Rockets fall in heavyweight matchup

Rockets fall in heavyweight matchup

TOLONO — Even on a dry field, there was a downpour Friday night at Hicks Field.

Points were raining from the Maroa-Forsyth side of the field in a showdown between the top-ranked Class 2A Trojans and the top-ranked Class 3A Unity Rockets. The visitors needed 32 minutes to achieve a running clock, scoring the first 41 points en route to a 48-7 triumph.

Last year, when Maroa-Forsyth won a state championship, the only blemish on its record was a regular season loss to Unity.

“We’ve been looking forward for a while getting revenge on them,” junior quarterback Jack Hockaday said. “If we play like we can, we don’t think anyone can hang with us.”

The Trojans secured 17 of the 20 first downs and achieved first downs on half of their first-half plays from scrimmage.

“Our defense has been really good. Finally we clicked on offense (Friday night),” Maroa-Forsyth coach Josh Jostes said.

After the Trojans marched downfield and scored on their first possession, Unity’s Conner Grace raced 32 yards on his team’s first play from scrimmage. That amounted to more than half of the Rockets’ total offense (60) at intermission.

Unity had no first downs the last 15 minutes of the half, and its final eight first-down plays before the break resulted in losses totaling 3 yards.

“It turned into a track meet, and we will never beat them in a track meet,” Unity coach Scott Hamilton said. “This is not the first time we’ve lost. I told the kids I can go back a lot of years and traditionally we play our best in November. Our plan will remain the same. I’ll take these kids and go to war with them.”

After the Trojans’ lead reached 41-0, reserve Unity quarterback Taylor White directed a 43-yard scoring drive, breaking the shutout on a 3-yard run with 11 minutes, 12 seconds remaining.

“I did not expect this high scoring of a game,” said Hockaday, who passed for 229 yards, ran for 71 and caught a 38-yard pass. “My freshman year it was 13-7, and last year it was 7-6.”

Jostes didn’t anticipate a runaway, either.

“Any time you play Unity, you have to be ready to play 48 minutes,” Jostes said.

Grace led Unity with 65 yards rushing. The Rockets — who completed 1 of 8 passes for 11 yards — were held to 92 total yards. The Trojans accumulated 442 total yards.

“When it’s all said and done, we have to try and find a way to get better,” Hamilton said. “Our kids played hard, but they were a lot better than us (Friday night). Hockaday broke tackles, made people miss. They throw the ball all over the place and make it difficult to do things.”

Okaw Valley Black
Monticello     0    0    4    0
Unity    0    0    3    1
St. Teresa     0    0    2    2
Sullivan/Okaw Valley    0    0    2    2
Clinton    0    0    1    3
Shelbyville     0    0    1    3
Monticello at Clinton
Shelbyville at St. Teresa
Unity at Sullivan/Okaw Valley