The Rolla football team opened their season with a trip to Glendale on Friday, Aug. 24. Rolla used a commanding running game to control the game early, but had to hold off a late comeback attempt from the Falcons in a 31-26 win.
The Bulldogs dominated the first quarter of the game on both sides of the ball. Rolla opened the game by shutting down the Falcon offense and forcing a punt, which was returned to the 25-yard line. Three plays later, Trey Quick punched in his first score of the game. The point after gave Rolla a 7-0 lead. The Rolla defense then forced another three and out, before Jarret Gabriele knocked in a 29-yard field goal to stretch the Rolla lead to 10-0. The Bulldog defense was outstanding in the opening half, as they didn't allow Glendale to get a single first down.
The second quarter started a firestorm of points from each side. Glendale struck first with a handoff to Ryan Moon, which was then thrown to Ben Shoemaker for a touchdown. A successful two-point conversion cut the Rolla lead to 10-8. Rolla punched back with another lightning strike of a run from Quick. He took a handoff at the Rolla 34 and took it all the way to the house for a 66 yard score. Quick then punched in the two point conversion and the Rolla lead was back out to 18-8. Glendale responded on the ensuing drive, which culminated with a touchdown pass to Jackson Brawner. Glendale failed to convert for two points, so Rolla's lead sat at 18-14. The Bulldogs were able to get one final strike in the opening half. Rolla got some big plays on the drive from Quick and Blaize Klossner and Klossner was able to put the cherry on the drive by punching in a touchdown from the one, stretching the Rolla lead back out to 24-14 after a missed PAT. Rolla would go into the half with that lead.
A lot of the clock ticked away in the third quarter before either team was able to strike, as the Bulldogs were the first to score in the quarter, but not until just over four minutes remained in the quarter. Quick managed to rip off several big runs, before a 19-yard touchdown extended the Rolla lead to 31-14. Unfortunately, Rolla's offense went cold after that.
Glendale scored another touchdown, this one caught by Jack Hamlin for a 24-yard score. After a Rolla punt on the ensuing drive, The Falcons threw an interception, which was snagged by Ahmed Boubacar. Rolla started the first quarter with the ball, but were forced to punt. Glendale came back with a quick strike drive, capping things off with a touchdown catch by Winston Quinn. Failed two-point attempts on both late touchdowns helped Rolla cling to a 31-26 lead.
Rolla still had to run out the clock on the remaining seven minutes, which was largely spent without Klossner due to injury. The Bulldog offense repeatedly stalled out, but their defense held true. The biggest play of the fourth came on an interception by Boubacar with just under two minutes left, which came after Jack Hounsom came up just short on a fourth down run. Rolla then had another late scare when Quick was forced to jump on a bad snap while lining up to punt with 25 seconds left. Glendale was able to start their last drive on the 32, but Rolla managed to make one final stand to hold onto a 31-26 win.
Quick was a force to be reckoned with all night long, carrying the ball 33 times for a staggering 274 yards and three touchdowns. Klossner added 69 yards and a touchdown on the ground, while adding three catches for 60 yards through the air. Hounsom was 5-12 for 71 yards in his varsity debut, while also running for 43 yards.
Defensively, Boubacar had two interceptions to go along with four tackles. Colton Franks led the team in tackles with eight, while Blayne Yarger and Dawitt Pritchett each added five.
Rolla will open their home slate this Friday when they host Glendale.