Rockets’ rally falls short in loss to North Boone
By Todd Rohde~SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
The Richmond-Burton football team has really come into their own and has played some of their best football of the season over the past month or so. Unfortunately though every good team is going to run into a speed bump now and then, and for the Rockets that occurred Oct. 18th.
That’s when Richmond ran into a determined North Boone program, which was able to put all of the pieces together at the right time to get best of the Rockets. For their efforts, the Vikings were able to come away with a 21-13 Big Northern Conference Eastern Division win over the Rockets in Richmond.
The loss dropped the Rockets record to 5-3 overall and to 3-2 in league play for the season, while the Vikings improved to 4-4 and 3-2 on the year. The defeat was the Rockets first in their last five games and they now have to travel to undefeated Harvard (8-0) Oct. 25th and beat the Hornets in order to guarantee themselves a spot in the postseason playoffs.
The loss was an upset for the Vikings and was a letdown for the Rockets, as North Boone was a team that they felt they definitely could of and should have defeated especially on their home turf in front of the own fans. The Rockets more than had their chances to produce a comeback rally, but just couldn’t get the plays to fall for them at the right times when they counted the most.
North Boone opened up the scoring on the night by taking a 7-0 advantage with just over four minutes left in the first quarter. They capped off a respectable drive when Francisco Fuentes Jr. found the end zone on an 11-yard rushing touchdown.
The Rockets would answer back with a score of their own on their next possession, one which began in the first quarter and ended at the 11:42 mark of the second. Junior Tyler Talatian crossed the goal line on an 11-yard run to knot the score at 7-7.
The see-saw battle would continue, as both teams held their ground and made sure that they other had to work hard for everything they got. The Rockets and the Vikings matched up pretty well against one another on both sides of the ball setting the stage for a competitive battle.
North Boone would recapture the lead once again with less than six minutes left in the second quarter, as they would take a 14-7 lead into the locker room with them at the half. They punched the ball in from 10-yards out on a running play and then added the point-after attempt to make up the difference.
A big turning point in the game came in the third quarter for two different reasons. First the Rockets would score a touchdown to slice the deficit to a mere point, but unfortunately on the same play one of their most productive running backs got hurt and would be forced to sit out the rest of the way.
Junior running back Brad Boelkow busted some tackles and made his way into the end zone for a 24-yard rushing touchdown, but suffered a sprained collarbone on the play. The extra-point try failed and the Rockets pulled to within 14-13 with 6:07 left in the third.
North Boone would give themselves some breathing room on the ensuing kickoff, as they scored a touchdown of their own less than a minute later. They increased their lead to 21-13 after Fuentes Jr. hooked up with Jon Lilly for an impressive 67-yard touchdown reception.
Even with their back up against the wall, the Rockets refused to give in as they gave it their all in desperation to try and rally back into it. Richmond was able to march the ball down to the Vikings seven-yard line midway through the fourth quarter, but came away with no points after coming up short on a fourth down conversion attempt and the Rockets would get no closer.
Even before getting injured, Boelkow was able to rack up 121 yards in just two and a half quarters of play to lead the Rockets offense on the night.