By BUTCH BURNEY
ROCKWALL — Sulphur Springs fans saw something in the third quarter Friday night that they haven’t seen in a very long time — just two possessions.
SSHS fans are accustomed to seeing the Wildcats have four or five possessions per quarter, but they and Rockwall Heath had the ball just one time each in the third period. The Wildcats used 19 plays on their possession, which ended on downs at the 7-yard-line. Heath used a 16-play drive to score on the first play of the fourth quarter.
In fact, Sulphur Springs had just nine possessions in the game, about half of what they usually have. Part of the reason may be the new 40-second play clock (which starts as soon as the ball is snapped), or it could be that the Wildcats ran the ball 46 times and threw it 28. Also factor in that Heath huddled after almost every play and also ran the ball almost four times as often as they threw it (47-13).
100-YARD RUSHER — Tyler Rosamond didn’t start the game at running back, but he got the majority of carries. He finished with 24 carries for 155 yards and two touchdowns. ... As promised, several different running backs got their number called. Seven players carried the ball for SSHS, but Larry Pryor (12 carries for 79 yards) and Rosamond were the only ones to get more than five totes. ... Senior Dillon Carpenter was the top receiver with seven catches for 85 yards, including a 30-yard catch, the longest pass play of the game for the Wildcats. ... The longest play from scrimmage for SSHS was a 39-yard TD run by Pryor in the second quarter. ... The Wildcats had just four plays of 20 yards or more. Heath had six plays or 20 or more yards.
DEFENSIVELY SPEAKING — Junior defensive ends Cain Cody and Derrick Weeks each recorded a sack. Cody also had two tackles for losses, along with one tackle for a loss each by Tanner Ramirez, Zach Spigner, Carson Hicks and Dakota Stalcup. ... Senior linebacker Christian Jackson, Hicks and Spigner were the team’s leading tacklers. ... Spigner also blocked an extra point attempt by Heath’s Omar Shalabi. ... Melroy Givens had a pass breakup, one of only three incompletions thrown by Heath’s Jordan Hoy in 13 attempts. ... Spigner and Jaylon Mitchell each had a fumble recovery for the Wildcats.
ODDS AND ENDS — The Wildcats punted just once, a 40-yarder by Tanner Ramirez, but Heath’s Deshon Eliot (who has committed to the University of Texas as a defensive back) returned it 30 yards. ... The Wildcats were 2-for-3 on extra points. Parker Aguilar ran in a 2-point conversion from the swinging gate formation and Ramirez kicked one PAT. The other conversion, a run from regular formation, was unsuccessful. ... SSHS was penalized 10 times for 84 yards and Heath was hit with nine penalties for 65 yards. ... Heath and SSHS have now played twice, with each team winning once.
AROUND THE DISTRICT — District 15-5A had mixed results Friday night. Along with Sulphur Springs’ loss, Texas High and Longview also were beaten, giving the three teams predicted to be at the top of the district standings an early-season loss apiece. Whitehouse beat Texas High, 38-35, while Longview took a pounding from Lufkin, 44-14. Pine Tree and Mount Pleasant were the other district losers as PT was beaten by Jacksonville, 62-37, and Mount Pleasant was hammered by Paris, 49-6. Three teams won, including Greenville, which broke a 40-game losing streak by beating North Garland, 24-21. While Greenville was 0-40 the last four years, North Garland was 1-39. The biggest upset came at the hands of Hallsville, who whipped Carthage, 52-20. Marshall beat Royse City, 54-21.
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