Williams-Rolston leads offensive effort with 282 yards on the ground.
There will be a new Class 4-A state champion this season, Adrian Williams-Rolston saw to that.
The Western senior running back ran for 282 yards and three touchdowns to lead the host Warriors to a 49-43 victory over Collins, the defending Class 4-A state champion, Friday night in a first-round playoff game.
The Warriors (5-6) will play at North Oldham (8-2) next Friday night in a second-round game.
Williams-Rolston, who came in averaging 173.3 rushing yards per game, bolted for a 65-yard touchdown on the first play and was off and running from there.
“He’s a tough kid, he wanted the ball,” Western coach Torrey Shinholster said. “I tried to take him out in the fourth quarter, but he asked to come back in.”
It was Williams-Rolston’s backfield partner who delivered the knockout blow, though. Senior fullback Jordan Rodgers’ tackle-breaking, 37-yard touchdown run with five minutes to play gave Western a two-touchdown lead.
The Titans (4-7) didn’t go down easily, though. After falling behind 21-0 in the first quarter and trailing 42-21 late in the third quarter Collins cut the Warriors’ lead to six with 3:25 to play. The Titans then stopped Western on downs at their 43 with 16 seconds left. However, Collins freshman quarterback J.R. Lucas threw an incomplete pass on first down and was brought down for a loss on the final play.
The loss spoiled a five-touchdown night for Titans freshman Nasean Roseberry in a setback that was similar to the one Collins suffered four years ago to the Warriors in the third round of the playoffs.
Just as in 2010, Western jumped out to a three-touchdown lead.
After Williams-Rolston ran for a TD on the first play of the game Collins fumbled the ensuing kickoff and four plays later the Warriors were in the end zone again on Jordan Cooper’s 1-yard quarterback keeper that made it 14-0 1:36 into the game.
Later in the quarter, Terrell Howard’s 50-yard punt return made it 21-0.
Roseberry, who finished with 161 yards on the ground, ran for a 42-yard TD with 1:14 left in the first quarter. The Titans then recovered their onside kick and eight plays later they were in the end zone again, this time on Roseberry’s 1-yard run on fourth down 1:45 into the second quarter.
Williams-Rolston rushed for 202 yards on 20 carries in the first half.
“He’s the real deal,” Titans coach Jerry Lucas said.
Lucas’ son, J.R., threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Leland Cardwell early in the third quarter to cut Western’s lead to 28-21 before Williams-Rolston answered with a 37-yard TD run. On Collins’ next possession, Lucas fumbled in the end zone and Jeryl Tyson recovered it, boosting Western’s lead to 42-21.
The Titans scored two quick TDs — both on runs by Roseberry — before Rodgers’ rumble.
“I was surprised because he’s never run that far,” Williams-Rolston said.
Then after Lucas threw a 34-yard TD pass to Roseberry, Williams-Rolston who missed a series earlier in the fourth quarter, picked up a key first down for the Warriors as they tried to run out the clock.
“My leg hurt, but I had to come back in, my team needed me,” Williams-Rolston said. “I had to get the job done.”
W – Adrian Williams-Rolston 65-yard run (Fred Kayitankore kick); W – Jordan Cooper 1-yard run (Kayitankore kick); W – Terrell Howard 50-yard punt return (Kayitankore kick); C – Nasean Roseberry 42-yard run (Blanton Creque kick); C – Roseberry 1-yard run (Creque kick); W – Williams-Rolston 3-yard run (Kayitankore kick); C – Leland Cardwell 18-yard pass from J.R. Lucas (Creque kick); W – Williams-Rolston 37 yard run (Kayitankore kick); W – Jeryl Tyson recovered a fumble in the end zone (Kayitankore kick); C – Roseberry 6-yard run (Creque kick); C – Roseberry 17-yard run (Creque kick); W – Jordan Rodgers 37-yard run (Kayitankore kick); C – Roseberry 41-yard pass from Lucas (Creque pass to Jackson Ellis).