Rushford-Peterson's football team may not have beaten Caledonia last Friday night, but the Trojans sure got the attention of Three Rivers Conference foes with their hard-nosed performance.
Coach Davin Thompson & Co. gave the Warriors, ranked No. 1 in 2A, their toughest game of the season to date before falling 15-7 at Caledonia.
Trojan fans are hoping their favorites can ply their momentum into a victory Friday night when they play host to Southland in the R-P homecoming at Niggle Field.
The Rebels (3-2), after losses to Plainview-Elgin-Millville and Chatfield, righted the ship last week with a narrow 20-19 win over Kingsland.
Caledonia 15, R-P 7
The Trojans (3-2) closed to within 9-7 in the third quarter before the Warriors (5-0) countered with a touchdown of their own to account for the final score.
R-P was able to contain the Warriors' potent offense much of the contest but had trouble slowing quarterback Alex Varney.
Varney, credited with 114 yards rushing on 14 carries, broke loose on an 80-yard scoring run in the second quarter to give the Warriors a 9-0 lead.
Kicker Levi Schmitz missed the PAT after connecting on a 21-yard field goal in the first quarter.
The Trojans caught a break midway through the third quarter, recovering a Warrior fumble on the Caledonia 25-yard line.
On the first play, R-P's Tyler McLellan sped the distance to the end zone, and Eric Courrier booted the PAT to cut the deficit to 9-7.
Caledonia ran the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown, but it was nullified by penalty.
Still, the Warriors started from their own 45 and strung together four first downs. Varney then ran the last eight yards to paydirt to make it 15-7. Schmitz missed a second PAT.
In the fourth quarter, the Trojans recovered a fumble at the Caledonia 25 and drove as deep as the two without scoring.
Later, the Trojans came to a fourth-and-one situation at the one-yard line, but a procedure penalty set them back to the six and again, they couldn't convert.
Steve Adcock led R-P rushers with 47 yards on 12 carries. As a team, the Trojans gained 129 on the ground and 59 through the air.
Caledonia rushed for 183 yards and passed for 49 more.