Turnovers prove too costly as Rockets fall
Turnovers and mistakes caused by inexperience proved to the Neshoba Central’s downfall as the Rockets dropped a 35-16 decision to West Lauderdale Friday night in prep football action.
The Rockets, now 0-2, will be back in action Friday night when they host Forest Hill in their first Region 2-5A game of the season. The Patriots come in at 0-2 following losses Warren Central and South Jones. Kickoff is set to 7:30 p.m.
Three interceptions and a lost fumble proved costly to the Rockets’ effort.
“We have some young players starting for the first time, and we knew we were going to have some mistakes at the start of the season,” said Coach Patrick Schoolar. “Getting these mistakes corrected and getting them playing time right now is critical. I believe this team is going to be ok. It will take a few games to work the kinks out and to see who we are, both on offense and defense.”
The Rockets got off to a good start when they recovered a fumble on the Knights 10-yard line. Mehki Gaddis ran the ball down to the one-yard line and then Elijah Ruffin carried it in for a touchdown. John Parker Hancock kicked the extra point and the Rockets led 7-0 with 9:59 remaining.
The Knights responded with a seven-play, 63-yard drive that ended with an 18-yard run. The kick was good and the game was tied at 7-7 with 7:02 left in the first quarter.
The Rockets took possession of the ball on their own 44-yard line late in the first quarter. The Rockets pushed the ball down to the Knights’ one-yard line and Ruffin scored his second touchdown of the night. Hancock kicked the extra point and the Rockets led 14-7 early in the second quarter.
The Knights bounced back to tie the game on a 74-yard scoring play. The kick was good and the game was tied at 14-14.
The Knights took over, scoring two more touchdowns before the half. The first was on a five-yard run and the second on a 25-yard run. At the intermission, West Lauderdale led 28-14.
The Rocket defense came up with a safety during the third quarter to cut West Lauderdale’s led to 28-16 with 7:43 left in the third quarter.
The Rockets stayed in the fight and drove down to the Knights nine-yard early in the fourth quarter. Then, an unfortunate interception ended that effort. The Knights would put together a long, time consuming drive that ended on a five-yard TD run and the Knights claimed the win.