No. 4 RCTC falls just short against No. 1 College of DuPage, but is already looking ahead

Sep. 2—ROCHESTER — Rochester Community and Technical College fully expects to get another chance to play College of DuPage later this season in junior college football.

In a battle of nationally ranked Division III teams on Saturday night in Rochester, Illinois-based DuPage held off RCTC 24-21. DuPage (2-0) entered the game ranked No. 1 and the Yellowjackets (1-1) were No. 4.

"We're going to get a chance to play them again," RCTC running back Christian Parrish said. "We're going to run the table (the rest of the season)."

If the two teams were to meet again, it would have to be in a postseason bowl game, and likely with a Division III national title on the line. The Yellowjackets appear to be surging after finishing 5-5 a year ago, including a 24-7 loss to DuPage, but they admit they have plenty of work to do if they want a rematch with the Chaparrals.

"I think our overall performance, we did pretty well," Parrish said. "I think what really hurt us momentum wise was just the foolish penalties, the holdings late in the game and at crucial moments."

The Yellowjackets might have lost the game, but they showed they could play with DuPage. RCTC gained 469 yards on offense while DuPage had a modest 290. But a few mistakes for RCTC proved to be costly.

"I think those guys bring out the best in us and those guys are the best right now," RCTC coach Terrance Isaac Sr. said. "I thought we did well, it was just a play here and there."

DuPage snapped a 14-14 tie with 10 straight points in the second half. RCTC scored with 4:22 left on Devin Watson's 15-yard touchdown pass to Terrance Isaac Jr. to cut the margin to 24-21.

The Yellowjackets had a final chance, without any timeouts, but the drive ended near midfield with 10 seconds to play.

Watson was 24-for-40 passing for 314 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for RCTC. Despite his strong game, Watson felt he made too many mental mistakes and missed out on making some plays.

"There's so many ticky-tack things that have to be improved, especially for me personally," Watson said. "Because I know I'm better than that."

RCTC had a pair of costly turnovers. The Yellowjackets lost a fumble on a second-and-goal from the DuPage 4 in the first quarter when the game was tied 7-7. DuPage later intercepted a deflected pass which set up a touchdown in the third quarter, putting the Chaparrals up 21-14.

"We moved the ball well," Isaac Sr. said. "What hurt us is we fumbled the ball down in the red zone. I thought that was key, it flipped the momentum a little bit. But I thought we did a good job of coming back."

Parrish rushed for 137 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown. He also caught four passes for 51 yards and another TD. He had rushed for 140 yards and also caught a TD pass in the season opener.

"We really wanted to win this game, I don't think anybody wants to lose," Parrish said. "But we definitely got a bigger chip on our shoulder now and when we see them again, it's going to be a different outcome for sure."

Parrish gave RCTC a quick 7-0 lead with a 30-yard scoring run on the team's first drive. He said the team did wear down a bit in the second half on the hot and humid night.

Watson, who completed passes to nine different receivers, said the offense needs to be more consistent.

"We started off the game quickly, a three-play drive resulted in seven," he said. "If we can keep that pace and consistency from the first drive, this game's a whole different story. But I think we let our foot off the gas a little bit."

The RCTC defense played well most of the way, but did give up TD passes of 60 yards in the second quarter and 25 yards in the third. Defensive lineman Daniel Graham had 1.5 sacks while safety Jahquii Roberts had an interception for the Yellowjackets' lone takeaway.

"We're going to see them (again)," Watson said. "This team's good, they played great and that's why they came out on top. And we respected that, we owned up to it, but we'll see them again."

RCTCwill host Central Lake College at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9.

College of DuPage 7-7-7-3 — 24

RCTC 7-7-0-7 — 21


RCTC — Christian Parrish 30 run (Rodrigo Castaneda kick), 12:04.

DuPage — Maddix Morris 60 pass from Petyon O'Laughlin (Christian Casillas kick), 6:47.


DuPage — O'Laughlin 8 run (Casillas kick), 11:13.

RCTC — Parrish 22 pass from Devin Watson (Castaneda kick), 1:19.


DuPage — Amariyon Lynch-Gordon 25 pass from O'Laughlin (Casillas kick), 12:05.


DuPage — Casillas 35 FG, 7:14.

RCTC — Terrance Isaac Jr. 15 pass from Watson (Castaneda kick), 4:22.


DuPage — RCTC

First downs 13 — 20

Total net yards 290 — 139

Rushing yards 33-120 — 29-155

Passing yards 170 — 314

Pass att-comp.-int. 11-17-1 — 24-40-1

Fumbles lost 1-0 — 1-1

Penalties yards 9-75 — 9-82

Punts/ave. 7-45.7 — 5-43.2



DuPage — Jamgreon Dale 6-53, Jaden McGill 15-39, Atiba Fitz 5-39, Robert Brazziel 2-3, Peyton O'Laughlin 4-(-13), Team 1-(-1). RCTC — Christian Parrish 18-137, Devin Watson 6-16, Raphael Manning 3-7, Brady Walsh 1-(-4), Team 1-(-1).


DuPage — Peyton O'Laughlin 10 completions, 15 attempts, 1 interceptions, 2 touchdowns, 170 yards; Michael Gravely Jr. 1-2-1-0, 0 yards. RCTC — Devin Watson 24-40-1-2, 314 yards.


DuPage — Amariyon Lynch-Gordon 3-37, Deszmund White 2-37, AtibaFitz 2-23, Maddix Morris 1-60, Jaden McGill 1-8, Lafabian Fain 1-5. RCTC — Jairrus Nicholson 5-55, Hudson Dayton 4-93, Christian Parrish 4-51, Terrence Isaac Jr. 4-35, Will Dayton 2-43, Jakson Hart 2-14, Graham Nielsen 1-18, Caleb Waldron 1-3, Brady Rogers 1-2.