ROCKFORD, Ill. - The Rockford University football team (1-0) rolled to an easy 35-12 victory over the MacMurray College Highlanders (0-1) on Saturday afternoon. The outcome was never really in question, as the Regents dominated every facet of the game. The Regents racked up 453 yards of total offense compared to just 299 for the Highlanders. Defensively Rockford was able to force three turnovers and hold the Highlanders scoreless until late in the game. The win gives Rockford its first 1-0 start since the 2015 season.
- Rockford scored the first 35 points of the game, including taking a commanding 28-0 lead into the half.
- LaVar Johnson Jr. (Memphis, Tenn.) got the scoring started with a tough 9-yard touchdown run with 7:05 remaining in the first quarter to give the Regents a 7-0 lead.
- Johnson then added his second touchdown of the quarter at the 2:53 mark when he plowed through the middle of the defense for 13 yards and the score.
- Sophomore quarterback Eric Mackey (Marengo, Ill.) gave the Regents a 21-0 lead less than a minute into the second quarter, as he scampered five yards for his first rushing touchdown of the year.
- The RU defense would turn away the Highlanders on their very next possession. MacMurray had third and one at the Rockford 20-yard line but was held for no gain by Octavio Galvez (Loves Park, Ill.). One play later, the defense led by Dylan Peterson (Reynolds, Ill.) stopped the Highlanders for a one yard loss to force a turnover on downs.
- Mackey then made it 28-0 lead late in the first half when he found tight end Adam Ambrogio (Rockford, Ill.) in the back of the end zone for the 8-yard score.
- The second half got off to a great start as Rockford took the opening kickoff and went 75 yards for a touchdown. LaVar Johnson Jr. had an 11-yard run down the one yard line. However Johnson would fumble the ball on the play, but fortunately it flew right into the hands of Jon Kaifesh (Greenfield, Wis.), who ran the final yard for the score to give Rockford a 35-0 advantage.
- Defensively Rockford would force three second half turnovers. Senior Jared Johnson (Miami, Fla.) caused the first turnover on a strip-sack, which was recovered by Joe Stout (Brodhead, Wis.). The other two turnovers came curtesy of interceptions by Austin Carlson (Hanover Park, Ill.) and Edel Morales (Deltona, Fla.).
- MacMurray would add two scores late in the fourth quarter but it was not enough as Rockford cruised to a 35-12 win.
- LaVar Johnson Jr. finished as the team's leading rusher. Johnson had 112 yards on just 17 attempts and 2 rushing touchdowns.
- Eric Mackey finished 13-of-23 for 188 yards through the air with one score. He also carried the ball 10 times for 34 yards and a touchdown.
- Kalan Miller (Cordova, Tenn.) was Rockford's leading receiver in the game. Miller caught 3 passes for 80 yards.
- Jallen Bashford picked up right where he left off last season by once again leading the team in tackles with 11.
- Octavio Galvez tallied 8 tackles including 7 solo tackles and 1 tackle for loss.
- Jared Johnson was a force in the backfield with 7 tackles and a team-high 2 sacks.
- Austin Carlson and Edel Morales each finished with an interception.
- Joe Stout tallied 5 tackles and recovered a fumble.
The RU football team returns to action next Saturday, September 8 at home against Martin Luther College. Kickoff is set for 1 PM at Sam Greeley Field.