Bombers take down Rockets

Gabe House

Rockridge High attempted to play the role of spoilers against the Macomb High Bomber football team and succeeded for roughly 24 minutes Friday night, Oct. 10.

The Rockets (1-6, 0-5 Olympic Conference) knew the post-season aspirations of Macomb High (5-2, 4-1), and despite the lopsided 41-16 score, they kept them on their toes throughout the first half.

Senior back Jake Flater of the Rockets ran roughshod over the Bombers and drew the ire of head coach Kelly Sears and the legion of Macomb fans that made the trek to Edgington. Flater ran for 101 yards and one touchdown while seeming invincible as he carved through the middle of the Bombers in the first half.

“Flater is a very hard runner and he earns every yard he gets,” said Macomb’s Davis Hendrickson, who had three rushing touchdowns on the night. “We fixed what we were doing wrong for the second half and we did a great job.”

The Bomber team that emerged from its bus for the second half trailing 16-14 did seem like a changed group. The defensive line turned into a brick wall in front of Flater and the combined forces of Hunter Frakes and Kyle Rettig under center for the Rockets were also shut down.

Frakes was able to amass yards in the first half by rolling right and hitting receivers mid-stride, but the Bombers acclimated to the strategy as evidenced by an interception by Hendrickson just six minutes into the second half. Hendrickson went on to score on a 38-yard rush on the subsequent drive.

 It seemed to open the floodgates for the Bombers.

 “I told the kids you have to do what we want you to do and not what you want to,” said Sears. “And in the second half we really stepped up and started playing a lot better ... when they understood that.”

If scoring is any indication of the Bombers’ comprehension, they most definitely got the message. Macomb gave the Rockets 16 points in the first half, but held them scoreless in the second. The Bombers looked sloppy during the drives that produced their first 14 points, but were composed when they compiled 27 second-half points.

And it was all because of the big picture and, according to Hendrickson, a surprisingly calm Sears during the half-time talk.

“Coach Sears came in calm, which was a little unusual,” said Hendrickson. “He told us if we want to be a playoff contender we’re gonna’ have to take care of this second half, get on a roll and keep it going for these next two games. It got everyone thinking.”