The first play of the game didn’t go the way Rocky Mount Prep planned.
Soon after, everything else followed suit Monday.
The opening kickoff turned into an accidental onside kick, and Southeast Halifax returned it for a touchdown.
Southeast Halifax needed just two offensive plays to score twice more, and the Jaguars were unable to keep up despite an eccentric offensive attack.
With a 55-16 loss in its final nonconference game of the season, Rocky Mount Prep will have to go back to the basics as it prepares for its Two Rivers Conference schedule.
“All I can do is try to get them not to quit,” Rocky Mount Prep coach Don Reams said. “We’ve got our work cut out against North Edgecombe.”
The Jaguars (1-5) open conference play against rivals North Edgecombe and Tarboro in two weeks. The Jaguars will have plenty to try to correct.
“Opportunities were presented to us, but we didn’t play as well in those particular moments as I thought we had to in order to have a chance.” Reams said.
After allowing a touchdown on the opening kickoff, the Jaguars unveiled to their home crowd a varied offense that kept Southeast Halifax (4-2) off guard.
The Jaguars switched from a full-house backfield to a spread formation to a swinging-gate formation – with the offensive line lined up far to either sideline. Rocky Mount Prep was able to put together an 80-yard scoring drive.
Things soon changed for the worse.
By the end of the first quarter, the Jaguars had made just one tackle, and the Trojans had run just three offensive plays.
Southeast Halifax scored on seven of its first nine possessions, but even the drives that stalled remained fruitless for Rocky Mount Prep.
The Jaguars would recover a fumble but follow it with a three-and-out. A long pass play wouldn’t result in a first down but a fumble.
The Jaguars ended the first half with two straight turnovers and started the second half with a fumble on the second play.
“I thought the time off would help our guys to be more focused,” Reams said. “I don’t think it helped us to be more focused.”
Southeast Halifax, on the other hand, was able to take advantage of the Jaguars’ mistakes.
The Trojans ran for 368 yards and averaged more than 10 yards per carry.
“We got our lunch handed to us on the line of scrimmage,” Reams said. “They ran their isolation at will. They don’t want to believe me, but hopefully when they see the film, they’ll see we’re just getting driven off the ball.”
After allowing 50-plus points in four of its past five games and averaging just 10 points in those losses, Rocky Mount Prep has an even more daunting challenge after its bye week: Two Rivers Conference play.
“It’s not going to be an easy task,” Reams said. “We’ll find out who wants to play and who doesn’t.”
Southeast Halifax 55 Rocky Mount Prep 16 SH 22 14 13 6 – 55 RMP 8 0 0 8 – 16 First Quarter SH – Tyriek Bryant 61 kick return (Jaquez McDaniel run), 11:48 RMP – Dandre Manley 15 pass from Mark Tann (Markevian Pittman pass from Tann), 7:18 SH – Reginald Nicholson 44 run (pass failed), 6:59 SH – McDaniel 57 run (Nicholson run), 4:08 Second Quarter SH – McDaniel 84 run (pass failed), 2:00 SH – Marquez McDaniel 2 run (Raekwon Williams pass from Adonis Whitaker), :00 Third Quarter SH – Jaquez McDaniel 4 run (Shiheem Drew kick), 7:17 SH – Jaquez McDaniel 12 run (kick failed), 3:55 Fourth Quarter SH – Marcus McGuire 52 run ( run failed), 11:46 RMP – Percey Harper 47 run (Manley pass from Pittman), 2:23 SHRMP 18 First downs................11 36–368 Rushes-yards......30–127 24 Passing yards.............124 1–3–0 Passes..........14–30–2 392 Total offense.............251 6–3 Fumbles-Lost............6–3 10–80 Penalties-Yards.....5–21 Individual Statistics Rushing – SH: Jaquez McDaniel 15-240; Reginald Nicholson 7-80; Marcus McGuire 2-61; Marquez McDaniel 2-16; Adonis Whitaker 2-15; Dequandray Howard 3-12; Johnathan Savage 1-2; Christopher Vincent 1-1; Bobby Goode 1-(-18); Curtez Whitaker 4-(-27). RMP: Percey Harper 5-50; Mark Tann 10-41; Xavier Bunch 8-21; Jarod Parker 5-12; Markevian Pittman 2-3. Passing – SH: Whitaker 1-3-0, 24. RMP: Tann 12-26-0, 90; Pittman 2-3-0, 34; Bunch 0-1-0, 0. Receiving – SH: Raekwon Williams 1-24. RMP: Parker 7-53; Bunch 1-26; Pittman 4-17; Manley 1-15; Tyshaun Battle 1-13.
Justin Hite can be reached at 407-9951 or email@example.com