TOLONO – Cody Roberts celebrated Unity's Senior Night in impressive fashion Friday.
The 160-pound senior running back rushed for 76 yards and a touchdown, caught four passes for 64 yards and another score and intercepted a pass to lead the Rockets to a 47-28 victory against Shelbyville.
"We started the season slow, but we are coming together now," Roberts said.
The Rockets secured their 14th straight playoff berth under coach Scott Hamilton.
"I think we'll be tough to beat in the playoffs if everyone keeps doing his job as we've done lately," Roberts said. "I got into the end zone a couple of times tonight by just following my blockers."
The Rockets were never in serious trouble as they registered their third straight win. This despite turning the ball over three times and allowing Shelbyville quarterback Torry Schloz to complete six second-half passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns.
Quarterback Chris Ault started the Unity scoring with a 34-yard run late in the first quarter. Beau Taylor raced 62 yards and Ault connected with Roberts from the 9 for second-quarter TDs for a 21-8 halftime lead.
Roberts had a 4-yard scoring run, Ault a 43-yarder and sophomore quarterback Dylan Sturgeon a 3-yarder for a 41-8 lead. Freshman running back Matt Franks completed the scoring with an 18-yard run.
Ault rushed for 106 yards on four carries and completed 6 of 11 passes for 93 yards. Taylor ran for 113 yards in eight attempts.
"I think we are playing pretty well right now," Hamilton said. "The key is to stop turning the ball over the way we did tonight. That caused us not to get an early lead the way we had hoped. We didn't do a very good job of getting pressure on their quarterback, either. If we keep improving and take care of the ball, we should be fine in the playoffs. We hope to get on a roll and get better."
Said defensive end Derek Graham: "I think we're ready for the playoffs. We've come a long way since the start of the season. We've really come together as a team."
Roberts and Graham admitted they wouldn't mind meeting St. Joseph-Ogden's undefeated and top-ranked (Class 3A) team in the first round of the playoffs. Hamilton doesn't expect it to happen.
"I sure hope not," he said. "I can't imagine that happening with them being undefeated and us having as many playoff points (45) as we have."