Rock Hill ground game too much for Dragons

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 3, 2006

ROCK HILL – There were no rain clouds, but the Rock Hill Redmen brought the proper foul weather gear.

Facing the wide-open spread offense, the Rock Hill defense came up with five interceptions and the offense rolled up 511 yards en route to a 33-14 win over the Fairland Dragons Friday in an Ohio Valley Conference game.

Fairland had 304 total yards of its own, but three of the interceptions came in the red zone.

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“Any time you go against this style of football, they’re going to move the football. You have to weather the storm and keep them out (of the end zone) when you need to,” Redmen coach Todd Knipp said.

Of the 511 total yards, 505 came on the ground led by Wes Pierson with 21 carries for 261 yards and three touchdowns.

Quarterback Jarrod Casey had 131 yards on 17 rushes and Corey Burke added 64 yards on six attempts.

“We came out and executed pretty well early and we were able to make some big plays,” Knipp said “Our offensive line got off the ball well and we sustained our blocks.

“We wanted to keep their offense off the field and limit their touches. We tried to spread the ball around on offense and get more balance.”

Pierson scored Rock Hill’s first three touchdowns.

He ran 1-yard in the first quarter for a 6-0 lead. He exploded for a 77-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to push the lead to 12-0.

Pierson’s had

33-yard run that set up his own 11-yard scoring run. Merten Von Frieling kicked the first of three extra points and it was 19-0 at the break.

Fairland came back to score early in the second half on a 54-yard scamper by freshman Matt Bloomfield and it was 19-7.

But Corey Burke had a 12-yard touchdown run and the lead went back to 19 points at 26-7.

The Dragons made it 26-14 on a 2-yard run by Michael Meachem, but the Redmen put the game away on a 4-yard run by J.C. Murnahan.

The five turnovers weren’t the only problem for the Dragons. They had several crucial penalties including one that erased a gain to the 2-yard line.

“Two of the interceptions were catchable balls, one would have been a touchdown and one of the balls was tipped,” Fairland coach Brent Wilcoxon said. “We were in the red zone four times and didn’t score.”

With the win, Rock Hill moves to 5-2 on the season and 2-0 in the OVC. The Redmen host Chesapeake this Friday in a battle for first place in the conference.

“That’s a big win. Fairland makes some big plays,” Knipp said.

Fairland fell to 0-7 and 0-2 in the league. Still, Wilcoxon saw a lot of positives form his young team.

“Our kids are playing hard. I can’t fault our effort. We had plenty of chances to score,” Wilcoxon said.