After two tough losses to Central A&M and Marquette the last two weeks, the Nokomis football team got back to its winning ways on Friday, Sept. 20, with a 35-14 victory over Dupo.
Ryan Janssen, the Redskins’ new all-time leader in tackles, would do it on both ends of the field as he picked up 15 more tackles on the defensive end and rolled up a career-best 169 rushing yards with three touchdowns. Janssen’s previous best was 116 yards, which came in another three touchdown game in his sophomore year against Blue Ridge.
All told, Nokomis would have 310 rushing yards, with Adam Lyons carrying the ball 14 times for 70 yards, Alex Tosetti picking up 46 yards on five carries and Landon Engelman gaining 25 yards on six carries. Both Lyons and Tosetti would also score touchdowns for Nokomis.
In addition to his work on the ground, Tosetti also had a solid game through the air, picking up 94 yards on 5-of-6 passing. Engelman, Janssen and Cooper Bertolino each had one reception, going for 40, 34 and 16 yards respectively, while Lyons caught two passes for four yards.
Nokomis would trail only briefly in the game. The Redskins led 7-0 after the first quarter thanks to a six-yard run by Janssen, which was set up by a 45 yard strike from Tosetti to Engelman, but Hunter Stephens pulled in a 55-yard touchdown pass from C.J. Robinson to start the second frame and make it 8-7.
Nokomis would regain the lead before the end of the quarter though as Janssen plowed it in from three yards out after earning the lion’s share of the yards on a 40-yard run.
Up 13-8 at the half, the momentum continued to swing in their favor in the third quarter as they put up two more scores to take a commanding 29-8 lead after three. Janssen would score touchdown number three on a three-yard run, followed by Lyons finding the endzone on a four-yard sweep after the senior running back ran for a 26-yard gain earlier in the drive.
Dupo would cut the lead to 15 early in the fourth quarter with a rushing touchdown by Lucas Rea, but Nokomis would add a late touchdown on a ten-yard quarterback sneak by Tosetti for insurance to pick up their second win.
In addition to their offensive success on the ground, the Nokomis defense also had a solid game against the Tigers. Dupo would gain 127 yards rushing and 143 yards through the air, but Robinson was picked off four times. Connor Overby would have two of those interceptions, while Tosetti and Janssen also had an interception apiece.
Gavin Vincent would have ten tackles in the game, including one sack, while Quentin Jamieson had eight tackles and five hurries on the Dupo passer. Derick Bell also had seven tackles for the Skins.
The win puts the Redskins at 2-2 on the season, with a favorable schedule ahead of them as they push for their first playoff appearance since 2014. Next week’s opponent, Madison, is 0-4, while South Fork (week six) and Martinsville (week seven) are 0-4 and 1-3 respectively. Nokomis ends the season with East Alton-Wood River and Ridgeview, who are both 2-2 after week four.
With playoff points not in their favor, Nokomis will probably have to win four of those five games, but their performance on Friday showed that they have the weapons to do just that.
September 20 at Dupo
Nokomis (2-2) 7 6 16 6 35
Dupo (1-3) 0 8 0 6 14
Passing: Alex Tosetti 5-6-94.
Rushing: Ryan Janssen 23-169, 3 TD; Adam Lyons 14-70, 1 TD; Alex Tosetti 5-46, 1 TD; Landon Engelman 6-25.
Receiving: Landon Engelman 1-40, Ryan Janssen 1-34, Cooper Bertolino 1-16, Adam Lyons 2-4.
Defense (Solo/Assists): Ryan Janssen 12/3; Gavin Vincent 4/6; Quentin Jamieson 5/3; Derick Bell 4/3; Wyatt Dooley 5; Adam Lyons 1/3; Isaac Satterlee 3/1; Dylan Hayes 3/1; Alex Tosetti 2/1; Braeston Brummet 2/1; Connor Overby 1/1; Jake Watson 0/1; Kaden Cook 0/1; Nolan Ernst 1/0; Matt Hill 1/0.