Tooth. And. Nail.
Describing the football contest between Roncalli and Chatard Friday night is best labeled with those three words. It was a dogfight as two excellent teams fought it out on the football field last evening at Roncalli Stadium.
Roncalli got on the board first with a Kenny Gillum TD run from 39 yards out. He broke threw the first wave of defenders and scooted past the Chatard secondary en route to the end zone. But the Trojans are defending 3A State Champs for a reason. They responded with a long drive, mostly churned out on the ground via Gabe Coleman and they posted a TD the beginning of the second quarter to knot the game at 7.
Another methodical drive by Chatard resulted in a six yard TD pass as the first half came to a close and the Trojans entered the locker room with a 14-7 lead. Chatard rushed for 142 yards in the first half with Coleman accounting for 118 of those yards. However, he tweaked his ankle late in the first half and sat out the first few series of the 2nd half.
Just when momentum seemed to have shifted to the Trojans, the Rebels received the 2nd half kickoff (deferring after winning the coin toss) and marched down the field and tied the score at 14 via 38 yard strike from Derek O’Connor down the middle of the field.
From that point in the game, until around 5:30 minutes to go in the contest, each team gave and received its best shots and nobody flinched. The contest was well played in every facet and it felt as if whoever had the ball last was going to win the game. Little did we know…..
Roncalli drove down the field and faced 3rd and goal from the 4 yard line with 5:20 left in the game. In speaking with Coach Scifres after the game he mentioned they wanted to keep the ball in the middle of the field in case they needed to attempt a field goal. This is the reasoning for running two straight QB keepers once they had first and goal, But as 3rd goal approached, the Rebels went from broke and pulled something special from up their sleeves. Connor Gore was split wide on the 3rd down play and came in motion as the play began. O’Connor handed to ball off to Grove, who then stopped and floated a pass in the end zone to O’Connor, who had slipped by the defenders, believing it was a run, for the go ahead touchdown. Roncalli Stadium was ROCKING at this point.
Yet again, the Trojans showed their composure and began to drive down the field. A key play in this drive was pure athleticism from QB Billy Dury. Roncalli had a defensive lineman break free and had an open shot on Dury for a sack that could have sealed the game, Dury broke loose from the tackler and then scampered over 30 yards inside the 5 yard line of Roncalli with under 2:00 left.
Roncalli stuffed Coleman on three straight carries on the goal line and the ballgame came down to 4th and 1 from the 1. A three back set behind Dury hinted at a run, but as the ball was snapped Dury turned one way and nobody was home. He attempted to make something out of nothing but the Rebel defense was there to snuff out the scoring opportunity and secure a 21-14 win for Rebel Nation.
Chatard falls to 1-2 on the season and is 1-1 in conference play. Roncalli is 3-0 and 1-0 in conference play. The Trojans’ schedule doesn’t get any easier as they host Cathedral next Friday at Lawrence Central. Roncalli travels to Plainfied.
Derek O’Connor on the play call that gave Roncalli the 21-14 lead.
Tooth. And. Nail.