Rockets starts off season on a high note


Photo By: Nathan Fowler

The Judson Rocket’s first Friday night match-up was a heated game against the Pflugerville Hendrickson Hawks at D.W. Rutledge Stadium.

The first quarter started out slow for the offensive sides of both teams. After a very slow start, freshman running back Sincere McCormick set the tone, bulldozing through the Hawks for a 20 yard touchdown rush. Unfortunately, right after that, the Rockets later missed the two-point conversion. However, Judson’s defense held Pflugerville to several three and outs and no scoring drives throughout the entire first quarter.

“We established great offense and defense,” head coach Sean McAuliffe said, as the Rocket’s execution was exceptional on both sides in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the defenses were back and forth once again, as Judson was held to a 22 yard field goal by senior kicker Brandon Walters. The Rockets showed a spark as they ran a two-minute drill down the field. With a 35 yard scramble by sophomore quarterback Julon Williams, they downed the ball in the red zone, but on a fourth down conversion Williams was sacked, ending the first half.

“The offense could’ve returned the favor for the defense, but that’s how the game goes,” offensive coordinator Rodney Williams said. “We had inexperienced receivers and runningbacks.”

Entering the second half, Pflugerville put the game in reach, scoring a field goal following a long drive. Later on, quarterback Julon Williams scrambled to the Hawk’s three yard line. However, Pflugerville held them to a 23 yard field goal by Walters. Following a kickoff return to mid-field, the Hawk’s momentum came to an abrupt stop with an interception by senior outside linebacker Shane Calvin. The Rockets were held from a touchdown on their second easy opportunity in the third quarter.

“Yeah touchdowns should’ve been taken advantage of based off all of the opportunities in the third,” Julon Williams said.

In a tense fourth quarter, Williams was intercepted by a Hawks’ cornerback. The Pflugerville offense returned with a 25 yard pass out of the backfield. Then, sophomore inside linebacker Brody Stoepler prevailed with a sack ending their drive. With a short punt by senior safety Dominique Ramsey into Judson territory, it lead to a two yard rushing touchdown by the Hawks. Ramsey made up for the mistake with a blocked kick on the PAT attempt. After the Rocket’s time consuming drive, they gave the ball back with 29 seconds remaining. Finally, the Hawks were set back with an intentional grounding penalty running the clock to zero.

Even though it may have seemed to be a defensive effort, “it was a team effort,” McAuliffe said. “The offense did what they could, and defense played their butts off.”

Despite missed chances on offense, Judson reeled in a well-deserved win with the score being 12-9, and started the season off on a good note. The Rockets will look to continue their success against the Brandies Broncos at Farris Stadium next Thursday.