By James Pitts
Corsicana Daily Sun
Rice dominated on both the offensive lines and defensive lines as the Bulldogs earned their first victory of the year, 48-12 over the Cross Roads Bobcats at home on Friday night. Rice (1-2) rushed for a season high 387 yards while holding the Bobcats (1-2) to -5 yards on the ground to dominate from start to finish.
The Rice defense started the pressure early by forcing an errant snap on the Bobcats’ first possession, resulting in a safety when Rice’s Sergio Gonzalez dropped Bobcat quarterback Aaron Arden in the end zone. The safety gave Rice an early 2-0 lead less than a minute into the game.
Following a Cross Roads free quick, the Bulldogs quickly moved into Bobcat territory behind big runs by Gonzalez and Austin Peppers. The drive culminated when Chris Atchley scored untouched to increase the Bulldog led to 9-0 after the extra point by Alberto Avila.
Cross Roads appeared to get back into the game early in the second quarter when Arden found a wide-open Raleigh Scilheimer in the Bulldog secondary for an apparent touchdown. But before Scilheimer could cross the plane of the goal line, Peppers stripped the ball from him and the Bulldogs recovered for a touchback.
The Bulldogs then drove 80 yards in only eight plays to increase their lead to 15-0. After several tough runs by Atchley, Gonzalez scored on a 37-yard run for his first touchdown of the year.
Gonzalez scored his second touchdown on the next Bulldog possession, scoring from 43 yards out with only 0:45 left in the second quarter. Gonzalez led all rushers on the night with 147 yards on only eight carries.
On the ensuing kickoff, Cross Roads fumbled and the Bulldogs recovered at the Bobcat 32 yard line. It took the Bulldogs only one play to score, as Peppers found Sim Nezar for a touchdown pass for the second Bulldog touchdown in only 11 seconds. The score put Rice up at halftime, 28-0.
The Bulldogs increased the lead as Rice took the second half kickoff and scored quickly. Big runs by Peppers and Angel Oropeza set up Atchley’s second touchdown of the night to increase the Bulldog lead to 34-0.
Cross Roads finally found some offensive success with their passing game. The Bobcats scored on their next two possessions, both times on passes from Arden. The first touchdown, a 36-yard pass to Trey Hazelip, culminated an 8-play drive in which Arden completed 5 out of 6 passes.
After recovering an onside kick, Arden again led the Bobcats down the field. The drive ended with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Scilheimer to cut the Bulldog lead to 34-12 late in the third quarter. Arden finished the night with 18 completions in 29 attempts for 257 yards.
Any hope for a Bobcat comeback was quickly dashed as Rice only took three plays to score as Oropeza scored on a 48-yard run to increase the Bulldog lead to 41-12.
The Rice defense took over, stopping the Bobcats on interceptions by Reece Whitt and Reece Barlow. Whitt’s pick set up the final touchdown of the night, a 24-yard run by Dylynn Anderson.
Rice is off next week as the Bulldogs prepare to open district play at home against Scurry Rosser.
Rice 48, Cross Roads 12
Cross Roads 0 0 12 0 — 12
Rice 9 19 20 0 — 48
R — Safety, Sergio Gonzalez tacked Aaron Arden in endzone, 11:06
R — Chris Atchley 1 run (Alberto Avila kick), 7:40
R — Gonzalez 37 run (pass failed), 5:50
R — Gonzalez 43 run (Avila kick), 0:45
R — Sim Nezar 32 pass from Austin Peppers (kick failed), 0:34
R — Atchley 4 run (kick failed), 9:25
C — Trey Hazelip 36 pass from Aaron Arden (pass failed), 6:02
C — Raleigh Scilheimer 10 pass from Arden (pass failed), 3:56
R — Angel Oropeza 48 run (Avila kick), 2:50
R — Dylynn Anderson 24 run (Avila kick), 0:14
First downs 11 19
Rush-yards 20-(-5) 42-387
Passing yards 257 42
C-A-I 18-29-2 2-4-0
Fumbles-lost 7-4 3-1
Punts-avg. 3-42.3 2-35.5
Penalties-yards 8-55 6-60
Rushing — C: Raleigh Scilheimer 10-18, Taylor McKenzie 2-6, Aaron Arden 8-(-29). R: Sergio Gonzalez 8-147, Chris Atchley 13-66, Austin Peppers 10-63, Angel Oropeza 3-55, Dylynn Anderson 5-47, Alberto Avila 2-7, Peyton Allen 1-2.
Passing — C: Aaron Arden 18-29-2-257. R: Austin Peppers 2-4-0-42.
Receiving — C: Trey Hazelip 6-75, Raleigh Scilheimer 4-104, Taylor McKenzie 4-60, Garrett McCurley 2-15, Justin Vaughn 2-3 . R: Sim Nezar 1-32, Chris Atchley 1-5.