Redskins Win Big, Ready For Raider Rematch

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Nokomis senior Landon Engelman has been with the Redskin football team every step of their journey to the playoffs, but only in an off the field capacity thanks to a broken arm in week three of the season. On Friday, Oct. 22, that changed as Engelman rejoined an already potent Nokomis running attack for their final regular season game in Dupo.

“He was cleared at the beginning of the week and he practiced all week. We were just going to play him a limited amount and see how he felt, to get him ready for the playoffs,” Coach Paul Watson said. “And he didn’t miss a beat.”

Engelman ran seven times for 129 yards and four touchdowns as the Redskins improved to 7-2 with a 48-0 rout of the Tigers. As a team, Nokomis rushed 23 times for 338 yards, marking the seventh time this year the Redskins had rushed for over 300 yards, with their 14.7 yards per carry the second best of the season.

“They had to step up and they did in a huge way,” Coach Watson said of his running back corps of Jake Watson, Jake Johnson and Matt Hill, who along with quarterback Connor Overby and Engelman have helped Nokomis rush for more than 3,100 yards this season. “Bringing Landon back in gives us another guy to rotate in and keeps everyone fresh, because those guys play both sides of the ball.”

While the Redskins ended up running wild over Dupo, the game started off at a more... determined pace. The Tigers tried to recover an onsides kick and failed to start the game, but got the ball back anyway when Freddy McMahon snagged Overby’s pass over the middle for an interception.

Utilizing the athleticism of McMahon at quarterback and Logan Stevens at running back, the Tigers made some progress on offense, making it all the way down to the Nokomis 26 before giving it up on downs.

With Dupo running out the play clock on every down, that 13-play drive ate up half of the time in the first quarter, with a long Nokomis drive eating up the other half and leaving the score at 0-0 after one.

The Redskins would break up the goose eggs on the first play of the second, though, as Engelman charged in from 21-yards out to give Nokomis a 6-0 lead.

The Tigers’ deliberate pace continued in the second quarter, but they worked the ball down to the Nokomis 1-yard line after a 16-yard run by McMahon. The Redskin defense answered, though, driving the Tigers back two yards over the next four plays as Nokomis took over on downs with 4:31 to play in the first half.

This time Nokomis took just 16 seconds to score as Jake Johnson recorded the longest touchdown run in school history with a 97-yard sprint to pay dirt. The run broke a 29-year-old record, held by someone familiar with the current program.

“I told him that I set it when I was a sophomore, but it took him four years to break it,” said Coach Watson, who held the previous mark with a 92-yard run in 1992.

Nokomis would get the ball back twice more, but weren’t able to add to their lead as the score stood at 12-0 at halftime.

“They went really slow on offense and really ate up the play clock,” Coach Watson said. “We only had the ball four times in the first half and we punched it in twice. On that third time, I was trying some different stuff on offense just in case. That was on me.”

Nokomis overcame the slow start and dominated the second half, with Cooper Bertolino intercepting a pass from McMahon three plays into the second half to give Nokomis the ball at the Dupo 16.

Two plays later, Jake Watson scored Nokomis’ third touchdown of the day, with Johnson executing a Tim Tebow-esque jump pass to Bertolino to make it 20-0.

Dupo went 4-and-out in their next drive and Nokomis was off to the races again, marching 67 yards to the endzone, with Engelman scoring from one yard out to make it 28-0 after he also ran in the two-point conversion.

The senior all-stater wasn’t done in the third quarter as Dupo went 4-and-out once again and Engelman scored three plays later on a 36-yard scamper that made it 34-0.

With frustration setting in for the Tigers, Nokomis continued to hammer away on defense. After picking up 86 yards of offense in the first half, Dupo was held to zero yards in the third quarter and started off the fourth in negative territory after a four-yard loss brought up fourth and 14.

Nokomis brought the punt back to their own 42 and Overby found Matt Hill on a short swing pass on the Nokomis’ first offensive play of the fourth quarter. Hill took the short toss and broke free, sprinting 58-yards to make it 41-0 with 10:41 to play, thus starting the running clock.

Dupo gained four yards on their next play, but coughed the ball up on play number two, paving the way for a 36-yard Engelman touchdown shortly thereafter.

The Tigers would try to avoid the shutout in the final minutes, but the Nokomis JV kept them out of the endzone and maintained the 48-0 lead.

The win proved to be crucial for the Redskins, who were fighting for playoff position. A loss would have assuredly left them with a road game, while a win meant the possibility of playing in front of their home fans.

“We told them all week that we just had to take care of what we can take care,” Coach Watson said. “If we win, we’re 7-2 and have a shot at a home playoff game.”

The next night, that opportunity became reality as it was announced that Nokomis would be the eighth seed in the bracket and host the ninth seed, Central A&M. The two teams met in week two of the season, with the Raiders winning 45-14.

While the Raiders are a force to be reckoned with, Watson said Nokomis is excited for the opportunity to face Central A&M again.

“We had 300 yards against them in that game,” Watson said of the week two meeting. “We just can’t make the same mistakes we did then.”

 The Redskins will get the chance to prove that round two will be different on Saturday, Oct. 30, at 5 p.m. in Nokomis.

October 22 at Dupo

Nokomis (7-2) 0 12 22 14 48

Dupo (3-4) 0 0 0 0 0

Scoring Summary

2nd - 11:52 - (N) - Landon Engelman 21-yard TD run (kick failed)

2nd - 4:15 - (N) - Jake Johnson 97-yard TD run (conversion failed)

3rd - 9:44 - (N) - Jake Watson 2-yard TD run (Cooper Bertolino pass from Jake Johnson)

3rd - 3:37 - (N) - Landon Engelman 1-yard TD run (Landon Engelman run)

3rd - 0:51 - (N) - Landon Engelman 36-yard TD run (kick failed)

4th - 10:41 - (N) - Matt Hill 58-yard TD pass from Connor Overby (Ryan Quinn kick)

4th - 8:48 - (N) - Landon Engelman 36-yard TD run (Ryan Quinn kick)

Nokomis Statistics

Passing (2-5-61): Connor Overby 1-3-58, 1 TD, 1 INT; Jake Johnson 1-2-3.

Rushing (23-338): Landon Engelman 7-129, 4 TD; Jake Johnson 4-108, 1 TD; Jake Watson 8-68, 1 TD; Matt Hill 4-33.

Receiving (2-61): Matt Hill 1-58, 1 TD; Cooper Bertolino 1-3.

Defense (Solo/Assists): Matt Hill 5/7; Jake Watson 2/8; Craig Bertolino 3/4; Jake Johnson 3/3; Connor Overby 2/4; Brenton Lyons 2/2; Kaden Cook 1/3; Nolan Ernst 1/3; Isaac Satterlee 2/1; Cooper Bertolino 1/2, 1 INT; Ryan Eisenbarth 0/2, 1  fumble recovery; Zaylon Sisk 2/0; Tanner Woolard 0/2.

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