Want to Advertise with us? Find out more

Lowell in control – Knocks off Rockford

It’s been that August-September romance for sometime now.

That courtship continued Thursday night as the Red Arrow football team won its 18th consecutive season opener with an impressive and sometimes dominating performance over perennial Division 1 football power Rockford.

Lowell before a crowd of roughly 7,500 people  controlled the game throughout en route to a 28-7 win over the Rams.

So what is it about season openers?

“I don’t know. We’re lucky and fortunate I guess. We  have such great kids. I think we’re ready and the kids have pride, play hard and want to please,” Dean explained.”I don’t know how we pulled this off tonight. I’m as surprised as you are. It was a full effort on all three sides of the ball, offense, defense and special teams. It was a great team effort.”

Lowell grabbed momentum early when a jarring hit on KC Zenner produced a fumble on the Red Arrows’ opening series punt. Lowell’s Joshua Addington recovered  the  Rockford fumble at the Ram 22 yard line.

Three plays later Gabe Dean scored the game’s first touchdown from the Ram 20.

Rockford’s first possession ended four plays in when Lowell’s Pierce Watson recovered a Ram fumble at the visitor’s 35 yard line.

Lowell needed just six plays to march the distance for its second touchdown of the night. Dean capped the short drive with a three-yard  touchdown burst.

“I’m excited for the kids and coaches and all the work they put into getting ready this summer,” Dean said.

The Red Arrows’ senior quarterback was efficient running the ball and proficient through the air. Dean rushed for 100 yards and threw for 192 on 12-of-19 passing with a touchdown and one interception.

“i felt like we had a great game plan on both sides of the ball,” Gabe Dean said. “I felt good out there, but couldn’t have done it without the help of the other guys.” Gabe said.

His coach said his QB was enjoying himself out there. “Gabe looked at peace out there. He decided he’s going to wrestle at the Division 1 level following high school and football will be something to enjoy over the next couple of months.  It will be a side job.”

Rockford, who loss in the Division 1 semifinal a year ago, did not look like it was having fun nor did it look like a team that was able to find its comfort zone.

That was evident by it’s coach’s post game demeanor.

“I thought the loss of LaPrairie was big, but we were totally out of sync on offense the whole night. Credit their defense for that.  Congratulations to Lowell. It’s a geat program and we’ve got to get better,” Rockford football coach Ralph Munger said.

On its first possession of the second  quarter, Lowell drove 80 yards in eight plays before Dean found Renn Osborne over the middle for a 26-yard touchdown pass. It was one of three completions in the drive, totaling 63 yards.

“I thought we did some good pitching and catching out there. The receivers read their routes, and made some good field position catches.  It’s a nice young group of kids we’ve got,” Dean said.

Osborne finished the night with two catches for 46 yards.

Blake Lyman led all Red Arrow receivers, pulling  in four passes for 77 yards. Luke Bigham added five receptins for 51 yards.

Lowell’s final touchdown of the game came 1:11 to play in the first half.

Addington who rushed for 51 yards, pounded  one in from the four-yard line to give the Red Arrows a 28-0 half time lead.

Rockford’s only touchdown of the night came on its second possession of the second half when Ryan Hartley  found the end zone from 11 yards out.

The Rams were held to 114 yards on the ground while throwing for 173. It’s starting quarterback Mark LaPrairie was 7-of-16 for 68 for the game in the first half. There was no report on the extent of his injury. Backup quarterback Kyle Short completed nine passes in 21 attempts for 105 yards.

“Our defense runs well and hits hard. You’ve got to like that abut Lowell kids,” Dean explained.

He also liked the kicking of Grant Breuker. “Our kicking game has improved. The ability to put the ball on the 20 is a weapon. Grant drove the ball deep down field,” Dean said.

Lowell now 1-0 travels to Kenowa Hills Friday. Rockford (9-1), meanwhile, hosts Holt.