Unity find its groove
RIVERTON – It was all about the line Saturday afternoon for Unity.
The Rockets got production from their line on both sides of the ball as they defeated Riverton 43-6 in the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs.
"(The offensive line) came out and banged," Unity senior tailback Beau Taylor said. "They had a chip on their shoulder from everyone talking about our offense not being able to move the ball. They came out and did just that."
Taylor led the Rockets in rushing with 78 yards and one touchdown on 15 attempts.
Joining Taylor in the Rockets' rushing attack was senior Cody Roberts. Like Taylor, Roberts was able to chip away at the Hawks' defensive front throughout the entire contest, accumulating 53 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
Roberts also found the end zone on a 34-yard touchdown reception midway through the third quarter.
"The offensive line kept pushing back the D line," Roberts said. "Little by little we kept gaining yards and never had any bad runs all day."
In addition to his stellar performance on offense, Roberts came up with one of three Unity turnovers, a leaping interception early in the third quarter.
"You want to come out and take care of business, especially in the second half," Unity coach Scott Hamilton said. "We forced three turnovers and that's what you have to do this time of year."
Unity certainly lived by its coach's mantra.
Already well ahead with a 30-0 lead at halftime, the Rockets forced two Hawks turnovers within the first two minutes of the second half.
In all, the Rockets' defense held the Hawks to 114 total yards and five first downs.
"We had a real strong week of practice, not knowing exactly what the game would be like," Rockets quarterback Chris Ault said. "We were fundamentally sound, even in the mud. It all comes back to practice. We just need to keep going hard every day."
Ault helped his own cause as he picked up 57 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, including the opening score of the game. He also completed 7 of 10 passes for 149 yards and two more touchdowns.
"Our quarterback (Ault) can be a very elusive runner and a big playmaker," Hamilton said. "In the past we've been one-dimensional, but now with Roberts, Taylor and Ault, we are a three-headed monster. It makes it tough on people, and hopefully we can continue to distribute the ball and do things offensively."
With the victory, the Rockets' playoff run continues next weekend at home against Carterville.
"We have to keep getting better each and every week," Hamilton said. "Somebody is going to have to play a good game to beat us. I encourage our fans to come out and see these kids next week at home because they certainly deserve it."