Rockets Advance to Semi-Finals

Photo by Mrs. Deanna McGill

The Rockets (11-0) defeated the Little Rock Christian Warriors (9-3) in a nail-biter that came down to the bitter end. Throughout the game, the Rocket offense made critical plays when they most needed them, and the defense was on fire even in the freezing temperatures. 

The Warriors got the first points on the board with a field goal in the first quarter. Soon after, Dominic Keeton fought hard to get a touchdown in the second quarter, giving the Rockets a 7-3 lead. Little Rock Christian quarterback Walker White fumbled the ball and senior Ross Maginn recovered it. Later in the second quarter, junior Cooper Nannen scored another touchdown for the Rockets, giving them a 13-3 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, Little Rock Christian blocked a punt and returned it for their first touchdown. The Warriors soon got an interception and scored a touchdown on that possession, bringing the score to 17-13 at the start of the fourth quarter. 

At this point in the game, the pressure was mounting for the Rockets to score as the Warriors had made two significant plays which gave them a lot of momentum. In the fourth quarter, Little Rock Christian fumbled the ball and junior Jaxon Hatchet recovered the ball; however, theRockets were eventually forced to punt. Little Rock Christian threw an interception to Cole Pace at our 44-yard line. The Rockets attempted many fourth-down attempts and were successful at making their way down the field. On that possession, Sam Sanders threw a touchdown pass to Brooks Ward. 

On their next possession, Catholic High attempted to gain yards but could not make any large gains and quickly got to fourth down. Sam Sanders threw the ball to Brooks Ward who got a clutch catch which allowed the Rockets to escape a turnover. Sanders threw the ball to Brooks Ward again for a 16-yard gain. Ward immediately went out-of-bounds after he caught the ball, which stopped the clock that was approaching zero. Ward was able to get the Rockets to the 30-yard line and within scoring distance. Sam Sanders attempted to get the ball into the end zone but was unable to. With ten seconds left on the clock and the crowd deafeningly loud, Sam Sanders spotted Thomas Duch and threw the ball to who scored a touchdown in an almost storybook ending to the game, bringing the final score to 26-23. 

On Friday, there will be a sendoff pep rally at Catholic High at 4:15. Students, alumni, and parents are invited to attend. The Rockets will face the 2-seed Pulaski Academy (10-1) at War Memorial Stadium on Friday, November 25, at 7:00.  “We started the fourth quarter and I was like ‘Keep your head high guys, we’re ballers.’” said Sam Sanders to Scorebook Live. “I looked left and right and saw the opening and I was like ‘This might be it right here.’ It’s gotta be a good ball and a good route and it was; it was awesome. That was the craziest thing I’ve ever been a part of.”

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