ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Rockford University football team dominated from start to finish on Saturday in a 44-0 victory over Robert Morris Peoria. The Regents scored in every quarter as the outcome of the game was never really in doubt. Defensively Rockford was especially dominant holding the Eagles to just 4 first downs, 69 yards of total offense and forcing two turnovers. On the offensive side of the ball, the Regents used a balanced attack racking up 196 yards rushing and 146 yards passing. More importantly though, Rockford did not turn ball over and scored 14 points off the pair of Robert Morris Peoria turnovers.
Rockford scored on two of its first three drives to jump out to a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. On the opening possession of the game, Rockford went 70 yards on 11 plays to take an early 7-0 lead. Junior Chance Manning (Durand, Ill.) had 6 carries on the drive and capped it off with a 13-yard touchdown run. Following a pair of three-and-outs by the Eagles, the Regents went 58 yards on 13 plays to make it a 14-0 game. This time it was Brice Spence (Corinth, Miss.) who got the bulk of the carries on the drive as he ran the ball 8 times for 47 yards. However, it was senior Mar Sean Vercher (Chicago, Ill.) who capped it off with an 11-yard touchdown reception from Eric Mackey (Marengo, Ill.).
The Regents continued to pour it on in the second quarter scoring three more times to take a commanding 35-0 lead into halftime. Rockford's first touchdown of the quarter came after Paul Barmore Jr. (Rockford, Ill.) intercepted an Eagle pass to give the RU offense a short field. Two plays later, freshman quarterback Delayno Mack (Loves Park, Ill.) found Mar Sean Vercher in the end zone for his second touchdown reception of the half. Following another Eagles' punt, the Regents continued their blitzkrieg attack scoring for the second time in as many possessions. The RU offense used 8 plays to cover 54 yards capped off by a 1-yard Brice Spence touchdown run to put the Regents in front 28-0. Rockford's final score of the half was again setup by its defense. Junior defensive back Lamear Downes (Detroit, Mich.) came up with a big interception to give the Regents another short field. It took Rockford just five plays find the end zone as LaVar Johnson Jr. (Memphis, Tenn.) made it a 35-0 lead on an 8-yard touchdown plunge.
Just like in the first half, the Regents scored on their opening possession of the second half. Rockford did a nice job mixing in both running and passing plays to keep the Robert Morris Peoria defense off balance. Quarterback Delayno Mack finished the drive off with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Phillip Robinson (Hazel Crest, Ill.) to make it a 41-0 game. The final points of the day came early in the fourth quarter when Alexis Guteirrez (Amboy, Ill.) drilled a 30-yard field goal through the uprights giving Rockford a 44-0 win.
Offensively Rockford spread the ball around as no one player was the focal point of the attack. Rockford's running back duo of Chance Manning and Brice Spence each finished with 67 yards rushing and 1 touchdown. Senior wide receiver Mar Sean Vercher led the RU passing attack with 4 catches for 32 yards and 2 scores. Freshman quarterback Delayno Mack was extremely efficient completing 6-of-7 passes for 64 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Defensively the Regents smothered the Eagles' offense all game long. Sophomore defensive lineman Jacob Cremeens (Roscoe, Ill.) was all over the field leading the Regents with 5 tackles including 3 tackles for loss and 1 sack. Jallen Bashford (Fairbury, Ill.) also played well tallying 4 tackles including 1.5 tackles for loss and 1 sack. Lamear Downes and Paul Barmore Jr. both finished the game with an interception and 2 tackles. Junior Jared Johnson (Miami, Fla.) also had two tackles, one of which came on a fourth down play behind the line of scrimmage to force a turnover on downs.
The RU football team returns to action next Saturday, September 16 at Adrian College. Kickoff is set for 6 PM Central Time.