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By TANK JOHNSON
The Rockwood Middle School Tigers picked up a key win last week, soundly defeating Robertsville 44-14 and helping hold on to the top spot in the district in the process.
After receiving the opening kick, Rockwood set sail on a seven-play drive that was capped by a bruising three-yard touchdown run by Brant Mitchell. After Kyron Inman ran in the two-point conversion, Rockwood held an early 8-0 lead.
The Rams would bounce back immediately, however, using their team speed to span the field in 10 plays. Robertsville would score with 7:34 left in the first half, cutting the Rockwood lead to 8-6.
"I thought Robertsville's speed would give us some problems early," RMS head coach Scott Harvey said. "Up til now, we had been the fastest team on the field."
Harvey and his Tigers did have a little trouble early with that speed, but would make all the right adjustments as the game went on.
After the Ram touchdown, Rockwood was caught off guard with an onside kick, but the defense quickly atoned for that. On the second Robertsville play, Corbin Van Patten made the first of his two interceptions during the game. Rockwood took control from that point, going five plays to score another touchdown.
Drake Long did the honors, finishing the drive with a 12-yard touchdown run with 4:23 left in the second quarter.
The Tigers weren't done.
Another score came on a 20-yard touchdown run by Inman, giving Rockwood a 20-6 lead heading into the halftime break.
Rockwood was in command, taking its first possession of the second quarter and using five plays to drive a dagger into the hearts of the homestanding Robertsville team. Inman again scored, this time from six yards away. Long tacked on the two-point conversaion and Rockwood held a 28-6 lead with 3:47 left in the third.
Van Patten picked off his second pass on the next Ram drive and the Tigers needed just four plays to score again. Inman rambled in from 30 yards this time, giving the Tigers a 34-6 lead, after R.J. Matyjasik was on the receiving end of the two-point conversion.
Inman would then score his fourth touchdown of the night, and would add the two-point conversion, as the Tigers put up a 44-6 lead.
The Rams would score late in the game, but the Tigers celebrated the 44-14 victory, locking them down as the No. 1 team in their district.
Some of the leaders for the Tigers included Long with 12 runs for 84 yards and a touchdown. Inman finished the night with 151 yards on 11 carries and four scores. Mitchell ran the ball six times and gained 73 yards and a score.
The Tigers will be at home on Thursday, hosting Wartburg.