In the season finale two years ago, Rocky Mount Academy prayed for points. On Friday night, the Eagles hoped for none.
Although Rocky Mount Academy fell short of its goal Friday, the 52-6 result against Cary Christian, which defeated the Eagles by 50 points two years ago, was all the more satisfying.
“It’s so good to see this group of seniors, that two years ago they probably got beat on this field by that team right there 50 or 60 to nothing,” Rocky Mount Academy coach B.W. Holt said. “They beat us last year, and this year, we came back. It just kind of shows how far our program has come.”
Two years ago, Rocky Mount Academy starting running back Chris Jenkins was scrawny compared to his current 182-pound frame. He had thick, black-rimmed glasses and ran almost completely upright.
Like his team, Jenkins is completely transformed – running for 126 yards on 17 carries Friday and falling forward on almost every play.
“Two years ago, we knew that we had no chance of going to the playoffs. We were young, inexperienced,” Jenkins said. “We didn’t know what we were doing. ... Now, we know that if we play our hardest, go all out and do what we need to do, no one can stop us and we will be the state champs.”
On Friday, every time Jacob Hunter scored, a section of fans cheered a single word in unison. It happened five times as the Eagles’ sophomore running back scored twice on defense, once on special teams and twice in the passing game.
Two years ago, Hunter wasn’t on the field, even though eighth graders can play varsity sports at Rocky Mount Academy.
He wasn’t even watching. Hunter didn’t want to go to games because he had heard the varsity team wasn’t very good.
“We’re changing around pretty quick,” said Hunter, who likes hearing the dull roar echo through the Rocky Mount Academy campus. “That’s a good thing.”
The Eagles (7-2, 4-0-), who scored 52 points in the first three quarters before the game went to a running clock, will being action in the NCISAA 2-A state playoffs next week, possibly against Cary Christian Academy again.
Two years ago, the Eagles just wanted a few points.
Now, they have their sights on a bigger prize.
“We know we can compete with anyone,” Jenkins said. “There’s no one that can stop us. We know that as long as we go out and give 100 percent, there’s no one that can compete with us.”
Rocky Mount Academy 52
Cary Christian Academy 6
CCA 0 0 0 6 – 6
RMA 12 28 12 0 – 52
RMA – Jacob Hunter 32 pass from Bryce Andracchio (kick failed), 8:69
RMA – Linwood Jones 2 run (run failed), 5:11
RMA – Hunter 43 punt return (Kyle Holland run ), 11:46
RMA – Chris Jenkins 23 run (run failed), 7:22
RMA – Hunter 37 fumble return (Jones run), 6:59
RMA – Hunter 11 pass from Holland (pass failed), :59.7
RMA – Andracchio 24 run (run failed), 8:51
RMA – Hunter 74 interception return (run failed), :00
CCA – Reid Thomas 14 pass from Coleman DeWitt (run failed), 5:21
7 First downs................15
54 Passing yards............71
103 Total offense...........319
Rushing – CCA: Branceton Buster 18-76; Austin Leaming 2-1; Chris Thomas 1-(-1); Zachary Wharton 1-(-7); Coleman DeWitt 7-(-20). RMA: Chris Jenkins 17-126; Jacob Hunter 2-33; Linwood Jones 6-32; Bryce Andracchio 4-26; Kyle Holland 1-17; Rod’Quan White 4-13; Tyson Jones 1-2.
Passing – CCA: DeWitt 6-16-1, 54. RMA: Andracchio 2-2-1, 60; Holland 1-3-1, 11.
Receiving – CCA: Reid Thomas 2-26; Austin Leaming 1-14; Reid Thomas 1-13; Buster 1-2. RMA: Hunter 2-43; Jones 1-28.
Justin Hite can be reached at 407-9951 or email@example.com