap play to Deming, the Zebras went outside, having success on both the sweep and counter plays on their next drive to wingbacks like Luhnow, Ferverda and Antonio Schlosser.
North Miami came out in a four-man front on defense. The Zebras expected North Miami to play a three-man front and had to adjust quickly.
“We just felt like it was a weakness we saw on film,” Shaffer said. “We thought for sure we could challenge the perimeter of their defense. We still wanted to establish the fullback, but it was much easier for us to take that approach, so it was nice.”
North Miami coach Joe Grant said his team hustled and hit harder defensively than last week’s 48-7 loss to Wabash. They were determined to rein Deming in. But their tackling technique needs improvement.
“Going into tonight, 60 percent of their snaps were to Deming, and they like to run trap a lot and the down play behind (Brady) Beck to the left,” North Miami coach Joe Grant said of his defensive game plan. “We stacked the box. I thought in the first quarter, we played pretty well while they adjusted a little better than we did. Then we put some guys outside leverage, then they motioned to it, and they got us on the back end with those counter backs, and we weren’t disciplined enough at the linebacker position or outside backer position. When they were going motion, our guys were flowing, and they were hitting us with that, and we didn’t have enough numbers left.”
Luhnow had runs of 15 and 16 yards on consecutive plays. Two plays later, Ferverda had a 15-yard run. A Ferverda 6-yard run on third-and-6 gave them first-and-goal from the 2, and Deming scored on a lunge on the next play to make it 21-0.
Rochester drove 52 yards in nine plays in 2:28 and scored with 15.5 seconds left in the half even though they had no timeouts.
Ferverda had three consecutive touches – an 8-yard run on fourth-and-5, a 12-yard reception in the left flat and a 12-yard run on an inside counter. After Swango downed the ball, Ferverda ran eight yards before Luhnow ran seven yards for the score.
Luhnow praised his offensive line – “I love them guys” – and said the rushing attack was “glorious.”
“We ran a lot of trap earlier on, but now we’re running sweep, mixing it up a little bit,” Luhnow said.
Landen Hunt, Austin Smith and Grant Wildermuth were among the injured North Miami players.
Rochester 56, North Miami 0
Rochester 14 14 21 7 – 56
North Miami 0 0 0 0 – 0
RHS – Alex Deming 4 run (Parker Wallace kick)
RHS – Deming 10 run (Wallace kick)
RHS – Deming 2 run (Wallace kick)
RHS – Payton Luhnow 7 run (Wallace kick)
RHS – Luhnow 5 run (kick failed)
RHS – Antonio Schlosser 8 run (Schlosser run)
RHS – Gavin McKee 5 run (Wallace kick)
RHS – Zachary Schlosser 23 run (Wallace kick)