ROSE HILL — No one instance can accurately be described as the defining moment in Andale’s 26-15 win over Rose Hill on Friday night.
Not Andale’s fast start, when the Indians scored two touchdowns in the first four minutes.
Not Rose Hill’s failure to capitalize after recovering an onside kick in the third quarter.
Not even the left ankle injury to Rose Hill quarterback Tyler Shirley in the second quarter, which kept him out for the rest of the game.
It was a combination of those and other things that kept Rose Hill from gaining momentum and Andale from relinquishing it.
“It was a tough game,” Andale coach Gary O’Hair said. “It’s hard to put my finger on it. We were hoping to come out and control the ball, but we didn’t do that. But we did make some big plays.”
Those big plays started early, when Jake Hattabaugh ran for a 62-yard touchdown on the game’s second snap.
It was the first of three carries of at least 60 yards for the Indians. The runs boosted the rushing totals of Hattabaugh, James Tipton and Jake Weninger, all of whom had at least 99 yards.
The Indians took a 13-0 lead after blocking a punt in Rose Hill territory and scoring on a Weninger rush.
“It was a pretty good momentum shifter,” Hattabaugh said. “The first play didn’t really click, but on the second one the line blocked really well and I found a hole and went.”
Andale had turnovers on three consecutive drives in the first half, but Rose Hill never managed to cut its deficit to less than a touchdown.
Rose Hill was driving in the second quarter when Shirley, who had passed for 147 yards to that point, suffered the left ankle injury while being sacked.
Shirley didn’t return and was replaced by sophomore Derrick Decker. Rose Hill coach Greg Slade wasn’t sure of Shirley’s status for the rest of the season.
After cutting Andale’s lead to 11 late in the third, Rose Hill punted and threw an interception in the two series following its onside kick recovery.
“Losing Tyler hurt,” Slade said. “He’s a senior quarterback, a leader. But Derrick came in and did a good job. But there’s a difference when you don’t have your leader.”
Andale (5-0, 4-0) 13 6 7 0 — 26Rose Hill (4-1, 3-1) 0 9 0 6 — 15
A—Hattabaugh 62 run (Finney kick)
A—Weninger 1 run (run failed)
RH—Mayes 1 run (kick failed)
A—Tipton 12 run (kick failed)
RH—Knight 38 FG
A—Tipton 75 run (Finney kick)
RH—Mayes 3 run (kick failed)
Rushing—Andale, Tipton 10-132, Hattabaugh 14-130, Weninger 11-99, Lester 4-30; Rose Hill, Mayes 21-67, Decker 7-32, Leabo 1-12, Dunshee 1-3, Shirley 5-(-11).
Passing—Andale, Weninger 3-6-26-1 INT, Hattabaugh 0-1-0-1; Rose Hill, Shirley 11-17-173-1, Decker 8-15-46-1, Leabo 1-1-31-0.
Receiving—Andale, Horsch 2-25, Tipton 1-1; Rose Hill, Leabo 7-85, Rapp 6-75, Train 4-62, Mayes 2-21, Yates 1-7.