Bulldogs win stat battle but Vikings win the war.
One could tell it was Friday the 13th, because it was one weird game at JFK Stadium.
The Rolla High School football team led in just about every offensive statistical category from Friday's Ozark Conference matchup at Springfield Parkview.
So much for statistics.
In the end it was one category the Bulldogs again led in - turnovers - that made the difference.
One of those turnovers set up a Parkview Viking touchdown and the other killed a Bulldog threat deep in Viking territory. Both were huge as Parkview went on for a 27-20 victory.
Rolla falls to 0-3 overall and in the OC while Parkview is now 1-2 both overall and in the league.
In the last two games the Bulldogs had six total turnovers compared to zero for their opponents. And on Friday the miscues were particularly hurtful, as the Bulldogs wasted a strong offensive showing.
Rolla dominated time of possession, running a whopping 82 offensive plays compared to just 42 for the Vikings. RHS had 396 yards of total offense compared to 266 for Parkview.
But it was all for naught.
"That's a back-breaker," said RHS head coach Willie Howard. "You move the ball as successfully as we did all night then commit two turnovers...it comes back to get you.
"One of our goals on offense is to take pressure off our defense and we felt we did that, except putting them in a hole with the turnovers. Two quick scores and we were behind the 8-ball the rest of the game."
The scariest moment of the season for Rolla came when Bulldog junior defensive back Holden Pierce was injured on a play with seven seconds left in the half.
Pierce lay motionless for several minutes as medical personnel worked on him.
Although he never lost feeling Pierce's injury was to the head and neck area, and he was taken from the field on a backboard to a local hospital. Pierce text Howard on Saturday. He has a concussion and was to see a specialist sometime this week.
The Bulldog blew out to a 10-0 lead early in the second period, taking the game's opening possession and getting a 40-yard field goal from junior Landon Maynard.
And on its second offensive possession Rolla marched 85 yards on 20 plays, eating up the rest of the first period. The drive ended at the 10:37 mark of the second period on a one-yard TD run by senior QB Joe Drallmeier. Maynard added the PAT and it was 10-0.
The Vikings came right back on a 65-yard drive, highlighted by a couple of big plays from junior wideout Connor Ratcliff. On a 3rd-and-5 situation Ratcliff caught a 19-yard pass to keep the Viking drive alive. Two plays later Ratcliff took a pitch and fired a 31-yard halfback pass to senior Maurice Downey for a 31-yard TD.
Rolla's first turnover on the following possession helped give Parkview the lead for the rest of the game. RHS senior running back Ben Maples took a handoff, fumbled and the ball was recovered by the Vikings' Levi Brushwood.
On the next play Ratcliff struck again, catching a 40-yard pass from senior QB Anthony Gilliland to get to the Bulldog one yardline. From there bulldozing senior fullback Dashawn Clancy blasted over for the TD. Taylor Middlebrooks' PAT gave Parkview a 14-10 advantage with 4:22 remaining in the half, which stood for the halftime score.
The Vikings took the opening drive of the second half and went 70 yards in eight plays for another TD. After a 15-yard RHS pass interference penalty got the ball to the RHS 14, Parkview's Anthony Riley broke off a 13-yard run, followed by another one-yard Clancy TD run. The PAT kick was off-left, leaving the score 20-10.
The Bulldogs closed the gap with another long drive covering the end of the third period and the start of the fourth period. A 57-yard Viking punt pinned Rolla at its own four yardline. But the Bulldogs marched 96 yards on 15 rushing plays.
Sophomore QB Kyle Morris picked up 48 yards on six straight keepers at one point. Junior running back Andy Satulla then took over, gaining the final 30 yards on six carries, the last being a eight-yard TD run at the 8:24 mark. Maynard's PAT cut the RHS deficit to three, 20-17.
However, Ratcliff continued to be a thorn in the Bulldogs' side and helped set up the home team's game-clinching TD.
On a 3rd-and-8 situation at the Viking 47 yardline, Gilliland heaved a pass to a tightly-guarded Ratcliff, who nonetheless made a diving, 36-yard grab to get to the RHS 17 yardline.
"It was 3rd-and-eight and we felt we had it covered," Howard said. "(Junior defensive back Bradley) Lohr was in coverage and did a nice job. He just got outreached for the pass."
Gilliland and Ratcliff again hooked up for an eight-yard gainer to the Bulldog nine, where Riley ran in for the touchdown with 6:22 left. Middlebrooks was true with the PAT.
The Bulldogs put together another time-consuming scoring drive, going from the RHS 20 to the Viking 11, where they faced a 4th-and-2 situation. Needing at least a field goal and TD to tie, Howard elected to get the three points first, and Maynard booted a 28-yard field goal with 2:37 left.
The Bulldogs then attempted an on-side kick, which nearly worked. The Vikings fumbled the kick. A pileup ensued and when the game officials separated everyone it was Parkview's Downey who had the ball.
RHS used its final timeout with 1:34 left. Clancy picked up a first down on the next play and the Vikings ran out the clock.
"We almost got the ball back on the on-side kick," Howard said. "It would have been interested if we did."
Satulla rushed for 148 yards on 34 carries while Morris had 67 yards on 15 carries. Morris hit on 10-of-21 passes for 128 yards, with senior wideout Jared McBride making four catches for 48 yards.
Ratcliff caught six passes for 124 yards to go with his 31-yard pass.
The Bulldogs will travel to Joplin this Friday in search of their first victory, playing the Eagles in conference action (7 p.m. kickoff).
Parkview 27, Rolla 20
First downs: RHS 25, PHS 15
Yards rushing: RHS 268, PHS 99
Yards passing: RHS 128, PHS 167
Total yards: RHS 396, PHS 266
Passing: RHS 10-21, PHS 9-15
Int. thrown: RHS 0, PHS 0
Fumbles lost: RHS 2, PHS 0
Penalties: RHS 5-45, PHS 13-100
Punting: RHS 1-49.0, PHS 3-44.0
The score by periods:
Rolla 3 7 0 10-20
Parkview 0 14 6 7-27
The scoring plays:
Rolla: Maynard 40-yard field goal (7:45).
Rolla: Drallmeier 1-yard run, Maynard kick (10:37).
Parkview: Downey 31-yard passs from Ratcliff, Middlebrooks kick (6:45).
Parkview: Clancy 1-yard run, Middlebrooks kick (4:22).
Parkview: Clancy 1-yard run, kick fails (8:51).
Rolla: Satulla 8-yard run, Maynard kick (8:24).
Parkview: Riley 9-yard run, Middlebrooks kick (6:22).
Rolla: Maynard 28-yard field goal (2:37).
Rushing: Rolla - Satulla 34 for 148, Morris 15 for 67, Maples 5 for 32, Drallmeier 6 for 25, Brookshire 1 for minus 4. Parkview - Ratcliff 5 for 11, Gilliland 7 for 11, Riley 8 for 47, Clancy 7 for 30.
Passing: Rolla - Morris 10-21-128-0. Parkview - Gilliland 8-14-136-0, Ratcliff 1-1-31-0.
Receiving: Rolla - Satulla 1 for 40, McBride 4 for 48, Hrovat 1 for 14, Drallmeier 3 for 19, Lohr 1 for 7. Parkview - Ratcliff 6 for 124, Downey 3 for 43.