Grand Rapids, MN - The RCTC Yellowjackets football season came to end on a cold and blustery day in Grand Rapids on Sunday. The Jackets, who were the #3 seed in their half of the bracket, fell to #2 seed Itasca 53-24. A slow start to the game and 5 turnovers proved costly for RCTC as Itasca scored 19 first quarter points to set the tone.
RCTC's first half consisted of a lone Braulio Arango-Aguilar field goal in the first quarter as the Vikings took a 19-3 lead into the halftime break. It looked as if RCTC was going to make things interesting in the second half as the cut the Vikings lead to 26-16 in the third quarter, before a pair of costly turnovers lead to 14 Itasca points and gave the home team a 40-16 lead heading into the final quarter. The Jackets scored once but Itasca scored 13 points in the fourth to seal the win.
The Jackets finish the season at 6-3, having lost twice to Itasca and once to Mesabi Range (who was the regular season Division Champion).
RCTC was lead defensively by Keshon Williams who had 8 tackles and a tackle for loss on the game. Ryan Erickson and Erik Snook each picked up 1.5 sacks for the Jacket defense, while Ken Nwachi had an interception.
On the offensive side of the ball it was quarterbacks Justin Lynn and Dylan VanBoxel splitting duties. Lynn was 20-33 for 182 yards with a touchdown and an INT, while VanBoxel hit on 10-15 passes for 2 touchdowns and an INT. Phillip Hillesheim had 6 catches for 71 yards and a TD, while Levi Bulfer also grabbed six receptions and a TD. Israel Lozoya had 39 yards rushing on 7 carries.
The MCAC playoff continue next week with semifinal contests at MN West and NDSCS.