The Nokomis and Marquette Catholic football teams entered week six on opposite ends of the spectrum. The Redskins were 4-1, with high hopes of qualifying for a playoff spot with another win, while the Explorers were 0-5, meaning that they wouldn’t be going to the postseason and were guaranteed their first losing season since 2005.
Still, to say that the Redskins were overconfident going into the game would be foolhardy at best. History was in the Explorers’ favor as they had beaten Nokomis five straight times, with the last win coming in 2014 by a single point under then-head coach Gabe Cesaretti.
As it turned out, the season records held more of a clue to the outcome on Oct. 1 in Nokomis than past experiences did as the Redskins put a running clock on the Explorers in a 53-14 rout.
Early on it looked as if Nokomis might have to grind out a win as their first drive took nearly seven and a half minutes, culminating with a five-yard Jake Johnson run on fourth down to make it 7-0.
That proved to be an apparition as it took Nokomis less than 90 seconds to score for the second time, thanks in part to a 73-yard Matt Hill run that set up a four-yard score by Jake Watson.
While the offense was beginning to click, the defense was in peak performance already and forced Marquette to give the ball back early in the second quarter, with Nokomis up 13-0.
After being robbed of a long touchdown run in the last drive thanks to a shoestring tackle, Hill finally got his chance to find pay dirt in the next drive as he sprinted 51 yards to make it 21-0.
The senior was far from done, though. He’d gain a team-high 219 yards on just 11 carries, with a 55-yard touchdown coming at the 4:51 mark to make it 27-0.
Marquette would get a bit of good fortune on the kickoff after Hill’s second TD as they broke up the shutout with an 85-yard kickoff return.
The Redskins merely shook the score off though and scored twice more in the final four and a half minutes, once on a 64-yard Jake Johnson run and again on a one-yard Connor Overby quarterback sneak. Overby set up the second score with a 51-yard pass to Cooper Bertolino after an Isaac Satterlee interception gave Nokomis the ball with 2:40 to play in the half.
Marquette got the ball to begin the second half, but the Nokomis defense held the Explorers to their side of the field and came up big on a fourth and seven.
Up 39-7, Nokomis put together a nearly four-minute drive to set up a three-yard Jake Watson touchdown run. Watson then ran in the two-point conversion, giving Nokomis a 40-point lead and a running clock for the remaining 6:31 of the contest.
Both teams would score once more in the fourth quarter, with Craig Bertolino getting the one-yard touchdown for the ‘Skins.
Nokomis ran for over 500 yards for the second week in a row with a season-best 528 yards on 54 carries. That upped their total to 2,335 yards in six weeks, with an average run of 8.7 yards per carry.
In addition to Hill’s 219 yards, Jake Johnson also had 128 yards on 12 carries, while Jake Watson had 83 yards on 15 carries.
Nokomis will try to keep things rolling and guarantee a spot in the playoffs next week as they take on Gillespie on Friday, Oct. 8, on the Miners’ home field. Gillespie is 1-5 on the season after falling to Hillsboro Friday by a 56-25 final score.
October 1 at Nokomis
Marquette (0-6) 0 7 0 7 14
Nokomis (5-1) 13 26 8 6 53
1st - 4:31 - (N) - Jake Johnson 5-yard TD run (Ryan Quinn kick)
1st - 0:27 - (N) - Jake Watson 4-yard TD run (kick failed)
2nd - 10:23 - (N) - Matt Hill 51-yard TD run (Connor Overby run)
2nd - 4:51 - (N) - Matt Hill 55-yard TD run (kick failed)
2nd - 4:34 - (M) - 85-yard TD kickoff return (kick good)
2nd - 3:38 - (N) - Jake Johnson 64-yard TD run (run failed)
2nd - 0:56 - (N) - Connor Overby 1-yard TD run (pass failed)
3rd - 6:31 - (N) - Jake Watson 3-yard TD run (Jake Watson run)
4th - 5:17 - (N) - Craig Bertolino 1-yard TD run (kick failed)
4th - 2:19 - (M) - 25-yard TD run (kick good)
Passing (2-5-55): Connor Overby 2-5-55.
Rushing (54-528): Matt Hill 11-219, 2 TD; Jake Johnson 12-128, 2 TD; Jake Watson 15-83, 2 TD; Brenton Lyons 2-35; Connor Overby 5-30, 1 TD; Craig Bertolino 6-28, 1 TD; Skylar Pavolko 2-4; Garret Engelman 1-1.
Receiving: Cooper Bertolino 1-51; Isaac Satterlee 1-4.
Defense (Solo/Assists): Matt Hill 1/5; Jake Watson 1/3; Jake Johnson 3/1; Kaleb Kuhn 2/1; Isaac Satterlee 1/2, 1 INT; Cooper Bertolino 0/2; Craig Bertolino 1/1; Nolan Ernst 1/1, 1 INT; Skylar Pavolko 1/0; Kaeden Loafman 1/0; Tanner Woolard 0/1; Connor Overby 1/0.