Rockets get defensive in win over the Royals
By Todd Rohde-SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
It’s quite obvious that a team must be able to put points on the board offensively if they are going to have a chance at coming away with a victory.
But all the points in the world aren’t going to be enough to come out on top, unless your defense is able to take a stand and prevent the opponent from scoring as well.
The Richmond-Burton football team proved this theory first hand Oct. 4, as they got defensive on the field and didn’t allow Rockford Christian to get much of anything going offensively. The Rockets were rewarded handsomely for their efforts in doing so by posting a convincing 42-7 Big Northern Conference Eastern Division win over the Royals in Rockford.
The victory improved the Rockets to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in league play for the season, as they inch closer to becoming playoff eligible. The defeat on the other hand kept the Royals winless on the year at 0-6 and 0-4.
Just to show how dominating the Rockets’ defense really was, they limited the Royals to just 91 total yards in the game while racking up a hefty 380 of their own. Richmond’s defense really smothered Rockford Christian in the first half, where they kept them scoreless over the first two quarters of play with no first downs and allowed them to reach for a measly 18 yards.
With the above in mind, it shouldn’t be of any surprise then that this allowed the Rockets offense to compliment their counterparts’ efforts by grabbing the momentum and setting the tempo for the game early on in their favor. Richmond got on the board first by jumping out to a 7-0 lead with 2:21 left in the first, as Brad Boelkow found the end zone from two-yards out for the first score.
The Rockets continued to make the most out of their possessions, as they scored two more times in the second quarter to up their advantage to 20-0 at the end of the first half. Running back Tyler Talatian scored first on a two-yard run with just under five minutes left in the second, while Boelkow crossed the goal line on an eight-yard scamper with just 18 ticks left in the half.
This was just the start of good things to come for the Rockets, as they saved their best performance for the third quarter. That’s when Richmond gave their fans plenty to cheer about by scoring 22 unanswered points on three more touchdowns over the 12-minute span to increase their lead to 42-0 and put the game out of reach.
Senior back Vince Battaglia and senior quarterback Danny Rygiel each scored on one-yard runs, while Nathan Hansel accounted for the other TD on a 10-yard burst up the middle.
This allowed the Rockets to give their starters a breather and let the reserves receive some valuable playing time and experience. The Royals only tally in the contest came midway through the final quarter on a one-yard plunge, but it was way too little too late.
All of the Rockets offensive success came from their running game, as they attempted just one pass the entire game. Boelkow led the attack by racking up 134 yards on 11 carries, Battaglia added 62 more yards on nine runs, Talatian dished in 52 yards on nine attempts and Luke Brinkmann finished with 50 yards on eight chances.