Tigers ground game grinds up Upperman, 30-24

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After the Rockwood Tigers lost some heartbreakers in the first few weeks to Kingston and Grace Christian, they got the benefit of a bye week, due to the forfeit win of Taft Youth Center. The bye gave the Tigers plenty of time to get set in their offensive and defensive scheme and prepare for the Upperman Bees.  Rockwood fought a hard game with the Bees, and came out on top by a final score of 30-24.

Rockwood’s Kyron Inman received the opening kickoff and went down the sideline to the Upperman 6 yard line after receiving a few good blocks, but offsetting penalties brought it back for a re-kick. 

Rockwood then took the field at the Upperman 40 yard line and drove the field behind the running of Clay Cisson and company.  With 8:35 remaining in the first, Rockwood took the lead with a 29-yard field goal from Jared Breazeale to make the score 3-0.  

Upperman took the field and quickly answered back with some big pass plays of their own from QB Connor York. The Bees hit a quick 11-yard slant to Alex Sauceman to steal the lead right back, but missed the extra point, putting Upperman up 6-3 on the Tigers.  

Late in the first, Rockwood and Upperman traded some quick scores with Rockwood scoring on a two-yard run from Tyler Skidmore and Upperman scoring on a 60-yard run from York to make the score 12-10. But the Tigers got the last laugh due to a huge 48-yard touchdown run from Drake Long and an onside kick recovery. This put Rockwood in front 17-12 and gave them the ball to start the second quarter.

Just 1:23 seconds into the second quarter, Long gashed the Upperman defense for a 20-yard touchdown making the score 24-12.  

Upperman came right back with a score of their own, mixing it up with both run and pass offenses, narrowing the margin to just six points with a 20-yard pass from York to Dylan Hedgecoth. 

With the Bees getting the ball to start the third quarter, Rockwood needed to score before half to push the lead and feel good going into the locker room, and late in the first half, the Tigers went for a fourth-and-three and converted. This set up a 29-yard touchdown run from Inman with just over three minutes in the half. This put the Tigers up 30-18 to close the half.

Upperman came out in the third quarter fired up and answered Rockwood’s touchdown to close the first half with a score of their own, closing the gap once again to just six points.  

The remainder of the third and most of the fourth quarters, Upperman and the Tigers had some good drives but had no points to show for their efforts.  With 3:40 left in the game, Rockwood sent the field goal unit out on the field, which would have put the game out of reach for the Bees, but the snap was mishandled and the kick was no good giving the ball back to Upperman with just under three minutes left in the game.  

The Rockwood defense held Upperman to a fourth and long, and the Bees could not convert.  

Rockwood held on in a thriller and got the win by a final of 30-24.  

The Tigers finished the game with a total of 358 yards of offense and 18 first downs. Inman finished the game with 14 rushes for 93 yards and Drake Long had 97 yards on 13 rushes.  

 Rockwood plays Harriman in the cross town rivalry next Friday night at 7:30. This will be the 93rd time the Blue Devils and Tigers have met with Rockwood holding a 51-35-6 advantage in the series.