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Regents Stung by Hornets

Saturday, September 13, 2008  
Posted by: Regents Sports Information
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ROCKFORD, IL – For the second consecutive year, the Rockford College football team found itself in a difficult situation.  It was coming off an overwhelming defeat.  In the second game of the 2007 season, the Regents responded with a 41-8 victory at MacMurray College.  For most of the second game of the 2008 season, it appeared that the Regents would again bounce back from an opening week defeat, but when the clock struck 00:00, the Regents found themselves in the unfamiliar position of being 0-2, losing to the Kalamazoo College Hornets 17-14.  The loss marked the Regents first 0-2 start in school history.

The Regents wasted no time getting on the board.  Six minutes into the game, senior quarterback Matt Muscia (Chicago, IL/ Holy Cross) scampered 16 yards into the end zone.  The 13 play, 67 yard drive displayed exactly what Regents head coach Randy Schrader wanted to do in the rainy conditions.  Five different Regents ran the ball, culminating with Muscia’s score.

Later in the opening stanza, it was the Regents special teams that chipped in with a big play.  With the Hornets facing fourth down and long, senior safety Zak Wilken (East Moline, IL/ United Township) forced a fumble by Hornets punter Brandon Baity at Kalamazoo’s 32 yard line.  Regents senior cornerback Brandon Standley (Peoria, IL/ Peoria) scooped up the loose ball and rumbled into the end zone, giving the Regents a 14-0 lead with just under four minutes to play in the first quarter.  Unfortunately for Rockford, it would be last time the numbers in the “Home” column on the scoreboard would change.

The Hornets came out of the locker room in the second half on a mission.  By the end of the third quarter, Kalamazoo had sliced the Regents lead in half.  Midway through the fourth quarter, the Regents went deep into Hornets territory, but failed to convert a 33 yard field goal.  The Hornets managed to take advantage of the Regents miscue, to the tune of a 12 play, 80 yard touchdown drive to tie the score at 14.

With the score tied at 14, Rockford had a chance to mount a final drive, control the final three minute of the game and come away with a victory.  On third and long, Muscia was sacked and fumbled the ball, which was subsequently recovered by Kalamazoo’s Brian Flahie who returned the fumble to the Rockford 18 yard line before being brought down by Rockford receiver Brad Pemberton (Carol Stream, IL/ Glenbard North). 

With the ball at Rockford’s 187 yard line and 1:39 on the clock, the Hornets simply needed a field goal to win the game.  For the first three plays of the drive, Rockford held strong, eventually forcing a fourth down and one at Rockford’s nine.  After a timeout, Hornets’ quarterback Brandon Luczak drew an encroachment penalty on Rockford, giving the Hornets a first down.  With under three seconds to play, Kalamazoo kicker Jon Rea sealed the win with a 20 yard field goal.

After a disappointing performance last week at Dubuque, the Regents got the running attack going again, with 172 muddy yards, led by sophomore Jason Hosey (Chicago, IL/ Prosser) with 63 yards.   Defensively, Wilken and sophomore linebacker Josh Ross (Elgin, IL/ Larkin) led Rockford with six tackles each.  Sophomore defensive lineman Chris Scott (Morrison, IL/ Morrison) recorded 1.5 sacks, while Standley broke up four passes.

The Regents will travel to Alma, MI on Saturday, September 20 to face Alma College at 1:00 p.m.

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