‘We did it’ — Rockets humble Eagles for conference championship

Rockingham completes perfect season with convincing victory

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

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ROCKINGHAM — Cole Deane isn’t supposed to be able to stop Zach Phillips.

But on a kick return in the fourth quarter, the Rockets defender — a buck 25 soaking wet only if he’s carrying a cinder

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com If you look through the gallery of photos, you'll see this is a play that Bobby Terry never should have scored. But he did.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
If you look through the gallery of photos, you’ll see this is a play that Bobby Terry never should have scored. But he did.

block — brought down the power running back. Though the play occurred in the fourth quarter as the Rockets held a 36-8 lead. And even though Trevor Whittington came in to assist on the tackle, it was indicative of what went right for the home team Wednesday.

The Carver Middle School Eagles won the coin toss. Pretty much everything else went right for Rockingham.

The host Rockets overwhelmed and overpowered the visiting Eagles in the Southeastern Middle School Conference championship game. Rockingham won 36-16 to secure the school’s first conference title since Richmond County moved from the junior high model in 2008. The Eagles were playing in their sixth conference title game since 2004 and, with the loss, lost their bid for a third straight crown.

If middle school sports are cyclical, then Wednesday it was clearly Rockingham’s turn. Between Bobby Terry on offense, aided by Jahyae Stanback, and Stanback on defense, aided by Terry, it was a game for the ages — so long as you were supporting the orange and white.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Jahyae Stanback reaches in to poke the ball away from Eagles receiver Joseph McKoy.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Jahyae Stanback reaches in to poke the ball away from Eagles receiver Joseph McKoy.

Terry finished with three touchdowns on offense and an interception on defense, while Stanback’s long scamper down the left sideline midway through the first quarter put the Rockets on the board. Stanback also had two interceptions to help thwart any momentum the Eagles hoped to maintain.

Terry’s short run on the two-point conversion with four minutes and 18 seconds left in the first quarter gave Rockingham an 8-0 lead. Carver punted on its first possession of the game and turned the ball over on downs on its second drive. Six seconds into the second quarter, Terry made Carver pay for giving the Rockets the ball back as he raced down the left side of the field for a 14-0 lead. A bad snap muffed the two-point conversion attempt.

Carver again turned the ball over on downs. On Rockingham’s first play from scrimmage, Terry struck again. This time, he did the nearly impossible — breaking away from a group of defenders in the middle of the field — ran towards the Rockets sideline and then scurried to the end zone for his second touchdown and a 20-0 Rockingham lead. The two-point conversion failed.

Sometimes, said Rockets coach Patrick Hope, he and his fellow coaches “can’t be stubborn” about the playbook.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Cole Deane goes for the stop against Carver's Zach Phillips. Trevor Whittington assisted on the tackle.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Cole Deane goes for the stop against Carver’s Zach Phillips. Trevor Whittington assisted on the tackle.

“We gotta let Bobby be Bobby,” Hope said.

Once the ball gets into his hands, Hope said, “You don’t know what’s gonna happen.”

The score remained the same through intermission, thanks in part to Stanback’s first of two interceptions that halted a Carver drive with 38 seconds left before halftime.

Carver kicked off to Rockingham to start the second half — that coin toss meant less and less by the minute — and from the second play from scrimmage, Terry scored again 83 seconds into the third quarter for a 26-0 lead. Jaheim Covington ran the ball up the middle for a successful two-point conversion and a 28-0 advantage.

Late in the third quarter, Roderick Newton added a touchdown run for a 34-0 lead. Josyiah Gladden ran the ball into the end zone for the two-point conversion. For the Eagles, Phillips tried to get his team back on track with a kickoff return with 2:27 left in the third quarter. The touchdown prevented the shutout, and the two-point conversion was successful. Rockingham still led by 28 points, 36-8.

Israel Fields capped Carver’s scoring with a long run, reaching the end zone with 68 seconds left on the clock.

It was a moment Hope planned to savor — but the title wasn’t a surprise.

“We talked about this Sept. 2,” Hope told his players in the post game huddle. “I told you if you did everything you were supposed to, you’d be here. It wasn’t easy. But all of us were here, and we got it done.”

Carver won conference titles in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2013. Rockingham to Carver 44-26 in the 2012 title game — one year before Hope took over the Rockets program. Rockingham also lost in the 2011 title game.

Filed in: Featured News, Latest Headlines, Rockingham, Sports

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  • Denise Stuart

    cant pull up the pic

    • http://frutke.com/ Frutke

      The ones at the Photo Gallery, on this page, or where @Denise Stuart? They’re both loading okay for me.

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