Rockets push aside Bearcats, 44-0

Rockingham moves to 5-0, readies to host Hamlet

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* Photo gallery – More than 1,200 pics!
Previous coverage
* Ellerbe won Wednesday over Hamlet, 42-36 to improve to 3-1. The Wildcats trailed 18-0 in the first quarter but pulled ahead before halftime.
* Oct. 15: Rockets overwhelm Wildcat, 46-14
* Oct. 9: Rockets upend Dragons, 40-0
* Oct. 1: Rockets pull down Rebels, 26-0
* Sept. 15: Terry runs Rockets past Tigers, 40-8

ROCKINGHAM — Going into Wednesday’s home game against Anson County, every player and coach on the Rockingham Middle School football squad knew the conference championship game would be played on the Rockets’ home field on Nov. 5.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Bobby Terry scores Rockingham's first touchdown — and only score of the first half — on Wednesday against Anson County.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Bobby Terry scores Rockingham’s first touchdown — and only score of the first half — on Wednesday against Anson County.

On Wednesday, they made sure they had the best seats in the house.

After a close first half, Rockingham scored 20 points in a span of 3 minutes and 32 seconds to open the third quarter en route to a 44-0 over the Bearcats. With the victory, the Rockets improved to 5-0 and maintained sole possession of first place in the conference’s western division. A loss would have dropped Rockingham into a tie with Ellerbe and Anson County, both teams having headed into Wednesday’s game with one loss apiece.

The game looked to be anything but a blowout early on. The Rockets made what could have been costly errors early on and Anson had little trouble moving the ball downfield. Even when things went right, they went wrong. A potential touchdown run by Bobby Terry was called back only 14 seconds into the second quarter. Ninety seconds later, another long Terry run was negated by a holding penalty.

Then, with 36 seconds left on the clock before halftime, Terry crossed into the end zone. And it stuck. And when quarterback Jahyae Stanback tossed to Terry to complete the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead, it was with relief that Rockingham held a slim lead going into intermission.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Two Rockingham defenders push back an Anson runner in the second half.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Two Rockingham defenders push back an Anson runner in the second half.

It turns out it was a sign of things to come.

Big plays on both sides of the ball in the third quarter cast Anson aside and paved the way for the Rockets to host Hamlet next week in the regular season finale with little on their minds — or on the line — but bragging rights before the title game.

Those big plays, coach Patrick Hope told his team moments after the buzzer signaled the game’s end those big plays “took their heart from ’em.”

Once it started, Anson couldn’t stop the bleeding.

Terry ran nearly the length of the field on the Rockets’ first play from scrimmage in the third quarter for a 14-0 advantage. The two-point conversion failed, but that hardly mattered.

Terry, Hope said, “is special. Me and him talked about taking that next step.”

Just past the midway point in the third quarter, Jaheim Covington finished off a scoring drive — highlighted by a Stanback to Terry pass to get inside the red zone — with a touchdown run and a 20-0 Rockets lead. Stanback kept the ball himself on the two-point conversion for a 22-0 advantage.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Jaqua Gladden scores what seems to be an impossible touchdown late in the fourth quarter for a 42-0 Rockets lead.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Jaqua Gladden scores what seems to be an impossible touchdown late in the fourth quarter for a 42-0 Rockets lead.

A mere 11 seconds later, Terry intercepted a pass from the Bearcats quarterback near midfield and found his way into the end zoned for his third touchdown and a 28-0 lead. The two-point conversion attempt failed.

Early in the fourth, however, that blemish was easily covered up. As the Bearcats were experiencing their first success with their running game since the first quarter, Terry happened. Again. Somehow, the fumbled football ended up in Terry’s hands, and Terry dashed down the left side of the field for a 34-0 lead. Josyiah Gladden ran the sweep to the right side for the two-point conversion.

If there was any doubt the game was all but over and the sign was pointing the Rockets towards the conference championship game, Jaqua Gladden squashed it. On a running play from about 20 yards out, the ball nearly got away and ended up loosely secured on Gladden’s back — yes, back. And he still left multiple Anson defenders in his wake en route to the pay dirt. Rockingham 42, Anson 0.

Isiah Crowder punched it in for a 44-0 final.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Jahyae Stanback runs for a gain.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Jahyae Stanback runs for a gain.

“They showed us some stuff we hadn’t seen before,” Hope said of the Bearcats’ offensive strategy. “We knew we were going to get their best shot.”

On the earlier miscues, “we just had to settle down,” Hope said.

The Rockets have outscored their opponents 196-22 and have recorded three shutouts in five games.

Rockingham hosts Hamlet at 4 p.m. Oct. 29 and then the championship game, also at 4 p.m. Nov. 5 against the eastern division winner.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Brenda David

    Great pictures of the game

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