Rockwood proves to be too much for Cloudland

Published 11:45 pm Friday, September 2, 2022

By Lisa Benfield
Star Correspondent
   The Highlanders received the opening kickoff at Orr field Friday night. Gage McKinney returned the football to the 40-yard line. After a couple of short gains, the Tigers took over at the 17 following the Highlander punt. The Tigers reached a first down at the 34 on a sweep. Turner had a 66-yard touchdown run for Rockwood with 7:18 remaining in the first quarter. An extra point by Maclaine was good to give Rockwood a 7-0 lead.
   Highlander Kyle Birchfield returned the kickoff to the 20. Gage McKinney moved the ball out to the 39-yard line for the Highlanders. Then McKinney caught a break and ran the ball into Cloudland territory, with a 23-yard carry. However, on the following play, an interception by Rockwood’s Turner at the 21-yard line put the Tigers back on offense. After a couple of short gains and two penalties, the Tigers were forced to punt. Cloudland took over at the 26-yard line as time expired in the first quarter with the score still 7-0 Rockwood.
  Gage McKinney and the Highlander offense fought their way into Tiger territory. Peppers and Birchfield had short gains, then McKinney was brought down just short of the first down marker. Cloudland punted and Rockwood’s Turner returned the ball to the 38-yard line, giving the Tigers a 1st down. Rockwood’s Jolly ran in the touchdown, and the extra point was good extending Rockwood’s lead to 14-0.
  On the ensuing kickoff, Highlander Elijah Holsclaw scampered 90 yards for the special team’s touchdown. The Highlanders’ two-point conversion failed leaving the score 14-6 with 3:00 remaining in the 2nd quarter.
 Rockwood returned the McClellan kickoff out to the 40-yard line. Rockwood’s Jolly and Turner combined to move the ball out near midfield. On fourth and five Rockwood’s QB launched a deep touchdown pass to Jolly. The extra point is good making the score 21-6 with 2:05 to go in the first half.
  The Highlanders moved the ball to midfield and took it into Rockwood territory but came up short on third down and were forced to punt. The Highlander punt was blocked by Rockwood where Rockwood threw for a touchdown with 10.7 to go in the half. The extra-point was good, and Rockwood led 28-6 at halftime.
The Rockwood Tigers added one more score in the second half, and the final was 36-6.
 Gage McKinney finished the night with 209 yards on 37 attempts. Kyle Birchfield had 8 carries for 39 yards. The Highlanders’ lone score of the night came on Elijah Holtsclaw’s 90-yard kickoff return.

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