Rockets come from behind to beat Princeton

Robert Blackford/Editor
A pair of Rockets converge on a Princeton ball carrier Friday.

The Rockridge Rockets overcame a 21-8 deficit Aug. 28 to beat the Princeton Tigers, 30-24.

Rocket David Lee scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 37-yard run with 8:30 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Rocket defense held on for the victory. It was his third touchdown of the evening.

It was a well-earned victory for the Rockets.

They fumbled the opening kickoff to start the game and watched Princeton turn the opportunity to its advantage for an early score.

Princeton took a 7-0 lead just 16 seconds into the game.

"Our goal was to get off to a good start," said Rockridge head coach Jeremy Adolphson. "We found out tonight what we can do when we are behind."

The Rockets fought back and went on a 16-play, 80-yard drive which culminated in a four-yard scoring run by David Lee. Lee had 99 yards rushing on the evening to go with two touchdowns.

Princeton answered back immediately as Wederlin threw a 54-yard pass to Towne for the score. Princeton took a 13-8 lead at the 2:25 mark.

Princeton quickly scored again blocking a Rockridge punt for a touchdown with 3.8 seconds remaining in the second quarter and took a 21-8 lead.

The Rockets went back to work on the ground and Lee scored again breaking loose for a 48-yard gain on a fourth and one play. The touchdown and conversion cut the Princeton lead to 21-16, which is where it remained until halftime.

"We were trying to figure out how we're behind at halftime,' said Jeremy Adolphson, Rockridge head coach. "We gave up a 10-yard drive and they fall on the ball in the endzone for another score though. We told them not to panic at the half."

The Rockets held their composure and forced a turnover at the beginning of the third quarter. They scored 10 plays later as Tanner Martin scored from one yard out. The two-point coversion gave the Rockets a 24-21 lead with 5:34 remaining in the third quarter.

The Tigers put together a 12-play drive at the end of the third quarter and Wederlin kicked a 27-yard field goal to tie the score at 27-27.

The Rockets answered with an eight-play drive culiminating in Lee's 36-yard touchdown run.

The Rockets held the lead but hanging on to it was a different story.

Princeton started a 16-play drive in which they converted first downs three times on fourth down to keep the drive alive.

On Princeton's fourth, fourth down of the drive, Tanner Martin tripped Wederlin just shy of the first down marker to secure the Rocket victory.

"We played hard all night, and when you do that, you have a chance to win," said Adolphson.

"Football wise we did a better job than they did. They just made so many big plays. I'm proud of how our kids responded I was real impressed with our mental approach tonight. We never lost confidence, never panicked."

Adolphson added, "I thought David Lee, after missing a lot of games for us, did an outstanding job. Hunter Frakes did a good job running the offense. The inside backers Stufflebeam and Jeremy McManus played well all night as did our outside backers Lee and Seth Holman.

The Rockridge defense held Princeton to just 195 yards on the night and only 30 yards rushing.