RHS dominates Raiders in second half
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on September 24, 2006 2:15 AM
Rosewood defensive line coach Tom Tipton perfectly summed up the Eagles' 30-7 win over Midway on Friday at Branch Pope Field.
"We really took it to 'em in the second half," Tipton said.
Rosewood's steadily improving defense gave up just 63 yards and two first downs after intermission -- also picking up two turnovers. After running 29 plays in a statistically-even first half, the Raiders ran just 16 in the second.
Six-foot-seven punter Jeremy Hill and the special teams consistently helped win the field position battle and added a fumble recovery of their own, which led to a 2-yard touchdown surge by quarterback Josh Myers to cap the scoring. Hill pinned Midway inside the 10 on all four of his punts, three coming in the second half.
Rosewood, which has already matched last season's win total, outscored the visitors 17-0 in the second half and improved to 3-2 overall. The victory avenged a setback to the Raiders last year in Spivey's Corner.
"I thought field position was crucial. The kicking game was a highlight, and I thought our defense played well," Rosewood coach Daniel Barrow said. "It was a complete team win against a good opponent."
The Eagles got on the board on their second drive of the first quarter when Myers found Stephen McIntyre on an 18-yard strike to make it 7-0 after Cameron Lowe's extra point. The scoring drive was set up by a long punt return by Devon Bennett.
Behind the strong running of Rob Robinson and Danny Council, Midway (2-3) posted its only touchdown with 4:30 left in the second quarter. Council, who had a 41-yard rumble earlier in the 95-yard drive, tied the game at 7-7 with a short blast.
The Raiders recovered a pooch-kick on the ensuing kickoff and seemed to have taken the momentum, but turned it over to Rosewood on a fumble two plays later.
From there it was all Eagles, who scored 23 unanswered points.
Rosewood's Chris Holmes' 9-yard touchdown run finished off a balanced drive, which featured one first-down rush each from Cody Richards, Bennett and Myers. A bad snap on the extra point sent the Eagles into the locker room with a 13-7 lead.
Using its running attack, Rosewood started the second half with a 12-play, 69-yard drive that took over six minutes off the clock. The first of two Myers' rushing touchdowns, then a two-point conversion run by the quarterback pushed the score to 21-7.
"Our offense sputtered at times, but I thought we came out in the second half and played much better," Barrow said.
Midway never recovered as the visitors had a pass intercepted, lost two fumbles and were forced to punt twice on its final five possessions of the game. Midway through the fourth quarter, a high snap sailed over Raiders' punter Garrett Knowles' and into the endzone. Knowles recovered the ball and was tackled in the endzone for a safety, then spiked the ball in frustration -- leading to a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the ensuing kickoff.
The Eagles couldn't cash in on the short field but the Raiders fumbled Hill's punt inside the five as Rosewood's David Templeton fell on the loose ball. Myers scored on a two-yard plunge on the next play as Lowe's kick made it 30-7.
Myers (8-71) and Bennett (15-64) combined for 135 yards, while Richards (7-46) and Holmes (5-23) proved solid compliments with 69 yards. Myers went to the air just seven times and completed three passes for 35 yards. McIntyre's touchdown reception proved to be the longest completion of the night on either side.
Midway never found any offensive balance as they had just nine yards on 1-of-9 passing to go along with 173 yards on the ground, mostly tallied by Robinson (18-100) and Council (9-63).
Linebacker Robert Franks led Rosewood's defense with 14 tackles, while free safety Jonathan Peedin had eight tackles and an interception. Defensive end Holt Rains added six as senior end and defensive captain, Jaren Hines, contributed five tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery.
"We're just all playing together and not getting down when something bad happens," Hines said. "We just need to continue to practice hard."
Rosewood overcame 13 penalties for 95 yards -- mostly holding and procedure flags on offense. Meanwhile, Midway was penalized just twice for 20 yards.
The Eagles will be gunning for their third straight win next Friday at Jones Sr. (3-2) in Trenton.
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