Football Finishes the Season Strong
BY SAM SNEED ON DEC. 20, 2013
The football team had a struggle after their in-season loss against Conley. However, they came back in the postseason with three huge wins against Pine Forest, Hoggard and their long time rival Conley, followed by a loss to Scotland High School in the semi-finals.
For the Rampants’ first round in the playoffs, they faced off against Pine Forest. On the third play of the game, senior Khalil Smith threw a deep touchdown pass to sophomore Cornell Powell, and they didn’t let up after that. They ended up connecting for three touchdowns and 262 yards. The Rampants ended the game 27 to 14 and moved on to the second round of the playoffs for a big game against Conley.
“I think that I contributed very well by making big plays when my team needed me to and just doing all that I could to help us win,” Powell said.
Fans and players were excited by the turnout at the Conley game. Conley came out on top in the regular season game, but the Rampants came out strong in the playoff game. Smith contributed with 412 yards passing. His main target was Powell, and they connected six times for 308 yards and five touchdowns. The Vikings also came out hot with their running game, which was lead by junior Myles Taylor. The Rampants adapted and stopped the run as the game went on.
“We changed our defense to help stop the run this time because we knew that was the main way they gained yards in the first game,” junior Austin Swiderski said.
The Rampants and Vikings both went point for point towards the end of the game, but the Rampants took the lead with around a minute left in the game. The Vikings tried to run the ball to set up a game tying field goal, but senior Kentavious Street tackled the ball runner in the backfield. The Vikings were all out of timeouts, and the clock expired.
Next, the Rampants traveled to play the number two team in the tournament, Hoggard. The game, which took place on Friday, Nov. 29, ended up with Rose on top. The Rampants were being outplayed in the first half and were down 15-13 at halftime, but outscored the Hoggard Vikings 13-0 in the second half. The final score of the game was 26-15, Rampants.
In the semi-finals, Rose played Scotland High School on Friday, Dec. 6. Rose was getting close to the lead, but then took a tough blow when senior quarterback Khalil Smith got hurt at the very end of the first half. The Rampants lost 53-40 to Scotland.
“This game meant a lot to me because I am a senior, and it was my last game so I was really hoping we could win,” senior Nick King said.
Although the Rampants did not make it to the state championship game, the team is happy with the outcome of the season. The Rampants made it to the semifinals of the state playoffs as an 11 seed, beating three good teams. They lost to one of the top five teams in the state, a team that was undefeated and deserved a spot in the championship game for the way they have played all season long.
“Playing in the playoffs was a great experience for me because it was my first time playing in the them, and it was one of the first times in a long time we had made them,” Powell said.