By Rob Everingham
JOPLIN The second half was very kind to Rocky Boy this weekend as the Stars scored 26 unanswered points, 19 in the second half, to beat the J-I Rams in Northern C six-man action, 40-26.
The two teams traded the ball on three fumbles in the first quarter before J-I took the ball away on downs and Ivan Van Dessel threw a 30-yard scoring strike to Curtis May.
The point after failed, leaving J-I up 6-0. Rocky Boy answered with a touchdown of its own as Jesse Poolaw caught a 16-yard pass from Dustin Sunchild. Sunchild ran the ball in for the extra point, giving the Stars a 7-6 lead.
The Rams scored again in the first as the connection of May and Van Dessel hooked up again. This time it was from 15 yards out with May on his back in the end zone. May then kicked the two-point conversion and pushed the Rams back into the lead at 14-7. The first quarter ended with the ball in the possession of Rocky Boy.
Rocky Boy turned the ball over as its punter was sacked to open the second quarter. Four plays later, May caught his third touchdown of the game. This time from Jeremiah Johnson. The extra-point pass failed.
The Stars next possession found the end zone as Virgil Big Knife rumbled the ball in from three yards away. In the Rocky Boy series, the game was delayed as J-Is Eric Sundgren had to be taken off the field by ambulance after breaking his right femur.
J-I answered on its next possession and May caught his fourth touchdown pass of the game. The 32-yard pass was from Johnson. The kick failed, leaving J-I up 26-13.
Again, the Stars would not be out-done, as Sunchild ran the ball from midfield and cut down the Rams lead to 26-19.
Rocky Boy came up with a safety on J-Is next possession, as the ball was fumbled in the end zone and a J-I player fell on it.
The free kick gave Rocky Boy the ball on the Rams 28-yard line. The Stars did get the ball into the end zone, but the touchdown run was called back on a clipping call. Rocky Boy couldnt get the ball into the end zone as the half ended with J-I on top 26-21.
Rocky Boy intercepted a pass on the Rams first drive and Anthony Standing Rock capped it off with a two-yard punch into the end zone. The touchdown gave the Stars the lead for good.
Big Knife scored in the fourth quarter on a 52-yard run and Dustin Sunchild scored his second touchdown by running in from 4 yards out.
Rocky Boy head coach Rick Sunchild said they tried running the ball from a tight formation to start, but moved to the split offense at halftime.
Sunchild said they were able to make some adjustments at halftime.
The win gave the Stars their third straight win, and, Sunchild said, that feels pretty good.
Rocky Boy faces Augusta this weekend.
J-I coach Tom Degel said Rocky Boy just out played his team. Degel said, after Sundgren went down with the injury, his team could not recover.
The Rams were beaten on the short dump pass all afternoon, and, Degel said, there was a breakdown in discipline and making sure defenders stayed at home.
J-I has the unenviable task of playing Geraldine this weekend.