Rockets soar to No. 1 seed
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – The Spencer/Columbus Rockets are entering the playoffs as a No. 1 seed, and they played like it to end the regular season. The Rockets handled Altoona Oct. 12 by defeating the Railroaders 49-20.
The Rockets put up 35 points in the first quarter and seven more in each of the following two quarters to grab a convincing Week 9 win, to end the regular season on a high note for Head Coach Jason Gorst.
“We played very well on offense, defense and special teams very early in the game, and were able to jump out to that lead, and get a number of different kids in the ball game, and that’s always a good thing in week 9,” he said. “In the passing game, we were able to hit some pretty big passes and get a lot of yards early in the game. I was also pretty impressed with our downfield blocking which sprung a couple of plays, whether it was a lineman down there on a screen or another receiver breaking off his route to make a downfield block. We were able to score pretty quickly.”
The Rockets opened up the scoring less than a minute into the game, when Austin Bacon scored on a two-yard touchdown run. Less than a minute after that, Bacon caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jarred Mandel. Carson Hildebrandt had a one-yard touchdown run with 7:01 left in the first. Four minutes later, Mandel connected with Hayden Bauman on a five-yard scoring strike. Mandel ran another score in from 16 yards out with just over a minute remaining in the first quarter.
Bacon had his second touchdown of the night midway through the second quarter, when he scored from 12 yards out. Bauman had a 19-yard TD run with 8:01 left in the third quarter.
Spencer/Columbus outgained Altoona 416-232 – 220 yards of that came through the pass game, combined with 196 yards on the ground. Hildebrandt led the Rockets with 69 yards rushing. Leo Rodriguez had seven carries for 50 yards. On the passing side, Mandel was 6-of-11 for 220 yards. Bacon hauled in three pass receptions for 108 yards. Eden Jacobson had one catch for 91 yards.
The Spencer/Columbus defense was able to force four turnovers as well. Three of those were pass interceptions–two by Bauman and one by Mandel.
The Rockets will host No. 8 Arcadia on Oct. 19 at Ted Fritsch Field in Spencer, in level one of the Division 5 WIAA playoffs. The winner will face either No. 4 Bloomer or No. 5 Spooner in level two.