FAYETTEVILLE – Coming off back-to-back lackluster offensive performances in losses to Batavia and Williamsburg, the Fayetteville Rockets looked for a spark Friday night against the Hillcrest Rams.
The team got much, much more than a spark: they got an offensive explosion.
The Rockets rolled up 474 yards of total offense, 419 of which came on the ground, en route to a sound 58-6 thrashing of Hillcrest.
Fayetteville started the scoring early. Eli Wolfer scampered in for a 27-yard TD run with 9:02 left in the first quarter, putting the team up 6-0. Chase Jester followed with a score less than six minutes later, carrying the ball six yards for a touchdown. Timmy Crone converted the two point conversion, giving Fayetteville a 14-0 lead.
After Fayetteville forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, the team struck again. Quarterback Cole Schaefer threw only one pass the entire game, but Crone caught it for a 25-yard TD pass that gave the Rockets a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.
Hillcrest struck for a 60-yard touchdown pass on their next drive, but the team failed on the two-point attempt. Caleb Dowers would add a rushing touchdown on Fayetteville’s next drive to put the game of reach.
That didn’t stop the Rockets from scoring. Jester ripped off a 37-yard touchdown run, Crone hit Luke Davis with a 30-yard strike and Schaefer added a rushing touchdown of his own for the Rockets, giving them a 49-6 halftime lead.
A running clock was in effect for the entire second half, but the Rockets added nine more points on back-to-back plays. Hillcrest attempted a screen pass deep in their own territory and Fayetteville defense blew it up, resulting in a safety. Caleb Dowers then proceeded to bowl over three tacklers on the ensuing safety punt, resulting in Fayetteville’s final score of the game.
Dowers led all rushers with 13 carries for 124 yards and a pair of scores. Wolfer was close behind, adding nine carries for 117 yards and a touchdown. Schaefer carried the ball eight times for 71 yards and a touchdown while Chase Jester ran for 96 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries.
Crone and Jester each had an interception for the Rockets, who improve to 2-2 on the season.
Fayetteville head coach Kevin Finch said his team executed well on all sides of the ball, even down to the finest details.
“Our players were executing tonight,” Finch said. “Even the little things. They were running out fakes better this week and it set a lot of other things up. We were tackling well, we were assignment sound and everything kind of came together for the first time this week.”
The margin of victory allowed finch to get other players who don’t normally see varsity action in the game, something that will only help both the players and the team as the season winds down.
“That was huge,” Finch said. “We don’t have a junior varsity game this week but we’ve had a lot of guys who are doing an excellent job, so we wanted to keep that rolling and let them have that experience underneath the lights. That was great experience for them too.”
The Rockets travel to Turpin High School to take on Miami Valley Christian Academy in a league matchup Friday night. It will be a good matchup, according to Finch, as the Lions look to avenge last season’s 30-23 defeat at the hands of the Rockets.
“They’re very good,” Finch said. “They’re going to be hungry because we shocked them last year. They had the playoffs all but wrapped up and we kind of pulled the rug out from under them. They’re going to be hungry and the league always goes through them but our kids are going to be ready too. Our kids are already excited about that game. It’s going to be a heck of a ballgame between two very good teams.”