Friday night the Rolla High School football team came out of the chute looking to put an end to its season-long losing skid.
In the end, however, those Bulldog hopes were left all wet. Literally.
After RHS jumped out to a 10-0 first-quarter lead, the host Springfield Hillcrest Hornets reeled off five unanswered touchdowns to regain control and post a 32-16 rainy, Ozark Conference victory.
Rolla's struggles continue, falling to 0-8 overall and in the league. Hillcrest, ranked No. 9 in last week's Missouri Class 4 state poll, improves to 6-2.
Rain began to fall right before the start of the game and, except for a brief stoppage around halftime, continued throughout the night.
That left the teams' respective passing games to a minimum as well as causing a slew of fumbles.
There were seven total turnovers - four by Hillcrest.
On Rolla's first offensive play from scrimmage the Bulldogs pulled off a long halfback pass reception, as senior Joe Drallmeier took a pitch and fired the ball to junior running back Andy Satulla for a 41-yard pickup.
That led to a 31-yard field goal by junior Landon Maynard and Rolla quickly had a 3-0 edge.
"The trick play to start the game; we really didn't want to use it then," said RHS head coach Willie Howard. "But with the rain we thought it was a good time.
"Our kids came out with the intent to put our best foot forward. We weren't going to let the elements mess with our game plan. The kids just kind of ran out of stem after we started fumbling the football. At halftime it quit raining and we thought we could come out throwing more. But then it started raining again."
Two plays later Hillcrest senior quarterback Matt Rush fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Satulla. However, RHS gave it right back as sophomore quarterback Kyle Morris was hit as he was attempting to pass.
The ball came loose and it was ruled a fumble, which the Hornets recovered. The Rolla coaching staff argued it should have been an incomplete pass and was hit with a sideline penalty.
However, three plays later the two teams would again exchange fumbles.
Rush again coughed it up and RHS senior Jacob Banholzer recovered at the RHS eight yardline. However, two plays later Rolla fumbled it back, with Hillcrest's DeAunte Clayton falling on it.
That possession would end by...yet another turnover, as Rush had a pass picked off by Rolla junior Collin Nash at the Bulldog four yardline.
On the next play Satulla broke off a 77-yard run to get to the Hillcrest 19 yardline. Two plays later Satulla broke several tackles to go in for a 17-yard TD run with 5:21 left in a busy first period. Maynard added the PAT and it was 10-0.
Page 2 of 3 - However, Hillcrest began holding on to the ball more and the result was more scoring.
Senior running back Juwan Johnson reeled off a 44-yard scoring run. Hillcrest fumbled the conversion attempt and it was 10-6.
Hillcrest took the lead for good at the 8:23 mark of the second period, capping a 76-yard, 14-play drive with a one-yard TD run by Johnson. Rush was brought down short of the endzone on the two-point conversion attempt, leaving it 12-10 and that proved to be the halftime score.
Rolla opened the second half with the ball but was forced to punt. And Hillcrest's Jake Beam blocked the Drallmeier kick and it was recovered by the Hornets' Isac Norsic at the Bulldog 18.
On the first play from scrimmage following the block, Rush bolted up the middle for a 18-yard TD run. Rolla brought Johnson down short of the endzone for the conversion attempt, leaving it 18-10.
After a RHS three-and-out Hillcrest went 63 yards on five running plays by Johnson and Rush. Johnson got the TD on a 26-yard run. Rush threw an incomplete pass on the conversion try.
The Bulldogs failed on a 4th-and-9 situation, giving the ball back to Hillcrest at the Hornet 45. Hillcrest kept the ball on the ground and scored on a five-play drive. On the TD run Rush fumbled the ball, picked it up and scooted 16 yards with 1:37 left in the third period. Rush ran in the conversion and it was 32-10.
Satulla ended the scoring with a one-yard run in the fourth period to cap a 48-yard drive.
Hillcrest had 502 yards of total offense compared to Rolla's 284.
Satulla paced the Rolla attack with 219 rushing yards on 27 carries.
Rush rushed for 270 yards while Johnson ran for 168.
Rolla ends its home schedule on Friday, hosting West Plains in conference play at Lions Memorial Field (7 p.m.). It will be RHS Senior Night.
Hillcrest 32, Rolla 16
First downs: RHS 12, HHS 23
Yards rushing: RHS 218, HHS 438
Yards passing: RHS 66, HHS 64
Total yards: RHS 284, HHS 502
Passing: RHS 4-14, HHS 3-10
Int. thrown: RHS 1, HHS 1
Fumbles lost: RHS 2, HHS 3
Penalties: RHS 5-35, HHS 6-65
Punting: RHS 4-39.8, HHS 3-30.3
The score by periods:
RHS 10 0 0 6-16
Hillcrest 6 6 20 0-32
The scoring plays:
Rolla: Maynard 31-yard field goal (10:10).
Rolla: Satulla 17-yard run, Maynard kick (5:21).
Hillcrest: Johnson 44-yard run, conversion fails (3:42).
Page 3 of 3 - Hillcrest: Johnson 1-yard run, conversion fails (8:23).
Hillcrest: Rush 18-yard run, conversion fails (9:07).
Hillcrest: Johnson 26-yard run, conversion fails (5:43).
Hillcrest: Rush 16-yard run, Rush runs in conversion (1:37).
Rolla: Satulla 1-yard run, conversion fails (7:40).
Rushing: Rolla - Satulla 27 for 219, Maples 1 for 0, Morris 8 for 2, Drallmeier 1 for minus-5, Spencer 1 for 2. Hillcrest - Rush 33 for 270, Johnson 22 for 168.
Passing: Rolla - Morris 3-13-25-1, Drallmeier 1-1-41-0. Hillcrest - Rush 3-9-64-1, Johnson 0-1-0-0.
Receiving: Rolla - Satulla 2 for 56, Nash 2 for 10. Hillcrest - Green-Beckham 1 for 36, Skidmore 1 for 16, Johnson 1 for 12.
Interceptions: Rolla - Nash 1 for 1. Hillcrest - Cochran 1 for 0.