WENTWORTH —Rockingham head coach Brad Baker and company were able to cross season goal number one off the list on Friday night. Be 1-0 at the end of the night — check.
But the Cougars 12-6 season opening win over J.F. Webb at Cougar Pride Stadium certainly wasn’t without drama. Multiple delays because of lightning forced the staff to evacuate Cougar Pride Stadium, but as it turned out, the start to the game for RCHS turned out to be just as electrifying as the night that would later ensue.
On the opening kickoff, Rockingham senior Javen Walker took the rock to the house on a 75 yard run to give his team the 6-0 lead, but due to the weather, that was the last play of the game for quite some time.
Cougars head coach Brad Baker said he felt like his team was ready no matter what curve ball Mother Nature threw at Rockingham.
“We told them pregame everybody can look at the forecast that the meteorologist is telling us and see what is coming. We told our kids, how we handle these things, whether its 30 minutes or whatever it is, determines who wins the game. How you handle the delays and adversity in general is key, and that could be the key to the season,” Baker said.
When play finally did resume, Webb regrouped and tied the score at 6-6 before halftime. Late game heroics would shift the tide back in favor of Rockingham however.
RCHS senior Hayden Hundley stepped up big, sacking the quarterback and pushing Eastern Randolph to edge of their own goal line. On the next play from scrimmage, the Wildcats tried to throw a screen pass, but Cougars senior linebacker Austin Lynch stepped in front of the ball and hauled in an interception for a score to lock down the win.
“Special teams and defense were huge. We talked about that as a staff last night. I don’t remember the last time that Rockingham County started the season at 1-0. It’s been a while. . . . I told our kids, school starts Monday and it feels a whole lot better walking in at 1-0 as compared to 0-1. Remember this feeling. We are going to have a great week and try to go 1-0 again next Friday,” Baker said.
The Cougars will hit the road to take on Eastern Randolph next Friday night.
Rockingham 6 0 0 6 12
Webb 0 6 0 0 0