Rosewood put together one of its most complete performances of the season in the second round of N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A playoffs.
Behind a dominant offensive line, a strong running game, and solid defense, the Eagles defeated North Edgecombe 36-8 on Friday evening.
“I was just talking to the kids, and it’s probably one of the most complete games we’ve played this year,” Rosewood head coach Robert Britt said. “We’re slowly getting guys back, offensively, defensively, special teams. I thought we played really well.
“Overall, I’m very pleased with our effort and execution.”
With 4:50 left in the first quarter, Rosewood executed a nine-play 72-yard drive that Rocco Raper capped off with a 19-yard touchdown pass John Thompson.
North Edgecombe looked to respond, and the Warriors drove down the field to the Eagles’ eight-yard line, but Rylan Hobbins intercepted Ahkee Lyons’ pass to give the Eagles the ball back.
Starting at their own one-yard line, the Eagles reeled off a 99-yard touchdown drive that ended with David Lamm scoring from 18 yards out.
“North Edgecombe got close, but then our kids rallied,” Britt said. “To be able to drive 99 yards and score that really set the tone for the first half.”
After forcing the Warriors’ to punt on the ensuing drive, the Eagles took over at the Warriors’ 34-yard line. However, on the second play of the drive, the Eagles fumbled.
Thankfully, while attempting to run down the field, a North Edgecombe player fumbled, and the Eagles recovered.
And on the first play of the drive, Terquavis Butler burst down the field for a 35-yard touchdown run that put the Eagles ahead 20-0.
“To be honest, I had my back turned. We had a helmet situation, and we were trying to figure out how to fix the helmet. I really didn’t know what happened until I turned around and the kids were talking about it,” Britt said. “It just goes to teaching the kids that play is not over until it’s over.”
As time expired in the second quarter, Zach Gordon’s field goal gave the Eagles a 23-0 lead at halftime.
Rosewood punted to open the second half, but the Warriors’ first drive of the second half, John White sacked Lyons on a fourth down to give the Eagles the ball back.
Five plays later, the Eagles were back in the endzone when Lamm scored from three yards out.
North Edgecombe would score its only touchdown of the game on the ensuing drive, but Rosewood answered with another touchdown drive that ended with Keovin Vance’s one-yard plunge into the endzone.
“We knew North Edgecombe was going to be big and athletic, so we really wanted to try to keep them contained,” Britt said. “We felt really good with our matchups upfront.
“I’m extremely proud of our kids’ effort.”
Now with a 36-8 lead, the Eagles forced North Edgecombe to turn the ball over downs. Rosewood then ran out the clock to secure the win.
The Eagles advance to the third round for the second time in four seasons, and they will travel to Gaston to face a familiar opponent in Northampton County.
In 2018, Rosewood defeated the Jaguars 28-14 in the second round, while in 2019, Northampton toppled the Eagles 26-20 in the third round.
“We’ll continue to try to get better every day and fix what needs to be fixed and get ready for Northampton County,” Britt said. “When you’re in the third round of the playoffs, everybody you play is good, so it’ll be two very good football teams that know each other well.
“It should be a good football game.”