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Roncalli balance produces homecoming win

Aberdeen Roncalli’s Josh Shaunaman, left, celebrates scoring on a one-yard touchdown pass with teammate Ben Rohl, right, during Friday night’s game against Redfield at Swisher Field. Photo by John Davis taken 9/10/2021

The names were a bit different, but the results remained the same for Aberdeen Roncalli Friday night.

The Cavaliers received touchdowns from players who hadn’t scored at home yet this season, got a key member back in the lineup, and capped off homecoming with a 30-6 Northeast Conference football triumph over Redfield at Swisher Field.

Austin Meyers and Josh Schaunaman both scored touchdowns, and Maddox May played for the first time since opening week and the Cavaliers improved to 4-0 on the season with the win.

“You know every week somebody different steps up,” said Roncalli coach Billy Young. “Tonight on defense, we had several who guys stepped up. Anthony Brunmaier did a good job, having Maddox back was huge, and our secondary played a really good game.”

Roncalli’s defense continues to be a key piece to the puzzle this season. Matthew Martinez recovered a fumble and ran it back 11 yards for a touchdown.

The Cavaliers limited the opposition and forced Redfield to throw the ball.

“We shut down their run. They couldn’t move the ball in the run,” May said. “They had to pass and our corners were doing a good job. We did good job of containing and overall a good job as a team.”

When the Cavaliers only allow one score in a game, the odds work in their favor of coming out on top.

“If we can do that, we’re going to be in good shape. We’re going to win more than our share of football games this year,” Young said. “Having Maddox back there in the middle really solidified our defense. He was huge.”

May has missed the majority of the season so far after getting injured in the team’s first game of the season.

He has paid attention while watching from the sidelines waiting for his chance to get back on the field.

“I’ve learned the way other teams have been playing,” May said. “Obviously, watching film helps a lot and then just watching the game as it goes on helps you learn what to do and what not to do, and improve on that.”

Meanwhile, the Roncalli offense featured a balanced attack.

Jackson Isakson got the scoring started with a 31-yard field goal.

He then connected with Meyers for a 19-yard touchdown to extend the lead.

“Austin always jokes with me,” Isakson said. “He’s got the backside route and he always says, ‘I’m always open.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, I’ve got two routes that are right here.’ I got him one today, though.”

A key score in the game took place right before the half when Isakson tossed a one-yard TD pass to Schaunaman with 8.5 seconds left.

Young said the Cavaliers were going to try to squeeze in two plays if necessary in the closing seconds.

“We were down to 13 seconds with no time outs on the one-yard line. So we knew we had two plays,” Young said. “If we run it and we don’t score, we’re not going to get another play off. So we decided let’s spread out, if nobody’s there we’ll throw it away and we’ll run it on the next play.”

Young said the scoring play is actually designed for a PAT conversion, but it worked for a touchdown on this occasion.

“It’s really a two-point play,” Young said. “We’ve been working on it since the first day in practice. We haven’t had a chance to use it.”

Ben Rohl added a score in the final quarter on a 29-yard run.

Redfield’s lone score came on a 20-yard pass from Easton Millar to Mason Whitley.

Roncalli now has a bye week before heading to Groton the following week.

Isakson said the Cavaliers have good chemistry this season.

“We’re really confident this year. The guys we got, the O-line are stepping up big this year. It’s fun,” Isakson said. “I feel like we’re getting close as a team, being brothers, loving each other on the field and it kind of shows.”

Redfield 0 0 6 0 – 6

Aberdeen Roncalli 3 21 0 6 – 30

AR – Jackson Isakson 31 field goal.

AR – Matthew Martinez 11 fumble recovery return.

AR – Austin Meyers 19 pass from Isakson (conversion successful).

AR – Josh Schaunaman 1 pass from Isakson (Isakson kick).

Red – Mason Whitley 20 pass from Easton Millar.

AR – Ben Rohl 29 run.

OFFENSE: Redfield rushing (Mason Whitley 5-24), passing 15-30 for 150 (Easton Millar 15-30 for 150), receiving (Keaton Rohlfs 5-53, Paul Juarez 4-56, Whitley 7-32, Chase McGillivary 3-23, Sean Domke 3-17); Aberdeen Roncalli rushing (Abe Kretchman 21-81, Phillip Zens 4-39, Andrew Brennan 4-27, Ben Rohl 2-32, Maddox May 4-29), passing 7-13-2 for 84 (Jackson Isakson 7-13-2 for 84), receiving (Matthew Martinez 2-41, Austin Meyers 1-19, Rohl 1-17, Kretchman 1-6).

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