By Jeff B. Flinn, Staff Writer
Published 11:14 pm CST, Friday, November 9, 2018
The Judson Rockets put a stamp on an undefeated season, spotting the Clemens Buffaloes an early touchdown before roaring back with seven unanswered scores for a 49-7 blowout win Friday at D.W. Rutledge Stadium.
The Rockets used a smothering defense and a pair of elusive runners to turn a 7-7 first-quarter tie into a comfortable 28-7 halftime lead. The Rockets held Clemens to 2 yards in the second quarter while its offense went for 207 yards with scoring drives of 66, 57 and 62 yards.
“(Defensive coordinator) Thomas Sitton is the best in the business,” Judson coach Sean McAuliffe said. “We were fortunate enough to get him a couple years ago. The guy’s won a state championship as a head coach.”
After Clemens running back Jaray Patterson broke a short Max Didomenico pass for a 55-yard touchdown catch-and-run, the Rockets (9-0, 7-0 in Dist. 26-6A) pulled even midway through the quarter when quarterback Mike Chandler ran in from 5 yards out for the 7-7 tie.
The Rockets went 66 yards in seven plays on the first possession of the second quarter. Chandler scrambled 18 yards on a third-and-four from the 49 yard line, setting up a 12-yard TD run by Sincere McCormick.
The Rockets then made Clemens pay for their mistakes to pull away. Kenyon Morgan intercepted a Didomenico pass near midfield, and Chandler hit Antony Shelton on a 48-yard strike that set up McCormick’s second TD run, from 7 yards out and the 21-7 lead.
. A McCormick 22-yard run was followed by a Chandler 23-yard TD pass to a wide open McCormick at the 10, with no Clemens defense within 510 yards of him. The Rockets scored all three touchdowns in drives of 2:02, 0:58 and 1:05.
McCormick finished with 141 yards on 16 carries and three TDs, two running and one receiving. Chandler finished 9-of-15 for 166 yards and two touchdown passes, while running for 124 yards on 18 carries and two more TDs.
“Defensively, there are 10 of them that are seniors…. It’s a special group of kids, it’s as close a group a kids as we’ve had here,” McAuliffe said. “The sky’s the limit for them, as long as they keep doing what they’re doing, each and every week.”
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