The Rolla football team hosted West Plains on Pride Night on Friday, Aug. 31. The Bulldogs couldn't contain the electric Zizzer offense, falling 49-0 in their home opener.
West Plains was unstoppable on Friday night, opening the game with a touchdown on their first offensive play. Brayden Lidgard kicked things off an 80-yard touchdown to start what would be a long night for Rolla. West Plains then needed just two plays to score their second touchdown, a 58 yard pass from Allen Marcak to Garrett Warren. Their following drive then lasted three plays, ending with an 87 yard strike to Warren. They then converted for two points to lead 22-0. Rolla, meanwhile, struggled to get their offense going. Rolla managed just three first downs in the opening quarter.
The Bulldogs started to get into a rhythm as the first quarter ended, as they started the second in West Plains territory. Unfortunately, a big sack on third and five snuffed out that scoring effort and the Bulldogs were forced to punt. The Rolla defense managed to slow down the Zizzer offense on their first drive of the quarter, but West Plains still found the end zone eventually. Lidgard scored his second touchdown of the game on a one yard run.
Rolla had a string of bad luck on Friday night and that was never more evident than on West Plains' second drive of the quarter. The Bulldogs forced a fumble from Lidgard with three and a half minutes left to play and Ahmed Boubacar was able to scoop up the loose ball. The Rolla cornerback was able to return the fumble all the way to the end zone for a touchdown, but the return was called back for an illegal block. The Bulldogs kept the ball, but the touchdown was off the board. The Rolla offense then stalled out and a missed field goal ended their scoring chance. Lidgard then rushed for a 72-yard score with just over a minute left in the play to stretch the West Plains lead to 35-0 after Rolla blocked the extra point. Desperate for points, Rolla tried to score before the half, but Jack Hounsom threw an interception in the final seconds, which was returned for a touchdown by Titus Seley for a touchdown to give the Zizzers a 42-0 lead at the half.
With the Zizzers in the lead by 42 points, the turbo clock was in effect the entire second half. West Plains added one more score on a 39-yard touchdown from Caden Parker in the third quarter. That was the final score in a 49-0 contest.
Trey Quick led Rolla offensively with 74 yards on the ground in the loss. Hounsom was 11-17 through the air for 69 yards with two interceptions. He added 23 yards on the ground. Blaize Klossner was the top pass catcher for Rolla with six catches for 42 yards. RJ Alfred added four catches for 24 yards, while Brady Yarger had a 10 yard reception. Defensively, Blayne Yarger led the Bulldogs with seven tackles. Josh Morris added six tackles, while Boubacar and Bryce O'Connor each added five.
For West Plains, Lidgard finished the game with 214 yards on the ground with three touchdowns. The Zizzers ran for a total of 366 yards in the game. Marcak attempted just three passes, completing all three for 177 yards and two touchdowns.
Rolla will hit the road again for their next contest, traveling to Hillcrest on Friday.