Rockets seek first win Friday at West Lauderdale
The Neshoba Central Rockets will try to get on the winning track this Friday night when they visit West Lauderdale in prep football action.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. The Rockets come in with a 0-1 record after dropping a 22-19 decision at Olive Branch last Friday night. The Knights stand at 1-0 following their 42-10 win over Newton County.
“We played hard,” Coach Patrick Schoolar said. "We have some mistakes we have to clean up. Now we have to get ready for West Lauderdale. They are our rival and have a really good team this year. It should be a good game.”
Olive Branch recovered a fumble on the Rockets 36-yard line which set up its first score. Two plays later, Britten Taylor scored on a 16-yard run. The kick was good and the Conquistadors led 7-0.
The Rockets took the ensuing kickoff and drove down to the Conquistadors 18-yard line before running into fourth down. John Parker Hancock came on to kick a 40-yard field goal and the Rockets were on the scoreboard with 3:50 left in the first quarter.
Hancock added a 24-yard field goal later in the second period and Neshoba Central had cut the Conquistadors’ lead to one point, 7-6.
But following the kickoff, Olive Branch’s Damian Anthony broke for a 53-yard TD run. The kick was good and the Conquistadors led 14-6.
Later in the second quarter, Olive Branch was driving deep into Neshoba Central territory when there was a fumble. Defensive lineman Anthony Hopson picked up the ball and ran it back 90 yards for a touchdown. Hancock’s kick was good and the Rockets trailed 14-13 late in the second quarter. That’s how it stood at the half.
Neshoba Central took the lead in the third quarter when quarterback Will Williams connected with Dakiren Wilson on a 17-yard TD play. Two plays earlier, Mehki Gaddis had put the Rockets in the red zone with a 45-yard run. The try for two failed and the Rockets led 19-14.
Olive Branch retook the lead in the lead in the fourth quarter on a five-yard TD pass by quarterback Rakeem Vance. The two point conversion was good and the Conquistadors held on for the victory.
The Rockets finished the night with 12 first downs and 247 total yards. Neshoba Central rushed for 165 yards on 28 carries, and completed 11-of-22 passes for 82 yards.
The Conquistadors finished with 11 first downs and 289 total yards. Olive Branch rushed for 202 yards on 28 carries and completed 9-of-13 passes for 87 yards.
The Rockets were penalized eight times for 85 yards while Olive Branch had five penalties for 40 yards.
Gaddis was the leading rusher with 173 yards for 25 yards. Williams had all of the passing yards. Charles Stevenson had five catches for 24 yards while Elijah Ruffin had three catches for 28 yards. Wilson had two catches for 20 yards.
On defense, Carmello Whitfield had five tackles. Joseph Vargas had eight tackles and a fumble recovery. Ruffin had two tackles, a sack and forced a fumble. Hopson had six tackles, one hurry and returned a fumble for a touchdown. Beau Holley had for tackles, Lades Clancy had six tackles and forced a fumble,