Prospects Recap from Dakota vs. Romeo (Story)

Written by
Jeff Corrion
Photo Credit
Jeff Corrion

The #12 Dakota Cougars and #23 Romeo Bulldogs as expected had a great football game that went into 2 overtimes. Dakota's Riley Orlando, Zach Greaves, and Jared Rapin combined to have the game-sealing tackle that set off a raucous celebration on Romeo's homecoming as Dakota won 37-30.

We'll break down their performances below:

Dakota :

2021 DB/RB De'javion "DJ" Stepney is a 6' 177 lbs sophomore who has been a very important piece to Dakota's success this year and in this game he was outstanding from the start. On the Cougars opening drive he made an outstanding cut at the line of scrimmage, burst, made a defender miss, and burst up field for a 40-yard touchdown just minutes into the game. Stepney was a key player throughout the game, but an immaculate interception on his teams sideline with him fully extended was a game-changing interception for the Cougars. Stepney has only gone on one visit thus far and the sophomore is surely to see a spike in his recruiting process.

2019 LB Jeremiah Major who is 6'1 245 lbs runs a 4.67 40-yard dash. Major is one of the most productive players and is a player who is seemingly in on everything throughout the game. Major had some very key tackles in the 2 overtimes that saved touchdowns. Major is a Division 1 tweener at this point, he's not a camp kid so there's not much hype on him. Just a lot of production (95 tackles this year and 15 in this game).

2019 QB Mark Tocco threw for 2 touchdowns and rushed for 2 touchdowns. The 5'11 170 lbs QB has one of the most desired skills for a QB, a short memory! Tocco wasn't as sharp as we've seen in the past with a few overthrows during the game, but it simply didn't matter when Dakota needed to make a play, Tocco did. In overtime, Tocco needed 2 plays to score 2 touchdowns. 1 was an outstanding run and then a seed to Brandon Michalak on a slant. Tocco holds a Division III roster spot from Ripon.

2019 WR Brandon Michalak holds an offer from Michigan Tech and Concordia-Ann Arbor. The 6'2 170 lbs Michalak has been extremely productive this year and Romeo tried to limit him but he tied a season-high with 6 receptions. Michalak had the game-winning touchdown in OT and had 86 receiving yards. Michalak has played himself this season into a D1-FCS tweener and a high priority D2/NAIA recruit.

Dakota 2019 DT/OL Riley Orlando is 6' 270 lbs and is a lot to handle up the middle as he sheds blocks well, aggressive, and is hard-nosed. Orlando had 3 tackles in this game but none were bigger than a tackle on 4th down in overtime that sealed their win, where he spun out of a block and met the Romeo RB along with another teammate to make the tackle. Holds a Division III roster spot from Mount Union.

2020 K/P Brady Zarschler has a Division 1 leg and showed it off on Friday with a simple 20-yard FG plus 4/5 on PAT's, 1 was blocked and 2 were made in overtime. The junior showed off his leg on kickoffs too. Zarschler is hearing from several schools so we expect to see a rise in his recruiting process.

2020 OT Connor Wolfgang who is 6'4 275 lbs and 2020 OL Brandon Ross who is 6'3 300 lbs had good games are names to know. They visited Western Michigan on Saturday.

2019 WR/S Ross Lewalski is a 6' 180 lbs two-way player who is reliable and is a nice possession receiver. Lewalski had some key plays on defense for the Cougars, his highlight was a potential touchdown-saving tackle in space with a counter rush Romeo did with one of their wing-backs in the final 3 minutes of the game.

2020 OC Tyson Wheeler is a 6'2 250 lbs Center prospect who also started as a sophomore on varsity last year for the Cougars. Wheeler didn't have any bad snaps during the game and was solid blocking throughout the day and double-teamed effectively. Wheeler anchors the OL and makes the calls.

2021 DE Mike Pruchnic is a 6'3 205 lbs sophomore who had several key good plays during the game and was a player who caught our attention that we look forward to seeing more of.

2021 CB Eric Reese is a 5'10 171 lbs sophomore CB who had some up and down plays throughout the game, but is definitely a player with a high ceiling.


2019 MLB/RB Brock Horne is our #15 ranked player in the Class of 2019 and the #1 MLB in the state. Horne is a hard-nosed 6'2 210 lbs prospect who had some nice tackles in this game and filled gaps well. Horne was a tank carrying the ball with several tough runs and he exceeded 100 rushing yards. Horne holds 11 various offers.

2020 OC/OG Neil Shaw III is a nice 6'1 265 lbs interior lineman prospect who had many key blocks in this game. Shaw moves extremely well on his pulls and was a key reason for several of Romeo's best offensive plays during the game. Shaw has a high-motor and is very relentless in his blocks.

2019 S/WR Ryan Heimbuch was one of the biggest standouts on both sides of the ball for Romeo. Heimbuch tracked the ball well on defense and showed his athleticism off with some nice catches including a nice reverse touchdown run and then had an outstanding 2 point conversion attempt from 18 yards out along the sideline.

2021 OT Weston Jones is a 6'4 255 lbs lineman who is just a sophomore but you would have never guessed. Jones was very solid for Romeo.

2019 DE Trevor Franklin is a 6'1 210 lbs DE who has a high-motor and caused Dakota's offensive line to have some problems during the game.

2019 QB Jack Wendt is a 5'11 165 lbs QB who is a good leader and throws well on the run.