Football: end-of-season recap

Nathaniel Jackson and Haylen Jackson

The Bulldogs’ football season is finally over, and the varsity team’s first district championship game versus Branson was a successful win. The final score was 28-0 on the Bulldogs’ home turf on Oct. 29. They ended with a total of 286 yards rushing. The lead rusher of the game was senior Hayden Fane, with a total of 166 yards on 15 carries. The Bulldogs second District championship was very close, losing to Glendale, 28 to 34 at Glendale on Nov. 5. Defense was a key part of this game, with Rolla delivering 77 tackles. The leading tackler was senior Ty Locklear with 10 solo tackles and three assists.

The organization of high school playoffs is often misunderstood. In the state of Missouri, schools are classified one through six. All the class five schools are split up into districts, same with the other class sizes. The teams’ points are tallied up by wins and losses. Then, the teams will be ranked. Teams will then play in the first round, then the semi-finals, and then comes the district finals. After that, the winning teams will go to the state playoffs, which is in the same order as the district games. The final two teams will then compete in the final state game, and whichever team wins that game becomes state champs.

While the Bulldogs’ playoff run was short, the team still had a great season. A key game for the team this year was beating rival Lebanon 28-20. The Bulldogs had a nice offensive game with 220 rushing yards, and 138 passing yards, and the defense kept Lebanon from scoring to finish with a clean 8 points over. This is the first time they have beat Lebanon since 2009.

“We had a good season, seven wins and those all-conference games,” said head football coach Jon Franks.

The Bulldogs even had a three win streak, and one of those wins was against rival Waynesville.

“They had a really good stretch there where they beat our rival Waynesville and then beat Lebanon and Camdenton. In all that’s three in a row, so that’s a nice stretch,” said Franks.

The RHS football team hopes they can keep bringing pride to our school by continuing to do great.

“We’re really happy with what’s going on and we’ll continue to try and improve,” Franks added.

The players on the RHS Bulldogs were disappointed about the loss to Glendale in the postseason, but happy about the season as a whole.

“I think we could have done a lot better, and I was sad to see it end on Glendale,” said linebacker Waylon Kinder, a senior at RHS.

“[This season] was a fun one, definitely not what we expected but a good season,” said senior wide receiver Gage Klossner.

A lot of starting seniors are leaving this year, but the Bulldogs still have a lot of firepower.

“I think they still have a lot of athleticism, they just have to figure out how to use all of their weapons,” said Klossner.

Overall the RHS football team had a great season.

“I know the boys definitely would’ve liked to win a couple more, but overall they had a really nice season,” said Franks.