ROCKFORD, Ill. – The Regents broke a 7-7 halftime tie, forced several Maranatha turnovers, and cruised to a 34-14 win on Saturday afternoon in Rockford, Ill.
On their second drive of the game, Rockford’s rushing game marched the team down to the Maranatha 13-yard line before quarterback Aabed Nekrawesh (Fremont, Calif.) connected with junior running back Nick Nowdomski (Coal city, Ill.) on a touchdown pass, putting the Regents ahead, 7-0.
Maranatha’s offense stalled on their next few possessions to end the quarter, but kicked off the second with a touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Brandon McCormick (Edwards, Ill.) to senior wide receiver Matt Morrison (Jefferson, Wis.), for the 7-7 tie.
The offense marched down the field on their next possession, taking advantage of several Rockford penalties, and a 32-yard McCormick scamper before the freshman quarterback fumbled on second and goal, giving the Regents the ball at their own two-yard line, where the score remained tied going into halftime.
Rockford exploded out of the gates in the third quarter on a 91-yard run by junior running back Matthew Botello (Whittier, Calif.), regaining a 14-7 lead.
The Crusaders struggled with turnovers in the second half, as the Regents converted an interception and fumble into a 28-7 lead before McCormick rushed from five yards out to cut the deficit to 28-14.
The Regents added one more touchdown before going on to win their first Northern Athletics Conference game in three years.
Rockford racked up 547 yards of offense while forcing three fumbles and an interception.
McCormick finished with 133 yards rushing, and 88 yards passing while tossing and running for touchdowns, while sophomore receiver Joe Manion (Watertown, Wis.) finished with 74 yards receiving.
Linebackers Ethan Kennon (Raleigh, N.C.), and Ethan Lane (Atlanta, Ga.) finished with 14, and 10 tackles respectively and senior lineman Rob Kohlhaus (Marion, Mich.) added a sack.
Maranatha moves on to face Wisconsin Lutheran next Saturday, October 27 at 1:30 p.m. in Watertown, Wis.