Rockets improve to 2-0 with win over West Lauderdale on Friday
The Neshoba Central Rockets improved to 2-0 with a 21-14 victory over West Lauderdale Friday night in prep football action.
The Rockets finished the night with 308 total yards and 13 first downs. West Lauderdale ran the ball 47 times for 164 yards. The Knights finished with 241 total yards on offense and 12 first downs.
West Lauderdale was remembering a former student who died on Thursday.
“We took care of business,” Coach Patrick Schoolar said. “West Lauderdale was playing with a lot of emotion. They are a good team. They are always in the playoffs and are well-coached. They played well. Our kids matched it and found a way to win.”
The Rockets got on the scoreboard with 6:07 in the first quarter when quarterback Eli Anderson ran three yards for a touchdown. This capped a 71-yard drive. Hunter Bavetta kicked the extra point and the Rockets led 7-0.
Anderson came back in the second quarter to connect with Dez McWilliams on a 14-yard TD pass. This capped a 68-yard scoring drive. Bavetta kicked the extra point and the Rockets led 14-0 with 5:35 left in the half.
West Lauderdale got on the scoreboard with 34 seconds left in the half as quarterback Jackson Parker scored on a one-yard rush. The extra point was good and the Rockets led 14-7 at the half.
Anderson found McWilliams again in the third quarter on a 25-yard TD pass play, capping a 70-yard drive. Bavetta kicked the extra point and the Rockets led 21-7 with 4:12 left in the third quarter.
West Lauderdale pulled to within one touchdown in the fourth quarter when Parker connected with Brett Busbea on a 22-yard TD pass play. The extra point was good and the Knights trailed 21-14 with 9:31 left. That would be the final score of the game as the Rockets held on for the win.
Anderson completed 16-of-20 pass attempts for 178 yards. He also rushed seven times for 61 yards. Ja’Naylor Dupree caught six passes for 61 yards. Bryceton Spencer caught four passes for 51 yards while McWilliams had three catches for 60 yards. Zander Kirkland was the leading rusher with 66 yards on 15 carries.
Defensively, Beau Holley had seven assists, a tackle for a loss and two quarterback hurries. Kelbee Holmes had eight assists, a tackle, a quarterback hurry and a sack. Jaharon Griffin had three tackles, 10 assists and two sacks. Maxton Woodard had had two tackles, five assists and a quarterback hurry. Braydon Gibson had four tackles, four assists and a sack. Anthony Hobson had five assists and one tackle for a loss.
Neshoba Central will be back in action Friday night when the Rockets visit Forest Hill. This is the first time the two schools have played. This is a Region 2-5A contest.
“They are big and athletic,” Coach Schoolar said. “We are looking at films on them now.”