Rockets roll in TV game; clinch MAC title

Rockets roll in TV game; clinch MAC title


Rockets roll in TV game; clinch MAC title


Reynolds' Sean Jones rushed for 146 yards in Thursday's 38-6 home win over Roberson.

Reynolds’ Sean Jones rushed for 146 yards in Thursday’s 38-6 home win over Roberson.

REYNOLDS – Frank Torres and Reynolds didn’t have one ounce of stage fright in a televised game for the Mountain Athletic Conference championship.

Instead, the Rockets saved one of their best halves of football for a big Dalton Stadium crowd and audience watching at home on WMYA-TV (40).

Nathan Onge had 271 yards of offense (165 passing, 106 rushing) and three touchdowns in Thursday’s 38-6 home win over Roberson.

Sean Jones ran 14 times for 146 yards and a touchdown. Kaedin Robinson caught six of St. Onge’s throws for 94 yards and another touchdown. The 15th straight MAC win for the Rockets (8-2, 5-0) assures them of at least a piece of the split 3-A/4-A conference’s 3-A and overall championship.

Reynolds led 28-0 at halftime.

Torres – who is averaging a team-high 11.6 tackles per game – said that the Rockets aren’t going to be happy with just a share of anything in the MAC. The team concludes its regular season next week at North Buncombe.

“The atmosphere was great tonight and everyone was executing and making plays,” said Torres, who made his second interception of the year Thursday.

“The way we’re playing right now is very exciting. I’m sure it’s going to be crazy in the locker room. We want to keep this going. The goal is to go on a good playoff run and have most of our games here at home.”

Alex Flinn’s 31-yard touchdown run came just two minutes and five seconds into Thursday’s rivalry game. The Rockets went on to score three more times in the first half — a 36-yard reception by Robinson and a pair of touchdown runs from Jones (17 yards) and St. Onge (1 yard).

Andrew Wall’s 28-yard field goal came with just 18.4 seconds to go in the third quarter and Rmani Lynch capped things off with a 10-yard touchdown reception.

Reynolds had 22 first downs compared to nine for Roberson (7-3, 3-2) and the overall yardage was 487-178 in the Rockets’ favor. The Rams got on the scoreboard with 10:49 to go in the fourth quarter. Ty Gossett completed 19 of his 30 attempts for 211 yards with a 46-yard touchdown to Micah Jenkins. It was one of eight receptions for Jenkins, who finished with 120 yards.

The Rockets have won eight consecutive games since back-to-back losses to West Forsyth and Shelby to start the season. They have outscored MAC opponents, 241-84.

“Our kids expect to win. Our community expects it,” Reynolds coach Shane Laws said.

“We have coaches who work their tails off and players who can make plays. (The MAC championship) is always one of those first goals. We just need to keep getting better and North Buncombe is the next step if we want to do that. I’m very happy with the overall execution tonight. We were able to score some early and our defense was just outstanding all night.”

Gossett has more than 1,900 passing yards after Thursday and the Rams have clinched the MAC 4-A championship. Like Reynolds, they will be home when the NCHSAA playoffs start on Nov. 18, and first-year coach J.D. Dinwiddie hopes that this loss will be a learning experience.

“We did some good things in the second half, but it was too little, too late,” Dinwiddie said.

“(Reynolds) is very good. They have a tradition and their kids are used to playing in games like this. We still have a long ways to go, but when you’re trying to build a culture, it takes time. The kids are giving us their best effort, and that’s a start.”

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Reynolds' Kaedin Robinson catches a ball Thursday night.

Reynolds’ Kaedin Robinson catches a ball Thursday night.


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