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Thunder Football Miscues Lead to Tough Loss

The Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College Thunder football team lost 36-27 to Rochester Technical & Community College on Saturday, October 5, 2019. The Thunder trailed 29-27 with less than five minutes left in the game before giving up a late touchdown against the 5-1 Rochester Yellowjackets on the road. The Thunder are now 3-4 for the season.

The Thunder amassed 624 total yards of offense to Rochester’s 419 yards. Thunder quarterback Anthony Boyd moved the offense up and down the field, throwing for 458 yards with four touchdown passes, and Boyd also rushed for 99 total yards in the loss.

Miscues on Thunder special teams and inopportune penalties were a key difference between the two teams. Rochester blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown to open the scoring late in the first quarter. The Thunder were flagged for 17 penalties in the game.

“It was frustrating because our offense moved the ball as well as we have all year and we scored enough points to win,” said Thunder Head Coach Robert Smith. “We played hard for all four quarters and didn’t surrender when we were trailing. We were always able to answer their scores with points of our own.”

Boyd’s ability to scramble and run the ball from the quarterback position added a new dimension for the Thunder offense. Boyd was able to sustain drives and keep the Rochester defense off balance.

“My hope is that we use this momentum of playing well for all four quarters into our game this Saturday at Mesabi,” said Coach Smith. “Right now we’re playing confidently and looking forward to playing an undefeated and nationally ranked team.”

Thunder wide receiver Mason Klinger had 11 catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns against Rochester. Klinger leads the entire MCAC in catches this season and is ranked second in yards. Klinger is ranked second in the nation in passes caught, fifth overall in total yards, and tied for third in touchdown passes caught.

Defensive tackle Rashaad Roddy led the Thunder defense with four sacks for a total of 32 yards behind the line of scrimmage, plus a forced a fumble and a pass break-up, and finished with nine total tackles in the Thunder’s loss. Roddy is currently ranked third in the nation with ten total sacks and is ranked first in tackles for a loss, according to NJCAA statistics.

The Thunder play their final road game of the 2019 season this weekend, followed by their last game of the season at home. Kickoff against Minnesota College Athletic Conference Eastern Division leader Mesabi Range Technical and Community College is set for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 12, in Mountain Iron, MN.