Thursday, 24 October 2019 11:12

Rockets outlast Cavs in defensive battle; Parsons, Ellerbe each score twice

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The Rockingham Middle School football team earned a two-point win over Cordova on Wednesday to snap a two-game losing streak. The Rockingham Middle School football team earned a two-point win over Cordova on Wednesday to snap a two-game losing streak. Jennie Maultsby — The Richmond Observer.

ROCKINGHAM — A defensive gridlock took place Wednesday as in-county opponents Cordova and Rockingham middle schools met on the football field.

The Rockets and head coach Larcoy McRae returned to the win column with a 14-12 victory over the Cavaliers. The outcome snapped a two-game losing streak for the Rockets, and was Cordova’s first loss since its season opener.

Miscues by the Cavs, including four turnovers, saw the visiting team score just two touchdowns after Cordova had been averaging 34 points per game the past two games. 

On the game’s opening drive, Cordova moved the ball to Rockingham’s 30-yard line, but a Jacob Wall interception switched sides of the field as he returned it 55 yards and into the red zone. Shortly after, Joe Parsons recorded the first of his two rushing scores on the afternoon to give the Rockets a 6-0 lead.

Cordova responded in the second quarter when the Cavs drove the length of the field and used a Tykeem Ellerbe rushing touchdown to knot the game. The two-point play would be no good. Following a Rockets punt, Ellerbe muscled his way in for his second rushing touchdown of the quarter and the Cavs went ahead 12-6.

Head coach Richard Kerekes’ team would recover a Rockets fumble in the closing minute of the half. A pass from quarterback Isaiah Lockhart to Marquan Martin moved the ball to the 10-yard line, but the clock expired for the half.

The third and fourth quarters would see the momentum swing in Rockingham’s favor. Cordova fumbled the ball on the first play of its opening second half drive, and although the Cavs defense would force a three-and-out, Rockingham pinned them on the one-yard line following a punt.

Failing to move the chains backed up on its own goal line, Cordova attempted a punt. But a dropped snap resulted in a tackle at the one-yard line, which led to Parsons barreling in his final score to tie the game on the turnover on downs. He would also score the game-winning two-point conversion.

As the third quarter ended, Cordova coughed the ball up again, and another Rockingham punt locked the Cavs inside their own three-yard line. Cordova’s comeback attempt fell short in the fourth quarter seeing an incomplete pass on fourth-and-five with 20 seconds left give the ball back to the Rockets, who took a knee to secure the win.

Despite not gaining a single first down in the game, the Rockets improved to 3-2 on the season, while Cordova’s record slipped back even at 2-2.

For Rockingham, Wall had a team-high six tackles to go along with his interception. James Easton had one tackle, but it forced a fumble. Scooping up loose balls were Joseph Patterson and Owen Taylor, as Rashad Gilbert added four tackles.

Cordova will return home next Wednesday and host Anson Middle School, and the Rockets will host Carver Middle School. Both games are set for a 4 p.m. start.

Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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